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Thread: Feedback Request

  1. #1

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    Feedback Request

    Hi everyone, I would appreciate feedback on the quality of this shot. Pixel peep and be critical, this is a test shot and I know there are some issues but I could really use some fresh eyes on this.

    Feedback Request
    Goldfinch by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    Thanks
    Wendy

  2. #2

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    Re: Feedback Request

    Excellent pic - sharp and well contrasted.

    Only one suggestion - the bird's left wing/breast seems to be resting on that left twig. Remove that distraction. I suppose you could do the same to that free standing twig that is next to the cross like twig on the right.

  3. #3

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    Re: Feedback Request

    For me, Wendy, the main problem is the angle of the bird. It just looks strange like that; as though it needs quite a bit of clockwise rotation, even if that is the correct 'as shot' angle.

    Otherwise, the head and beak does seem a little less sharp than the branches and wing tips.

    This is a common problem with this sort of shot when the angle of the bird gives a bit of extra depth which may be more than the area of sharp focus. A side view often appears sharper and with more impact.

    And soft edged round birds can appear softer than nearby hard items, like twigs, even if the sharpness is the same. Sometimes these problem areas need a little extra selective sharpness while some background items can be blurred a little.

    Cropping a little on the right and top may also give more importance to the bird, even if that does place it more centrally.

    But this is being ultra critical, as you suggested.

  4. #4
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    Re: Feedback Request

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I could really use some fresh eyes on this.
    Hi Wendy. Are you looking for feedback on composition, camera technique, or post processing?

    Composition: Live subject photos taken from behind are usually not as pleasing as 3/4 front but sometimes you get what is available. With the head turned back toward you, the issue is minimized. The background is non-existent but given the coloring and contrast, this is not an issue either. If you had the opportunity to reposition the camera, I would have avoided the branch on the left entirely but again, not a serious issue. The bird, however, looks to be off balance to the left and unnatural in that position.

    Camera: Nice sharp well exposed image with great DoF.

    Post Processing: I would clone out or reduce the impact of both branches that are brushing up against the bird as they are distracting and look uncomfortable. I would also rotate the image to the right to reduce the off-balance look while still retaining some angle to the branches for diagonal interest.

    All and all, a darn fine image! Hope this helps!

  5. #5

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    Re: Feedback Request

    Hi wendy, i think the mechanics of your shot are very good. The composition , is what doesn't work for me. The bird is looking (and leading you) out of the frame. One thing that will help, is getting used to and using, your other focus dots. Learn to change them without looking. This will give you better ' in camera ' compositions, giving you the room later on ,to crop the photo. I usually just keep the rule of thirds in mind , when i'm shooting, and use the closest focus dot for the composition.

    If your using the center dot to focus and still have tons of room around the subject, your not close enough. Find a way to get closer, so your not tossing away all your camera resolution by cropping.

  6. #6
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    Re: Feedback Request

    Hi Wendy,
    love the shot.
    I do agree with some of the above comments, but guess you deliberately took this shot at this angle to give dynamical effect.
    Hope you don;t mind but I have had a play with it, to fit how I would have wanted to capture it. My humble attempt, just sort of returns your picture to a more general composition, something I think you were trying to move away from. Anyhow this is how I see things.

    Feedback Request
    Last edited by JPS; 30th December 2011 at 10:38 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Feedback Request

    The focus on the bird's is just so sharp! Love the pure white background; reminds me of the old Audubon (sp?) books about the birds of North America. It was illustrated, but so similar in look. Did you rotate the bird a bit, or is that the way you found it? The angle would be my only thing to tweak.

  8. #8

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    Re: Feedback Request

    dare I say "Wow" great feedback here. Very helpful. I should have mentioned that I was more concerned about picture quality than composition, but I'm glad I didn't because there are some great pointers here regarding composition.

    The reason I posted is because I am still getting used to the new camera and software and because the original shot was so far away and the crop was so severe, I thought I was just seeing what I wanted to see when I thought it didn't turn out too bad. This is the original. As you can see this is quite a crop and at ISO 800 I really didn't think I could save the finch.

    Feedback Request
    Asst111228-2251-2 by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    Here are a couple efforts at a rework based on the feedback given. I didn't change the angle in this one, just cloned out the branches on the left.

    Feedback Request
    Asst111228-2251-4 by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    I tried changing the angle on this one, which I think does work better BUT (silly me) I tried cloning the branch on the right of the bird and removed the poor guy's right leg
    I will have to be more careful.

    Feedback Request
    Asst111228-2251-3 by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    More questions and answers to come, based on some of your feedback, but I'll put them in seperate posts

    Wendy

  9. #9

    Re: Feedback Request

    Very sharp, nice DOF, why did you crop it?

    Ryo

  10. #10

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    Re: Feedback Request

    From Bobo: Excellent pic - sharp and well contrasted.

    Only one suggestion - the bird's left wing/breast seems to be resting on that left twig. Remove that distraction. I suppose you could do the same to that free standing twig that is next to the cross like twig on the right
    .

    Thanks Bobo, I did some cloning and I think it looks better, except for the leg removal

    From Geoff: For me, Wendy, the main problem is the angle of the bird. It just looks strange like that; as though it needs quite a bit of clockwise rotation, even if that is the correct 'as shot' angle.

    Otherwise, the head and beak does seem a little less sharp than the branches and wing tips.

    This is a common problem with this sort of shot when the angle of the bird gives a bit of extra depth which may be more than the area of sharp focus. A side view often appears sharper and with more impact.

    And soft edged round birds can appear softer than nearby hard items, like twigs, even if the sharpness is the same. Sometimes these problem areas need a little extra selective sharpness while some background items can be blurred a little.

    Cropping a little on the right and top may also give more importance to the bird, even if that does place it more centrally.
    Thanks Geoff, some great points here. Winter is bird season for me so I will try to absorb all these tips and "hopefully" be able to apply them before winters end. I think you are right that selective sharpening is something else I should try on this one. The pixels are pretty delicate though. The shot is already overexposed (on purpose) and there is chromatic aberration around the outside of the bird. That's one of the things that I was wondering if anyone would point out. By chromatic aberration (in case I'm calling it the wrong thing) I mean the grey outline on the edges of the bird. I think it comes from the overexposure, but I prefer the overexposure to dark shadows. That being said, with this camera perhaps I will be able to get better exposures without blowing the sky. Still experimenting. It will take awhile.

    From Frank: Hi Wendy. Are you looking for feedback on composition, camera technique, or post processing?

    Composition: Live subject photos taken from behind are usually not as pleasing as 3/4 front but sometimes you get what is available. With the head turned back toward you, the issue is minimized. The background is non-existent but given the colouring and contrast, this is not an issue either. If you had the opportunity to reposition the camera, I would have avoided the branch on the left entirely but again, not a serious issue. The bird, however, looks to be off balance to the left and unnatural in that position.
    These finches are fidgety this year, so I was happy to get a shot with a clear background. As for the angle you can see in the original that it looks more natural in context. Finches seem to like being upside down or close to it a lot of times. I'm sure before the winter is over I will get some better angles.

    Camera: Nice sharp well exposed image with great DoF.
    That is music to my ears that I can take a shot from so far away and crop so severely and get a comment like that. Don't get me wrong, I know there are issues, but I thought I was just kidding myself that it turned out OK. Thank you very much!!


    Post Processing: I would clone out or reduce the impact of both branches that are brushing up against the bird as they are distracting and look uncomfortable. I would also rotate the image to the right to reduce the off-balance look while still retaining some angle to the branches for diagonal interest.

    All and all, a darn fine image! Hope this helps!
    Extremely helpful Frank and I thank you very much for taking the time. As you can see from my reworks I get a bit impatient with cloning (poor bird) I'm sure he was better off with a branch tickling his tush than he is now missing a leg and all. but I've got the idea and will try to watch for that kind of thing on the first edit next time. I have a lot more patience the first time around.

    From Steve: Hi wendy, i think the mechanics of your shot are very good. The composition , is what doesn't work for me. The bird is looking (and leading you) out of the frame. One thing that will help, is getting used to and using, your other focus dots. Learn to change them without looking. This will give you better ' in camera ' compositions, giving you the room later on ,to crop the photo. I usually just keep the rule of thirds in mind , when I'm shooting, and use the closest focus dot for the composition.

    If your using the centre dot to focus and still have tons of room around the subject, your not close enough. Find a way to get closer, so your not tossing away all your camera resolution by cropping.
    Thanks Steve. Funny you should mention those focus points. I've only ever used one, but have been thinking lately that I should be practising with at least 11 (This camera has 39 ) I'd imagine it would be really helpful to learn how to use them. I have to try some of the different focus modes too. I have a tendency to not change settings very much.
    I do hope to be able to get closer before the season is over. As you can see from the original shot. The centre focus point was plenty for this shot. Still thinking about that 300 or 400mm lens too. Sigh... dream on!

    From Myra: The focus on the bird's is just so sharp! Love the pure white background; reminds me of the old Audubon (sp?) books about the birds of North America. It was illustrated, but so similar in look. Did you rotate the bird a bit, or is that the way you found it? The angle would be my only thing to tweak.
    Thanks Myra: The background is completely blown, I think that is where the Audubon look comes from, it kind of softens the edges or something when the background is blown. I didn't plan it that way, but when I'm shooting birds I don't really worry about the sky - if I can keep the detail that's great but if I loose the bird in darkness then I let the sky blow out. The angle of the bird is natural, silly finches, but I agree that with the crop it does look a bit weird.

    Thanks again everyone. This was very helpful to me in so many ways

    Wendy

  11. #11

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    Re: Feedback Request

    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Hi Wendy,
    love the shot.
    I do agree with some of the above comments, but guess you deliberately took this shot at this angle to give dynamical effect.
    Hope you don;t mind but I have had a play with it, to fit how I would have wanted to capture it. My humble attempt, just sort of returns your picture to a more general composition, something I think you were trying to move away from. Anyhow this is how I see things.

    Feedback Request
    Hi John, thanks for taking the time to do the edit. I don't mind at all. I like what you have done with the angle, it does look far more natural and comfortable. The only thing I would try to change would be to leave more space to the left.

    Thanks again
    Wendy

  12. #12
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    Re: Feedback Request

    Hi Wendy! I wouldn't worry too much about the cloned-out leg as the leg is still there behind the clump of snow! (tongue-in-cheek, but just shush and nobody will notice!)

    The image is too small for me to see any chromatic aberration which normally shows up as a reddish band one side and a bluish band on the other of high contrast objects. Software adjustments in ACR (or Lightroom) for the lens in use can help minimize CA. If you are seeing more of a white or black band, that is usually caused by in-camera (if JPEG) and/or post processing sharpening.

    Your last post with the changes look great!

  13. #13

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    Re: Feedback Request

    Those reworkings have come out well.

    I can see what you mean about a slight 'fringing' around the bird, Wendy.

    One of those common problems when shooting against the light I'm afraid. Even reflected light from snow can cause this to occur. And it usually seems to be more noticeable on soft edges like birds. In this case it is worst around the top of the bird's head.

    But it is very faint and you really have to look for it to see anything at all.

  14. #14

    Re: Feedback Request

    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Feedback Request
    I love this crop of the bird the best, it makes it look more majestic.
    Here's an edit I did with it zoomed out a bit. I didn't have as many pixels as the original would have had, so it looks pixelated.
    Feedback Request

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