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Thread: Post your best bird shots!

  1. #551
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    JJphoto,


    I use a tripod but do not use a cable release or mirror lock up. It took me a few months and a few thousand shots to begin to get consistently sharp ones, I was dissapointed when I first got the lens until I realized that practicing your technique was also required. Here is what I learned by trial and error:


    1. I try to get as close as I can (using a bird feeder and camoflage hide usually 15 ft or less) then I try to lock the tripod down as tight as possible and further steady it with my left hand.


    2. Itry to get as much shutter speed as possible for the given light conditions even if you have to push the iso a little higher than you would like.


    3.I want to push the histogram as far to the right as possible without blowing anything out. This gives the most detail in the image. The image may even look washed out on the camera LCD but if the highlights aren't blinking much it's good.


    4. In post processingI convert the RAW image with ACR and maybe sharpen a little


    5. After conversion I run shadow/highlight adjustment first then levels adjustment, anything else after these depending on what is needed.


    6. Iusually sharen lastwith USMat a low ratio like 0.2 to 0.4 but I may make multiple passes.


    7. I create a mask and run noise reduction and sometimes a gaussian blur on the background only


    This my general method, YMMV


    Joel

  2. #552
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Joel, thank you very much for your detailed information.


    I use DPP to convert raw files, is ACR better?


    I'v not learned photoshop yet, but I'm getting it now, I think your suggestion about post processing will help a lot later on.


    really appreciated!

  3. #553
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Joel, thank you very much for your detailed information.


    I use DPP to convert raw files, is ACR better?


    I'v not learned photoshop yet, but I'm getting it now, I think your suggestion about post processing will help a lot later on.


    really appreciated!

  4. #554
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    JJphoto.


    I like to use DPP to process multiple images in the same way (ie batch processing) such as family snapshots but with my bird images I find ACR to be better.


    Also, photoshop really opens up an entire world of tools you can use to enhance your images. You aredefinitely going in the right direction.


    There are tons of tutorials out there and loads of advice on forums like this one so you can get up to speed quickly


    Joel





    [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.32.28/Raw00025.jpg[/img]

  5. #555

    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Joel,


    that's definitely one of your best. I really like the extreme smooth background and the angle of the head of the bird. Can you perhaps post the original(non processed) file, so that we can see the difference?


    Have you ever tried to capture birds in flight?


    Thanks very much for the nice pictures and the info.

  6. #556
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Thanks Pieter,


    I live in central Kentucky in a heavily wooded area so not much opportunity for flight shots, I have taken some gulls in flight at a local lake but we do not have a large population of Herrons or other large species that lend themselves to flight shots. I have not spent much time attempting flight shots but would love to travel someday to such a location.


    Here is the image above converted with ACR without any adjustments......[img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.32.28/Raw000251.jpg[/img]






  7. #557
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Here is one of my few BIF shots.....I don't like the background much but I did manage to get the bird in focus with a decent head angle.


    This was with 1D MKIII + 300mm 2.8L + 1.4TC


    [img]/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.32.28/343V94712.jpg[/img]

  8. #558
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Joel, I can see the difference between before and after, especially on the bird's eye, I'm ordering my photoshop rightnow[]


    that GBH in flight is really a nice one!, I like that there are so much detail of the wing even with such a dark background.


    I feel lucky I live in the area with many opportunity of BIF.


    thanks again Joel

  9. #559
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    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    Hi Joe, nice bird, good pose, perch and head angle, clean background, however the upper edge of the lower part of the branch looks unatural to me.


    Mandarin Duck Potrait


    40D + 500 f/4L IS, handhold, manual exposure, wild bird.


    Thanks for looking, all comments, critiques and questions welcome


    Larger version http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=10482716&size=lg



  10. #560

    Re: Post your best bird shots!



    As always Nate thatis quite simply stunning.

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