Back Modifications (2)
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By straightbat
This guy is so nervous, it took 100+ shots plus several bags of Sultanas.

Tags: Garden wildlife Wildlife and nature


EMJAYCEE 12 10 10 England
18 Jun 2012 8:25AM
A fine image showing good detail. Patience rewarded!
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
18 Jun 2012 8:46AM
A nice image of a Thrush. Just faintly off focus and you were at 400mm with 1/400 sec. IS is good, but dampens shake and it is quite possible to beat it. I have the Sigma 18/250 OS lens which is very good, but tends to a slight softness at the extreme telephoto end, and, without testing, I guess the canon version will be the same too.

I keep an old monopod in our porch ready to grab for such shots - you can't beat some kind of rigid camera support.

Davesumner 14 28 300 Australia
18 Jun 2012 8:56AM
Hi David,

Welcome to the Critique Gallery with your first post.

Great capture and considering the time of day and harsh sunlight you've done pretty well here. I'm a little concerned as to why the entire image is not sharp, normally there is one part that is sharp yet here there doesn't seem to be any here. Perhaps camera movement which is usually the cause in these cases although it may be that you've cropped right in to the image and cropped out the sharp bits. This is one of those grab shots that you have to get when you can but a bit of food and some patience will pay off in the long run. The background is a little distracting with the bright green leaves but I think toning them down in post prod should fix that. With regards to composition, it isn't always best to have your subject central in the frame and having a bit of space on the left for the bird to move into would help here.

I have done a very quick mod where I have darkened down the background, lightened the birds eye slightly and sharpened.

Hope it helps

banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4274 Canada
18 Jun 2012 7:34PM
Hi David, - another welcome to EPZ.

I have downloaded this shot, and looked at it closely.

Theres a few additional comments and possibilities I can add.

First is how to re size, and upload, which has a sharpening step you may have missed.

Resize image: Image>Image size> set pixels per inch to 72; then set the longest side to what the site allows; then during the save as process, you will adjust the quality slider to get the right file size, then save.

Next: OPen the new image. Check for sharpness at 100%. It will very likely need to be sharpened. You can use whatever method you prefer; here is a reliable method you can use:

Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask; set Radius = 0.8; set threshold = 3; now slide the Amount slider all the way to the right, which oversharpens the shot; then slide it slowly back to the left until it doesnt look soft, and doesnt look too sharp. You can view your image and turn Preview on and off to see how youre doing. When your happy, press OK, then SAVE. Now upload.

Next is the use of multiple, and single focus points with the camera. The default setting uses nine focus points, - those red squares. Using the nine will more often than not give you an image that has missed focusing on tat one area you wanted sharp. Most shooters, especially wildlife, will use a single focus point, place it on the birds eye, then shoot. Check your user manual to see how to select individual focus points, - you can select any of the nine, - much better approach.

The, looking at the downloaded shot, and applying a lot of sharpening, I feel that your focus point was just at the camera side of the bird, leaving the head out of focus. When I sharpen, the near feathers respond quickly, but the head requires 3 times the amount of sharpening as the near side feathers, a sure sign that the focus was not on the head, - the critical area to have sharp.

Thirs is the mode you used, Program AE, which will make all the decisions for you, but does allow you to over ride ant setting. It selected f/6.3, whereas f/8 may have given you a better result. Assuming you were 30 feet away, f/6.3 gives you a depth of field of about 1 foot, and f/8 gives you 1.3 feet, - might have been enough extra to render the head properly.

heres a useful link for understanding aperture and depth of field:

I will also upload the mod, - its simply sharpened, - a lot.

Hope this is helpful, and enjoy the site.


18 Jun 2012 11:58PM
Thanks Guys, will try and take this onboard. Part of the problem was- new camera, big kid with new toy. Yes it was a bad crop, so that is easy to improve. Willie, which editing program are you refering to? As for Pauls remarks, I agree photo was rushed hence the shake. Thanks again this is a much better way to learn.

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