Well John, the bird's expression made me laugh! It's a shame that the tail isn't in focus but I still like it.
Thanks for the comments, Frank. Made me laugh as well. I think I can coax him back into the yard. A little more depth of field for the tail focus? Perhaps f/8 or f/11?
Thanks, Frank. I NEED this kind of critique!
Nice shot John..hawks and birds of prey (in general) make great subjects.
Unfortunately, as Frank pointed out the bird is not in focus, and at 235mm
and f/6.3 it should be. Still, they move quick, faster than the 1/100th. Do you
recall what your POF was?
Also, with the birds position in front of that yellow/orange/green tree, going
higher on the f-stop would bring it into focus, which is likely not your goal.
Tough location to shoot from, but I still can't understand why the AF didn't
give you a sharper image at that distance..bird must have been moving at the
time? I think Frank's on-target, as an ISO of 400-800 and a faster shutter
speed (at the f/6.3) might just be the hot ticket.
Can't begin to tell you how many shots I've taken of birds, just to toss them
in the bin due to one issue or another. Keep at it though, as that's the only way
any of us ever learns..
Frank and Mike have pretty much said everything I was going to say as it pertains to shooting, I'd support their advice and the 'numbers' suggested.
This is what I did from the jpg, what you can do from the bigger original should be better.
If you click the image and use Prev and Next, you can switch between them to see the effects easily.
What did I do? (this is what I did, probably not in an ideal order to be honest, but it seems to work)
Applied to the bird only:
Sharpen with UnSharp Mask (USM) at 150% amount, 0.5 px radius and 0 threshold
Local Contrast Enhance (LCE) at 20%, 80px and 0 threshold
Shift grey point in Levels dialog to 1.3
On background only; burned down the highlights in background white spots a little
Not sure what PP software you have, I did this in Photoshop CS5, but it is equally possible in Elements (or others).
If working on a higher resolution original, the ideal numbers will be different from those I used, but regardless that, after you downsized to 1024px, any image needs a USM sharpen to make the most of it and I don't think you did that. Let me know if you need more info on this.
Thanks Dizzy, Dave. Great suggestions. Lots of crop (I need a longer lens). I'm using Elements 10; will try the suggestions for sharpening (can use the practice!). Dizzy: POF was the eyes, the dude must have flipped it's tail, eh?
I just looked at the EXIF for this one;
1/40s on what I am guessing is a non IS lens of 235mm is really pushing your luck for camera shake and (regardless if it has IS) subject movement.
f/6.3 not such an issue here, but lens may be sharper stopped down a bit
iso 100 makes the images nice an clean for sure, important if you are cropping to get a good composition, but I think it might be worth going to 400.
235mm seems an odd focal length these days, is it an older model?
Thanks for your help, Dave. The lens is actually a Canon EF-S 55-250mm (in this case @ 235mm), f/4-5.6. Being the novice I am, and trying to learn to shoot in manual, I aimed and let the meter influence me to drop the shutter speed too low. This has been a great learning experience for me; the first time I've had knowledgeable people critique a shot. This is great encouragement and I will persevere!! Thanks for all of your help.