Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)

Started Dec 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP AnthonyL Senior Member • Posts: 2,761
Re: Birds: 450d+55-250 (not so good)

Olga Johnson wrote:

Considering the ISO you used, those are pretty good though not necessarily tack sharp. Most of Ziad's images were at ISO 200 which means that he had better lighting than you did.

I also suspect that your birds were not as close to you as Ziad's. Did you have to crop a lot of your images to come up with the frames you did or are these the out of camera full frame.

How about some post processing? Some of these look like they could use some saturation and contrast adjustment. Did you do any of that?

Thank you and others for your encouragement.

I tend to start with a high ISO.  I'm in the UK and lighting can be variable.  The shot I took prior to the Waxwing was in much darker light, a bird within branches against the light - didn't come out and it flew away, and hence I upped the ISO.  The Waxwing was a surprise and it didn't stay very still.  I guess I was concentrating more on getting its crest having seen that I had at least a couple of stops down and good speed.

All of the images are 100% crops.  I don't resize.

All are shot RAW and I keep the originals so there is opportunity to redo as I improve.  At the moment the only PP I do is in DPP and it is on a laptop.  I use Faithful and on the Waxwing shot I moved the RAW histogram sliders in just a touch both ends, no brightness alteration, contrast +1, highlight -1, and unsharp mask Strength 9 with Fineness 7 and Threshold 5. I would estimate I was 15 metres away. Luminance noise reduction is set at 2 and Chrominance at 1 by default and I didn't change that.

A couple of the shots are probably through double glazing windows.  I suspect the Goldfinch.  I'm not sure about the Swallow as occasionally I've been lucky enough to be able to have the bedroom window ajar.  Certainly the Waxwing and Dunnock were direct.

Many of my shots are impulse.  I get a shot first then try and reposition and I guess I need to concentrate more on optimising image quality though I always try to stop down first.  By then usually then the bird has flown so maybe I need to train them more!  But PP is also a weakness and I don't really know what I'm doing.

I have in mind to make a bit of a hide in the porch as I get a lot of garden birds and maybe then I can try Live View but not many sit and pose for long.

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