I botched the shot and everyone loves it.

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Glen78 Senior Member • Posts: 1,411
I botched the shot and everyone loves it.
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So I was on a weekend trip with the family to Sedona. I was mostly shooting my D600 with primes and was not really specifically aiming to shoot wildlife, although I did have my D5500 with 80-400 attached in a side holster just in case I needed some reach. While we were on the trail to Bell Rock a bluebird landed in a tree not too far from me. I immediately reached for the 80-400 and started shooting. Being that I had not been using that body it just defaulted to f/5.6 - definitely not the aperture I would normally want to be shooting this lens at 400mm, especially on a crop body. The bird flew up higher into the tree and I moved my aperture to f/7.1 (where I generally like to be with this lens) but was never able to get a nice clear shot of the bird again. I also never saw any other birds in decent range on the trip except for pigeons.

When I got home and pulled up the RAW files I nearly deleted this shot. The bird just looks very soft, probably due to a combination of slightly missed focus and shooting wide open. The only reason I kept it was the composition was very good with the position of the bird and the crooked branch around it and I did not have any decent sharp shots of the bird anyways. So I processed it to taste and posted it on my facebook.

So far it has gotten the most positive response of any photo I have ever posted on facebook. When my father-in-law stopped by today he even wanted start talking to me about this photo and how great it was - and I have posted quite a few shots that I thought were much better than this and he never commented on those before. He even started talking about all the detail you could see in the feathers :-D. I guess it just goes to show especially in our modern world where almost everything is posted digitally a lot of the technical aspects we spend so much time worrying about are not that important to the average viewer of our work. What is important is having an interesting subject with an interesting composition and appropriate lighting. And who knows, maybe if I had shot this at f/7.1 I would lose some of the pleasing aspect of the background blur that helps separate out the branches.

 Glen78's gear list:Glen78's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +9 more
Nikon D5500 Nikon D600
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