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Thread: Little bird, big name

  1. #1
    ucci's Avatar
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    Little bird, big name

    No, sorry, its not a shot of Kylie Minogue, aka the singing budgie, unfortunately, but another little bird that I having been trying to photograph for some time now. Hard to catch as they are so small and so very flighty. And here is my first 'success.' It is the Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Acanthiza chrysorrhoa. I use the word ' success ' advisedly and rather loosely for two reasons. One is that they are very hard to frame for a shot due to their small size and incredible speed. And secondly this is one of my first attempts trying out a new lens which my beloved wife bought for me the other day. It was a surprise reward for taking her on a shopping trip to Melbourne. She dragged me off to Ted's camera store and we emerged a little latter with a new lens for me. I am still in a state of shock! For the learned folk who understand these things it is Tamron APO 150-500 mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM. For the enthusiastic, though less technically informed like me, it is a monster of a lens which can get you a whole lot closer to the action and weighs a ton. Oh yes, and the use of a tripod is mandatory. That's about it actually. Apart from the fact that at the moment in using it I feel a bit like a two year old who has suddenly been put in charge of the Titanic. But I am learning so much from the posts on this site I reckon I have a fighting chance of getting on top of it, if I work at it and take heed of the posted tips!
    Thanks for viewing
    Old 'lens lust' ucci





    Little bird, big name

  2. #2
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Little bird, big name

    Nice framing, Ken. Just curious, Ken, how come from your exif data you chose to use a very small aperture opening of f/29? I was thinking you could probably lower it to about f/8 of f/11 so you can trade it for a higher shutter speed since you used the lens at 500mm. Anyway, since it's still a new lens you'll have more time familiarizing yourself with its capabilities. Congratulations on the new lens and with the very considerate and understanding wife.

  3. #3
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Little bird, big name

    Hi Willie
    Thanks for viewing and commenting. It is all so new to me at the moment. I am going to experiment with different settings to try and try to come to grips with it. At the moment, as I intimated, i have instantly and unexpectedly been given charge of technology which is well beyond my current ken and expertise to use without a whole lot more learning and experimentation. As a rule of thumb I tend to stick with a small aperture from what I have picked up from posts on the site to try and keep the background from intruding.
    Cheers
    Ken

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    Re: Little bird, big name

    Quote Originally Posted by ucci View Post
    As a rule of thumb I tend to stick with a small aperture from what I have picked up from posts on the site to try and keep the background from intruding.
    Hi Ken, a smaller aperture (i.e. a larger f-number, like f/29) will give you a greater depth of field. This will actually have the effect of making the background more intrusive in this type of shot.

    A larger aperture (i.e. a lower f-number, f/6.3, which I think your lens is capable of at 500mm) will have a much narrower depth of field. This means that, had you focussed on the bird, everything in front of and behind the bird will be thrown way out of focus, but the bird should be sharp. This will have the preferred effect of isolating your subject from the background.

    Using a larger aperture to achieve this desired effect will also mean you can use a faster shutter speed (to stand a better chance of catching that quick little bird!) and a lower ISO number (to reduce grain / noise on your images).

    The EXIF data shows that you were shooting in shutter priority mode. Personally I'd have gone for this kind of shot in Aperture priority mode. That way I can control the aperture and the ISO, and the camera will fill in the blanks and select the shutter speed. Or if you want to use shutter priority mode then select a much faster shutter speed than 1/100.

    Keep going on this bird as I think it's a beauty. But I'm sure you an get a much sharper image of it next time

    Congrats on the new lens btw and, if I give you my wife's phone number, can your wife chat to her and tell her that it's compulsory for her to buy me a new lens everytime we go shopping?

  5. #5
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Little bird, big name

    [QUOTE=RockNGoalStar;135714]Hi Ken, a smaller aperture (i.e. a larger f-number, like f/29) will give you a greater depth of field. This will actually have the effect of making the background more intrusive in this type of shot.

    A larger aperture (i.e. a lower f-number, f/6.3, which I think your lens is capable of at 500mm) will have a much narrower depth of field. This means that, had you focussed on the bird, everything in front of and behind the bird will be thrown way out of focus, but the bird should be sharp. This will have the preferred effect of isolating your subject from the background.

    Using a larger aperture to achieve this desired effect will also mean you can use a faster shutter speed (to stand a better chance of catching that quick little bird!) and a lower ISO number (to reduce grain / noise on your images).

    The EXIF data shows that you were shooting in shutter priority mode. Personally I'd have gone for this kind of shot in Aperture priority mode. That way I can control the aperture and the ISO, and the camera will fill in the blanks and select the shutter speed. Or if you want to use shutter priority mode then select a much faster shutter speed than 1/100.

    Keep going on this bird as I think it's a beauty. But I'm sure you an get a much sharper image of it next time


    hi Tommy
    Thank you for viewing and helpful comments. Being a novice I still sometimes get it the wrong way around re aperture and depth of field. Thank you for your lucid explanation. to set me straight. My mess up in this case was a trifecture, Inexperience, Old age and rampant stupidity. Normally I prefer to stick with the aperture setting but this time I used shutter speed settings as these little devils are just so flighty and fast. I thought I might need to 'freeze ' them with shutter speed at the expense of 'blurring' the background.
    Cheers
    Ken

  6. #6
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Little bird, big name

    Quote Originally Posted by ucci View Post
    Being a novice I still sometimes get it the wrong way around re aperture and depth of field. Thank you for your lucid explanation. to set me straight. My mess up in this case was a trifecture, Inexperience, Old age and rampant stupidity.
    Or you could put it down to sheer excitement at playing with your new toy!

    Quote Originally Posted by ucci View Post
    I thought I might need to 'freeze ' them with shutter speed at the expense of 'blurring' the background
    By having a larger aperture you have a better chance of freezing the action AND blurring the background. There isn't a trade-off between the two really in this case. Remember, larger aperture = lower f-number.

    Look at this photo that Steve has just posted and the settings that he has used. I appreciate that he used a flash, but ignore that for a second. You will see that he has used the largest aperture he could (f/5.6) with a reasonable amount of ISO (800) in order to get a very fast shutter speed (1/1000 of a second). The bird is tack sharp and the background is blurred to buggery, making the bird stand out wonderfully:

    Steve's Bird

    I would suggest that next time you try to take photos of this bird then use similar settings. Shoot in aperture priority mode and set the aperture to its widest (f/6.3 if you're shooting at 500mm) and crank the ISO up to around 800 and see what sort of shutter speeds the camera is giving you. If they are still not fast enough then your only option is to increase the ISO or get a bad-ass flash on the go. Just don't go too crazily high on the ISO, unless you have to, as it will introduce noise into your image.

    Look forward to seeing how you get on

  7. #7
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Little bird, big name

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Or you could put it down to sheer excitement at playing with your new toy!



    By having a larger aperture you have a better chance of freezing the action AND blurring the background. There isn't a trade-off between the two really in this case. Remember, larger aperture = lower f-number.

    Look at this photo that Steve has just posted and the settings that he has used. I appreciate that he used a flash, but ignore that for a second. You will see that he has used the largest aperture he could (f/5.6) with a reasonable amount of ISO (800) in order to get a very fast shutter speed (1/1000 of a second). The bird is tack sharp and the background is blurred to buggery, making the bird stand out wonderfully:

    Steve's Bird

    I would suggest that next time you try to take photos of this bird then use similar settings. Shoot in aperture priority mode and set the aperture to its widest (f/6.3 if you're shooting at 500mm) and crank the ISO up to around 800 and see what sort of shutter speeds the camera is giving you. If they are still not fast enough then your only option is to increase the ISO or get a bad-ass flash on the go. Just don't go too crazily high on the ISO, unless you have to, as it will introduce noise into your image.

    Look forward to seeing how you get on
    Thank you for your very helpful comments and advice which I will be pursing. As you so rightly say part of the problem in this instance may have been excited ambition far outstripping skill and technique. There is just so much to learn and so little time to do so!
    Ken

  8. #8

    Re: Little bird, big name

    I'm with you Ken! (I'll get those little tiny zipping bees, yet!) Congratulations on the new lens. Good things come to those who wait?

  9. #9
    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Little bird, big name

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    I'm with you Ken! (I'll get those little tiny zipping bees, yet!) Congratulations on the new lens. Good things come to those who wait?
    Thank you Katy N.

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