Some Recent Frames

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Paddler213 Contributing Member • Posts: 910
Re: Some Recent Frames
1

Super nice images, Bill.  Thanks for sharing.

 Paddler213's gear list:Paddler213's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F4E FL ED VR +5 more
Bill Ferris
OP Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,366
Re: Some Recent Frames

ruley74 wrote:

Bill Ferris wrote:

ruley74 wrote:

Nice Bill as always.

Thank you.

Curiously, was the first much of a crop? I'd be curious on what the first image comes up like lifting the shadows a bit more on the bird while adding some contrast to keep the feather pattern. The expression in the eyes are excellent.

It's what I would describe as a modest crop. If recollection serves - I'll check this when I get home - it's cropped to about 4,000 pixels along the long axis. I missed focus a skosh but the facial expression is good (thanks for your comment) as is the body position. I kind of like the slightly darker look as a reflection of the brooding stare of the bird.

Thanks for your comments.

More asking regards crop as to detail retention and ability to play with the image.

In another thread, I was asked if I'd considered doing a bit of background expansion on this photo. That finally prompted me to have another look at it. In this post, I shared a new version with the background expanded: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64542284

I also lifted the shadows a touch in LR. As it turns out, the original crop was even more modest than I had recalled. The slight focus miss makes it difficult to eek out much mute detail in the feathers.

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +3 more
ormdig
ormdig Senior Member • Posts: 2,519
Re: Some Recent Frames

Hi Bill, as usual your bird photos are the gold standard. I understand your consternation with missed focus and am well aware of how sharp and detailed your images usually are BUT, this is one of the most striking images I've seen in a long time. I've looked at your recrop and much prefer the original. The bird filling the frame and the (relatively) dark shadows make this a very menacing raptor. Even the (again, relatively) slight loss of detail adds to the mood. Maybe not technically up to your usual standards but this image is one of a kind. It's ART! I love it.

Don't know if you would be interested but Imaging Resource has a bird photo contest going on and I think this (the original) would be a sure contender.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2020/11/10/like-bird-photography-enter-our-feather-focus-contest

I much appreciate the images you allow us to look at, thanks,

-- hide signature --

Pete

 ormdig's gear list:ormdig's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED +7 more
Bill Ferris
OP Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,366
Re: Some Recent Frames

ormdig wrote:

Hi Bill, as usual your bird photos are the gold standard. I understand your consternation with missed focus and am well aware of how sharp and detailed your images usually are BUT, this is one of the most striking images I've seen in a long time. I've looked at your recrop and much prefer the original. The bird filling the frame and the (relatively) dark shadows make this a very menacing raptor. Even the (again, relatively) slight loss of detail adds to the mood. Maybe not technically up to your usual standards but this image is one of a kind. It's ART! I love it.

Don't know if you would be interested but Imaging Resource has a bird photo contest going on and I think this (the original) would be a sure contender.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2020/11/10/like-bird-photography-enter-our-feather-focus-contest

I much appreciate the images you allow us to look at, thanks.

Pete, thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts on that ages-old debate over technical quality vs artistic quality.

As you observed, I do instinctively prefer a photo in which the focus on one or both eyes is tack sharp. I also enjoy looking at other photographers' works. I find that both educational and occasionally inspiring. One way I've been working to grow as a photographer, is being better at recognizing a photo that captures a mood and moment well enough that a slight miss on focus doesn't detract significantly from the overall experience. In fact, as you point out, a slightly soft focus can sometimes contribute to the overall impression of a photo.

I suppose that's why I've been pretty open about the slight miss in focus in this image. It's not something I'm hoping folks won't notice. It's a fact of this photo but, in my opinion, the bird's expression and body position are still compelling. They convey a mood that makes for a good photo.

There's another in the set with a similar kind of issue. The tight framing on the harrier flying and looking straight at me is a photo I normally would not have processed. The focus is sharp on the eyes but the nictitating membrane is covering the eyes. "Ugh!" would be the family friendly way of describing my initial reaction when seeing that.

However, I love the body position, the directness,  and the fact that the bird spills outside the frame. As I thought about the image, the spooky almost zombie-like quality that protective membrane gives a bird's expression feel totally appropriate and in keeping with everything that has been, 2020.

I don't know if that feeling will last after the New Year and what will hopefully be cleansing change of the calendar. But for the time-being, it and the photo with the slight focus miss are my favorites in the set.

Again, thank you for commenting.

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +3 more
Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,701
Re: Some Recent Frames
1

Bill Ferris wrote:

Despite the dry conditions northern Arizona has been experiencing the last nine months, we were treated to a diverse population of raptors passing through the area during fall migration. I also had the opportunity to make some photos of a resident northern harrier and a few other locals. Here's a collection of recent frames made with my Nikon D500 and Nikkor 200-500 from the east rim overlooking Mormon Lake.

Female northern harrier (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/8, 1/2000, ISO 500)

Dark morph Swainson's hawk (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 500)

Light morph ferruginous hawk (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 500)

Female northern harrier (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 500)

Sharp-shinned hawk (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 400)

Turkey vulture (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 400)

Dark morph ferruginous hawk (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO 400)

Northern harrier (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 400)

Zone-tailed hawk (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 500)

Prairie falcon (Nikon D500 w/ Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 500)

Amazing selection of shots, truly stunning, Bill!

Very inspiring!

-- hide signature --

tordseriksson (at) gmail.....
Owner of a handful of Nikon cameras. And a few lenses.
WSSA #456

 Tord S Eriksson's gear list:Tord S Eriksson's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Ricoh GR Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D600 Nikon D3300 +23 more
Bill Ferris
OP Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,366
Re: Some Recent Frames

Thank you, Tord, for your very kind words.

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +3 more
1elementin7groups
1elementin7groups Veteran Member • Posts: 4,216
Re: Some Recent Frames

Fantastic set, Bill!

I have no idea how you are able to get close to those birds, especially the Harriers!

Dave

 1elementin7groups's gear list:1elementin7groups's gear list
Sony FE 600mm F4 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Sony a1 Sony 2.0x Teleconverter +10 more
Bill Ferris
OP Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,366
Re: Some Recent Frames
1

1elementin7groups wrote:

Fantastic set, Bill!

I have no idea how you are able to get close to those birds, especially the Harriers!

Dave

Thank you, Dave. My favorite location for hawk and falcon photography, is the Mormon Lake Overlook.

About a 45-minute drive from my home in Flagstaff, the overlook is atop the east rim overlooking Mormon Lake. It's an undulating meadow peppered by Juniper trees that offer concealment and camouflage from the bird's prying eyes.

The wind comes primarily from the southwest across Mormon Lake before hitting the rim. There's one spot where a reserve cuts a gradual slope through the rim to the lakebed below. The hawks, falcons and other raptors that hunt ther area seem to like this ravine. I suspect it's because the gradual slope reduces the turbulence and buffeting caused when that southwest wind hits the more vertical wall of the rim in other places.

Anyway, I have some favorite spots I visit at sunrise and sunset. Conditions are such that I can be concealed with the sun at my back, the wind at my back or to one side. As the raptor make north-south sweeps along the rim or over the meadow, I wait for them to make a closer flyby of my position. It's hit or miss but the good photo ops happen with enough frequency to keep me coming back.

As you know, harriers prefer to avoid humans. Their much more skittish than, for example, peregrines. I've had peregrines buzz past to within a few feet. Eventually, all the birds spot me. I'd like to think they're getting used to my presence. I may be a weekend annoyance but I'm a harmless weekend annoyance

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +3 more
1elementin7groups
1elementin7groups Veteran Member • Posts: 4,216
Re: Some Recent Frames

Thanks for the info, Bill.

I have been through Flagstaff many times. We are also considering a move and Sedona is on our list which is in your backyard.

I have admired the images you pull from that Lake Mary/Mormon Lake area.

Dave

 1elementin7groups's gear list:1elementin7groups's gear list
Sony FE 600mm F4 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Sony a1 Sony 2.0x Teleconverter +10 more
Arijit Banerjee
Arijit Banerjee Senior Member • Posts: 2,739
Re: Some Recent Frames
1

Wonderful images! Excellent clarity and caught them just right. the Harrier shots take the cake, but the Buzzard and the Hawks just as fine.

Thanks for sharing Bill.

-- hide signature --

Arijit

 Arijit Banerjee's gear list:Arijit Banerjee's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax K-3 Pentax K-3 II Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +3 more
Bill Ferris
OP Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,366
Re: Some Recent Frames
1

Thank you, Arijit, for your kind words.

-- hide signature --

Bill Ferris Photography
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.billferris.photoshelter.com

 Bill Ferris's gear list:Bill Ferris's gear list
Nikon D610 Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD +3 more
LordKOTL
LordKOTL Senior Member • Posts: 1,616
Re: Outstanding as always. I love your shots! <n/t>
1
-- hide signature --

There's no shame in using auto or semiauto modes--no matter what the salesdroids at Best Buy tell you.

 LordKOTL's gear list:LordKOTL's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +3 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads