Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Fox on Snow

  1. #1

    Fox on Snow

    Fox on Snow

    trying again....arrrgggghhhhh!!! Had trouble with my whites being too white...any thoughts? Tried this before and being a superklutz posted without the fox....hope this one makes it. Derik

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,300
    Real Name
    Andrew

    Re: Fox on Snow

    Derik, I am probably the least experienced of anyone on this forum when it comes to nature photography (and many more things too mind you), but here's what I see :

    As far as the meat and potatoes goes, the composition looks fine. Although a little more separation between the subject and background would be preferred. The colours of the fox and foliage are bleeding together a little too much to make it absolutely obvious that the fox was the intended focus.

    Which leads to focus. I think you're camera's AF preferred the rushes in the background to the fox, which again, makes it a little difficult for the viewers to keep concentrated on the subject. The eye quickly wanders, and soon loses interest in the image.

  3. #3
    Marie Hass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    up on a knob above Paden City, West Virginia
    Posts
    2,037
    Real Name
    Marie Hass

    Re: Fox on Snow

    Allllllllmost. Agreed with Andrew that focus is behind and not on the fox. It is so close, I struggle to say what I did.

    Beautiful colors. I love the reeds and red of the fox in the snow.

    Marie

  4. #4

    Re: Fox on Snow

    much thanx...will try suggestions and also practice more manual focus. derik

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg South Africa
    Posts
    2,550
    Real Name
    Andre Burger

    Re: Fox on Snow

    Hi Derik,

    I am going to differ from Andrew as far as the Fox blending with the background goes. The eye is drawn to the brightest part in an image. In this case it is the snow. The Fox being the only subject standing out on the white snow, my eye is drawn to the Fox.

    What most of us seem to do is to concentrate so hard on composition that we sometimes forget the focus point of the camera is not on the subject but rather on the background. IMHO that is probably what you have done here.

    Getting exposure right to get more detail in the snow with so many dark objects in an image is almost impossible. Snow is white, so be happy with your white snow. If you want your snow to have more detail you will lose detail in the background due to underexposing it. The dynamic range of your camera restricts you as to what will be correctly exposed. You simply have to live with it or get yourself a $ 27000.00 camera ( body only).

    It is a good idea to leave the exif data in the image so others can see what you have done, otherwise you should add the exif data in the post.

  6. #6
    splashy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    176
    Real Name
    Splashy

    Re: Fox on Snow

    I like this picture, I would cut a piece of snow.
    For the white balance, I think it looks fine, but if you use LR you can probably use the WB pipet on the fox throat or tailend to sample the white.

  7. #7
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,375
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Fox on Snow

    Derik - I don’t think that this is necessarily a manual focus issue. That being said, I can’t get any useful metadata out of the image to help my assessments.

    When I shoot a specific subject, especially with a longer lens, I’ve changed my focus technique. Rather than using one of the various automated modes where the camera decides what the subject is, I use a single point focus mode. On my camera, this means the centre point of the viewfinder defines what the camera focuses on. I hold the shutter release half-way down and this locks the focus point. From there (while still pressing half-way) I recompose and then press the shutter completely down. My focus point of choice is the eye of the subject nearest the camera; so long as it is sharp, the rest of the image can be a bit softer. As a photographer who tends to shoot a very shallow depth of field, this method is fairly critical. I also find that this works fairly well when using a long lens, because otherwise the autofocus mechanism does a lot of “seeking” trying to lock on focus.

    A few more thought about shooting in snow. You’ve obviously got the part about exposure compensation to prevent an overly gray image. On the other than, you seem to be concerned about the lack of detail in the snow. That is unfortunately one of the problems with snow; when you get into a pristine natural setting, the snow lies there or is wind-swept with soft edges. Unless there are fairly obvious contours, animal tracks or other nearby features to cast shadows, the snow generally looks rather monolithic other than when the sun is setting with the light hitting at a very acute angle. The other issue with snow is that it is a huge white reflector and this softens the already low levels of shadow detail. The upside is that you got a nice shot of the fox’s face and body. The downside is the lack of detail in the snow.

    I’ve tried a number of techniques, and they all result in a bit more gray in my images. The viewer’s eye tends to be drawn to the lightest areas in an image, so I routinely use a vignette to focus the viewer. Doing this adds more gray-toned snow to the image.

    I’ve tried various techniques to try to bring out some degree of shading in the snow, with mixed results as all of them end up darkening the image. Dodging (with the dodge tool in PP), using a layer mask and blending modes all help, but regardless, the moment I try to introduce some shading into the snow, things get a bit more gray.

  8. #8
    splashy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    176
    Real Name
    Splashy

    Re: Fox on Snow

    Fox on Snow

    Crop, WB from the neck and some sliders.

  9. #9
    kdoc856's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,959
    Real Name
    Kevin

    Re: Fox on Snow

    Nice edit. One of those "oh, so close" shots. I focus much of the time exactly the way Manfred has described for you. Autofocus is fantastic, but obviously doesn't know what you have in mind so utilizing the "spot" option on the AF still allows you to use it's amazing accuracy, but under your guidance. Just put your spot on the eye.

    I think your doing fine with the snow. Snow "detail" is really nonexistent unless you have contours and shadowing you want to feature. I'd much rather see nice white snow than a few gray flakes.

    Looking forward to more of your shots of foxes.

  10. #10
    kdoc856's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,959
    Real Name
    Kevin

    Re: Fox on Snow

    One additional thought. I have had some success with snow detail by pushing down the highlights, then lifting the exposure a smidge. Seems to keep the detail, while whitening the snow. Still a compromise, but usually helps at least a little.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •