How could I have made this a good photo?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Mark_A Forum Pro • Posts: 16,062
Re: How could I have made this a good photo?

Merlin5 wrote:

Hi guys. I'm posting this photo with no processing or cropping, just exactly how it came from the camera.

There's no point in sharpening it, it's blurry and I want to be able to nail the focus from source.

It's a terrible photo I took today of a helicopter and I'm at a loss as to what I should have done to get it really crisp, particularly when zooming in. I think this was in AI Servo. I'm pretty sure I was quite steady holding the camera. It was taken about 5.30pm but there was plenty of daylight. Although the photo is grainy and maybe my ISO should have been 200 or so.

I followed the helicopter as best I could and it wasn't moving too quickly. I was at 300mm handheld. I pretty much kept the focal point on the helicopter, but should I have been using automatic selection focal point instead of manual selection? Would centre weighted metering have sharpened things instead of spot metering? Could it be that 300mm lens won't do any better? Or could it be that I'm just not good enough yet at keeping it steady or locked on to the helicopter? I really need to figure out why I keep taking such rubbish photos of anything in the sky. Although my moon photos were not too bad. Thanks for any advice.

Hi Merlin5,

The helicopter is very small in the frame, you could crop into it quite a lot probably but the second issue is that the helicopter is in shadow, so there isn't much colour in it you are essentially seeing a silhouette.

Generally though, having your subject dead centre in the frame isn't always best, you could crop this such that the helicopter had space to fly into, I think that would improve it. But generally I think you should think of this as a learning shot.

It looks like a UK Air Ambulance, I hope whoever it was for was ok.


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