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Thread: Working on my Bird Shots

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Working on my Bird Shots

    I'm still working on my bird shots to improve my focus and exposure, and I think they are improving because I've managed to capture some ducks in flight.

    Manual SS 1000-1250 iso 320-800 Exp. Comp +.3 Aperture F7

    Nikon D80 Tamron 200-400 mm lens

    I fixed any clipping in Lightroom and sharpened 25%, made smaller in Picasa, and then I used an unsharp mask in photoshop elements

    All feedback is appreciated but especially on my focus and exposure which I think I'm managing better but losing depth of field.


    Working on my Bird Shots

    Aside.. in the photo above I have lens flare even though I used a lens hood? And perhaps this duck is not in perfect focus? Something is odd about the above photo?

    Working on my Bird Shots


    Working on my Bird Shots


    Working on my Bird Shots

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2

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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    Basically OK, Christina, but you have background problems which weren't your fault. So I would probably try cropping a little closer simply to reduce the background confusion. Possibly trying some different size ratios in some cases.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    Thank you Geoff, appreciated. Here I was just trying to capture birds, especially in BIF in focus and the locale came with an unruly background. I was happy to get a whole duck in flight in focus. I will move on to trying for one with a nice background, water or sky which is going to be a challenge because they will be flying higher.

  4. #4

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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    This site might prove helpful http://wildoceanphotography.blogspot...l#.UVNBnpYtVqc

    I have previously linked some of her handy photo tips. This one goes a bit more into predicting bird movement as well some simple shooting tips.

  5. #5
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    Thank you Geoff.. It has some great tips. Very thoughtful of you. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    Beautiful ducks Christina. I use a higher shutter speed... I prefer 1/2000 or 1/2500 for tack sharp images of birds in flight.

  7. #7
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    Hi Joe, Thank you so much...

    with my camera a Nikon D80, with shutter speeds above 1600 (sometimes lower) even with my aperture wide open 5.6, and the correct exposure pushed to the far right of the histogram, with an iso above 800 or 1000 max if the photo is not black, ie; if I exposed correctly the noise and chromatic aberrations in my bird in flight photos (heavy purple and green fringing) is dreadful.

    Here is a photo shot at 1/1600 second, iso 1000, F10 (to get the whole bird in focus and because if I open up to wide I have purple fringing) which was rejected by a stock photo company for noise... this is the original jpeg not cropped and then cropped so you can see the noise.. And this is one of my better pelican photos photographed in bright light. (:

    Working on my Bird Shots

    Working on my Bird Shots


    So I'm just trying to practice my bird in flight shots in the best lighting conditions/direction as I can until I can upgrade my camera. I'm hopeful that all the practice with will serve me well for future
    Last edited by Brownbear; 28th March 2013 at 01:12 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    CA is caused more by a lens then the camera and is quite normal in high contrast situations such as these pelican shots.

    I do not see any but normally one has to go to pretty big size to notice it.

    Just keep at it and upgrade when you are ready.

  9. #9
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Working on my Bird Shots

    Thanks Bobo.. That photo was to demonstrate noise even thought it is not that bad.. here is an original flying duck shot at

    SS 2000 F 5.6 iso 1000 exp comp +.3 (the histogram is at the far right and I don't think I could expose it better if I tried?)

    with really bad noise and some CA. I have shots with worse CA but I'm trying to show shots shot at a SS of above 1600 to see if I'm doing something wrong even with the high shutter speeds and iso of 1000?

    Working on my Bird Shots

    Working on my Bird Shots
    Last edited by Brownbear; 28th March 2013 at 02:07 AM.

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