Crop 1 - wider
Crop 2 - tighter
I like the second crop much better. Having the shoreline in the first one clutters things up in my opinion. The balance in #2 is much better as a result of the crop.
Ditto, and a little surprised you didn't offer crop 1 without the distracting foliage.
Very nice pic(s) BTW.
Dave - The second crop gives a nice diagonal along the direction of movement of the ducks. In addition, the bank in the first one seems to distract and adds no context.
Not to be contrary or anything, but I like the first one except it seems a bit dark on my screen, especially the dark band along the bank.
The second one certainly shows the detail of the ducks better, but the first one just gives me more of a story. For instance it looks like they just came from shore - did something scare them? Why the 3 stragglers - were they slow to wake up - are they running gaurd on the tail end??? LOL I know it sounds goofy, but the first one has more context to me than just "Ducks on Water"
Hi Dave for me its crop 2 due to the more clarity of faces rather than just a group of ducks somewhere in distance.
#2. No doubt about it. The birds are the subject. Crop #2 gives more detail of the subject. The bank is distracting and we don't need to see it for 'context' - we know the birds are on water.
its naturally the second one the first is making my eyes go haywire........ butthen again the,the second pic shud have been cropped,taking the dark area below the trees! that patch of darkness,will creat a soothing effect on ones mind,while watching the ducks swim
#2 is a nice picture of some ducks, but that's all it is. #1 is a picture of some ducks in their particular environment (which is typically centred around a bank like this), and is I dare say more representative of how someone at the scene would actually perceive them. Of the two, I find #1 much more interesting. One could get a detailed picture of a duck from any number of places.
I don't know one end of a duck from the other but I thought these were greylags not duck. Still whatever is good for goose is good for the duck and No2 gets my vote. my initial thought was to crop the reeds only, but on framing the image with my hand that definitely does not work so No2 it is.#2 is a nice picture of some ducks, but that's all it is.
I'm going to go with crop 1. It tells a better story and shows more of what the eye sees.
That said, this is a perfect example of why photography is much more of an art than most people recognize. The human eye sees the same thing from one person to another. The individual;s brain interprets that image differently from one person to another. Which is why I like Rembrandt much more than van Gogh.
I'm going with the tighter crop (#2). This crop provides a very appealing triangular pose for the ducks, as well as an interesting diagional element to the picture. The bank may provide more context to the image, but the subjects are more flattered in the tighter crop.
If we could include more of the foliage, then I would say crop one tell a better story of the birds in their environment. But withour that extra foliage, I think the second crop is better in at least it is just about the birds. The first one distracts because one keeps thinking that it was a technical difficulty that kept the photographer from taking the whole height of the foliage into the frame, which may have actually been the reason.
Now, just curious, why did you go up on ISO to 400 when apprently you had a tremendous amount of light available (tiny aperture and extrafast shutter speed)?
I don't normally do this, but I am going to start at the bottom of the amazingly numerous and helpful reponses and work my way back up the list.
So, to answer the last question first - because it was alternately sunny cloudy minute by minute; 80% cloudy with 20% sunny intervals, so I had the ISO set for the predominant situation.
Plus I find that for wildlife, one needs to be ready for "eventualities" and iso400 and aperture priority is actually my norm. Even if the sun comes out, or I shoot to the sky, the camera can still cope before running out at 1/4000s, just. Noise at that iso generally isn't an issue - unless you guys/gals tell me otherwise
I'll tackle the composition in the next reply.
No, I don't thin it is noisy. I was quite sure there was a good reason for it and that is why I asked.
My other guess was that it happened in the heat of the moment and you just had to shoot right away with no time to change the setting which was sort of the case
As above, thank you all for taking the time to vote, and many to also add their reasons and/or comments.
I can now reveal, (drum roll please) that the whole point of including that bank in crop 1 was to give some context. However, it was so badly executed most people didn't get it (my fault).
My favourite was crop #2, but as someone said, a bird on water could be anywhere; sea, river, lake, puddle and I was concerned I was getting into a habit of posting close up images of, well, birds on water!
However, crop #1 wasn't wide enough, so here's another shot, taken some 80 seconds earlier!
I think THIS is better for context
1/500s @ f11 at 200mm, iso400
Out of interest, what you see here is about a quarter of all that emerged from behind the island/reed bed. Over the next few minutes, this lot swam a bit further right, then waited for another two batches to come out, then they all swam a little further along before taking off almost en masse for a field about 200m away. In flight shots to follow.
Once again, thank you for your replies, they have been most helpful.
Last edited by Dave Humphries; 1st November 2009 at 09:32 PM.
I like this one much better also!
Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!
More Context, demonstrating how they do tend to swim alongside the bank as Will_C said,
and not fussed by the Great Crested Grebe going the other way;
1/350s @ f11, iso400 and 200mm
1/1500s @ f8, iso400 and 65mm
Throttle back for noise abatement (do Greylag Geese do that?);
1/4000s @ f8, iso400 and 65mm
Up, up and away;
1/3000s @ f8, iso400 and 65mm