Back Modifications (2)
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little grebe with lunch

By manorjim
would like some critique as to what is right and wrong with the picture,has not been touched up in photoshop,the picture is as taken.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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ColouredImages 18 47 35 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2014 8:05PM
A super capture, nothing to critique in this one
dark_lord Plus
18 3.0k 836 England
24 Apr 2014 8:37PM
You've captured this bird doing something so that makes it more interesting to look at than a straight portrait of the bird. The fact we can clearly see it's a small fish is a real bonus. The background is not distracting while still giving us information about the environment. A nice catchlight in the eye, too. Its good to see the reflection and there's some room around the subject to avoid a claustrophobic image.

As this is a good image as it stands my suggestions are quite minor.

The white patch at the base of the beak and on the rear of the bird are quite bright, and on the image size uploaded here at least, look ok you could easily have used half a stop less exposure (even though you've already applied -1) to ensure detail is retained and still kept detail in the rest of the bird. Always tricky in strong light. But as I say, at the size here it looks as though the original is fine. Compression for upload can exaggerate this, unfortunately. Shooting RAW would allow you more control over this. You may not want to do much post processing, but sometimes just a little work is necessary, and worth doing to get the image you deserve for the effort you put in (getting there, waiting, etc.).

Shooting any subject be it animals, birds or people it helps to be on their level. I know this is not always possible with birds, especially in a hide when the bird comes close. A lower angle would give more impact.

banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4337 Canada
25 Apr 2014 12:37AM
Its a good shot, and theres nothing wrong with it as I see it, except it can be sharper. I assume you are including a sharpening step in the re-sizing process?

I did upload a quick mod.

However, I have spent some time looking through many of your images, (I uploaded a mod of the Bittern, a fine shot)and though you have some success, you have mixed results. I have noticed a common approach you use a lot, and I think it may be something you can think about changing.

First is that you always use SPOT metering. I wouldnt if I were you; its a mode thats generally rarely used, and when used, it often corrected because its no reliably accurate.

Next is that you more often than not, apply -1 exposure correction, where you should either apply none, OR you should apply a positive exposure correction. If you shoot in RAW, you have a better chance of getting away with this as you can alter exposure, but in JPEG its a different matter, as destructive changes are applied.

I imagine this "exposing to the left" is driven by a desire to protect highlights, but with using say matrix metering, highlights are already accounted for in metering, and adding a negative produces an underexposed image. Which is why you use none, or, with a back-lit subject, and you have a few of these in your PF, use positive EC. Also, the fact is in digital photography, especially with a RAW image, more than 50% of the image data is in the right hand third of the histogram, not the left.

Try using matrix, leave the -1 for a while and try some shots. I would love to see the difference.


manorjim 15 5 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2014 4:49AM
thanks for the comments ,will be putting some to the test to see the difference,i am pleased with what i see as i have only just got the 7100 body.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1975 England
25 Apr 2014 4:22PM
Good comments above, on a very interesting picture.

Looking at the EXIF data, you've used a high ISO, a wide aperture, and a very high shutter speed.

With a long lens, it makes sense to get the shutter speed well up: I think, though, that when the bird is on the water, and you won't have to deal with very rapid motion, I'd close down the aperture a stop or two, for the sake of a little leeway on focus (and possibly better sharpness, at the limit).

I feel sorry for the fish, though...
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2014 9:05AM
Nice image of a Little Grebe or Dabchick. I am surprised at your settings. For NH record I would be at a low ISO if at all possible and you could easily go to 400 or 200 here. The depth of field seems good for full aperture. I would come down a stop I think, but it worked for you.


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