Posts tagged “Birds

A Crow and a Seventh Article on Exposure (Two Photographs)

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The second of the two photographs is out of camera. I under exposed the photos by accident. Such is the flexibility of Lightroom that with ample applications of exposure and contrast one can get the kind of result you see in the first photo. It is a case where I should have taken different exposures, one for the crow and one for the background and melded the two. P.S. I think the bird is giving me the finger, so maybe this shot was cursed from the start.

Exposure compensation is a tool on a camera to fool the camera’s light meter to over or under expose. Under exposure helps get rid of blown out bits in your scene, where there is no detail only white. Under exposure helps because your camera is trying to measure 18% grey, and wedding gowns, snow etc go grey or blue unless significantly under exposed (e.g. minus 2). The idea is that as one gets more practiced we use test shots to get a general sense of the exposure and set exposure compensation to adjust as we go along. Exposure compensation is usually set at smaller increments than is possible by changing any other variable, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. It’s something that I use all the time, and have to be careful to readjust it back after shooting in challenging situations.

Wood Ducks and a Fifth Article on Exposure (Two Photographs)

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I cannot resist the wood ducks against this background.

In challenging lighting conditions taking test shots can be very useful. They allow us to check two things with respect to exposure: the blinkies and the histogram. Most cameras today have one or the other or both. Blinkies, otherwise known as the highlight warnings can be seen on the review screen on the back of the camera. They show the bright parts in the photo that are burnt out. Blinking indicates those parts are way over exposed. Not all blinkies are bad, some things like the sun may always be a bit overexposed. This one tool can help solve a lot of problems, usually with a simple exposure compensation adjustment. I will talk about exposure compensation in a later article, but next the histogram. By the way, a recent update to the Fuji XT-2 puts the blinkies in the viewfinder, now that’s progress!

A Woodpecker and a Third Article on Exposure (Three Photographs)

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These shots of a pileated woodpecker were challenging. I was lucky with shot one, its pretty much out of the camera with sharpening and noise reduction added. The latter two were more challenging, they show the starting point of my processing and the end result. The editing tools used here were luminosity, levels adjustment etc., but I think its helpful to visualize the kind of challenges that I am referring to in these posts on exposure.

Getting a good exposure can be helped by a few simple considerations. Your shutter speed for example should be fast enough to avoid shake and capture the speed of your subject. Most of us cannot easily hold a DSLR below 1/60th of a second and get shake free photos. The length of your lens should dictate the shutter speed; 300mm means a minimum 1/300th of a second (on a cropped sensor 1/450 or 1.5 the length of the lens). Birds, car races etc., require much higher shutter speeds to capture motionover a thousandth of a second.If your camera has one, use the aperture preview button to see what will be focus. Lastly you want to keep your ISO as low as possible, high ISOs may mean noise (and on some cameras colour density changes). Having said all of this we have not taken into account the range of light nor the nature of the lighting of the subject. More to come.

Criticism (Three Photographs)

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My personal view is that most photographs can be subject to criticism, positive and negative. Criticism can be useful if it’s done right and makes you think about how you might have approached something differently. A great way to give positive feedback is to say I like photo x over photo y and then explain why. These three wood duck photos meet my level of satisfaction but someone could say for example, that the nose is too close to the water, that the angle at which a photo was taken is too extreme and the depth of field could have been better. Criticism whether well done or not should be something sought not avoided, it helps to see through otherseyes, understand what various people like or dislike, and understand how they see your work. It’s not always fun, but it can be.

Wood Ducks (Two Photographs)

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Wood ducks are not uncommon where I live, but the males almost always cause a fuss among viewers because their colour is so spectacular. I never gave it much thought about why they were called wood ducks, until I saw one fly out of tree. That’s where they nest and apparently how they got their name. I have taken several wood duck shots and I will put a few up over the next week or so.Some subjects you just cannot avoid photographing. And yes his female companion does not look like she is in a good mood, although in fairness that may be the result of my selective focus.

Pining for a Glare

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As I process these, freezing rain has been coming down for hours. Before that it snowed, and we are promised more snow, more cold, more damp, it could not possibly be more unpleasant. I find myself hoping for sun, heat and a Grackle’s glare. Come on Spring.

Robin Rules (Three Photographs)

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It’s probably an obvious point that shooting up anything’s nose is almost never a great shot, though it seemed to work for Mussolini for a while. I will make an exception here. The robin was surrounded by trees that I had left out of focus and the ISO was quite high meaning a lot of noise. I reduced the noise severely on the trees fading them out dramatically, this is not a technique that works all the time and the out of focus trees maybe distracting to some. Another issue was the halo of back-lighting more visible in the color version than in the black and white, where I was able to remove it.