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Thread: A pair of little posers.

  1. #1

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    A pair of little posers.

    BLUE TIT
    A pair of little posers.

    COAL TIT
    A pair of little posers.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    ANOTHER lucky day Keith?

    I dunno how you keep doing it, but well done anyway

    Two lovely shots,

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    ANOTHER lucky day Keith?

    I dunno how you keep doing it, but well done anyway

    Two lovely shots,
    No Dave, they were from the same day.
    I popped down to the nature reserve the very next day and the only birds about were some Long Tailed Tits and I could not get close enough to take decent shots, that was about it.
    I had my red letter day, could be a long time before I get another. )

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Wow!!!! Do I like those shots. Congratulations.

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Lovely shots, Keith.

    Great subjects which you have captured very, very well.

    Top marks & Congratulations.

    Rob

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Thank you very much for your comments.

  7. #7
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    More awesome shots!!

    I think the first one is my favourite of your most recent birdy shots. The soft gradient of the background, the colour, sharpness, detail of the feathers, pose, composition...all come together. Could maybe clone the flower (?) out from above the bird's head, though. It's distracting. It could also maybe use a slight crop off the bottom...could just be me though.

    Great work.

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Keith, its all been said, but ditto for me (what focal length BTW?)

  9. #9

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Keith, its all been said, but ditto for me (what focal length BTW?)
    Thanks Bleys and Hans.

    Both shots were taken at 300mm with a Sigma 150-500mm lens.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    Both shots were taken at 300mm with a Sigma 150-500mm lens.
    Hi Keith,

    As a follow up to that, can I ask how you focus?
    a) Auto Focus (AF) on the twig in advance and lock it?
    b) AF on bird when it arrives?
    c) Manual Focus (MF) on twig and lock?
    d) MF on bird?

    If Auto Focus on bird, do you find time to put a focus point on the eye, or just accept it somewhere on the body and rely on (admittedly limited) depth of field?

    If Manual Focus, is that using Live View and magnification, or just naked eye through the viewfinder?

    Whatever the method it works and mine doesn't, at least, no where near as often with these little ones.

    Many thanks,

  11. #11

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Keith,

    As a follow up to that, can I ask how you focus?
    a) Auto Focus (AF) on the twig in advance and lock it?
    b) AF on bird when it arrives?
    c) Manual Focus (MF) on twig and lock?
    d) MF on bird?

    If Auto Focus on bird, do you find time to put a focus point on the eye, or just accept it somewhere on the body and rely on (admittedly limited) depth of field?

    If Manual Focus, is that using Live View and magnification, or just naked eye through the viewfinder?

    Whatever the method it works and mine doesn't, at least, no where near as often with these little ones.

    Many thanks,
    Hi Dave,
    Most of the time I auto focus, if I get enough time to take several shots of one bird I will try and concentrate the focus point on the eye, I use single shot and single focus point and take a fresh focus between shots. I find continuous shutter too hit and miss as I don't think it re-focuses between shots.
    I do also pre focus on a twig if it is being used frequently, though I am sure the birds know this as they avoid it like the plague when I do it, but you always get one who falls for the trap,lol.
    Fortunately the Sigma focuses very quickly but obviously I do get a few misses.

    I very rarely try liveview to be honest, I only use it for awkward positions (I'm not the most supple person in the world,)

    I think getting as close as possible is the key, also I find that I get better detail at 300-400mm instead of using the full 500mm.
    Low output diffused flash also helps a great deal.
    I only use a little SB400 at something like -2.0 just to add that little bit of light if its needed.

    I do appreciate everyones comments re my birdy shots but I can assure you I am far from accomplished at it, I did have a very rare good day.

    I do a lot of fishing, I am very good at it too, I can predict what species I will catch, how I will catch them and when, this applies in competition fishing.
    I also know when I will struggle to catch, so change tactics to suit.
    I have found birds are very similar in behaviour to fish regards to switching on and off.
    I can feed birds in my garden one day and the food will disappear very qulckly, other days they will hardly touch it,but unlike fish, I haven't yet worked out why and it can be very frustrating when you go out in the countryside with the camera, so some times its easy, but most times its frustrating.

    Keith
    Last edited by Keith; 16th January 2010 at 12:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Hi Keith, Thanks for the answers above, very helpful.

    Of course, it prompts another question:
    Do you find or think the small SB400 gives enough benefit over the on camera flash to be worth it, or should I save my pennies for an SB600? (I doubt I could justify/afford an SB800)

    The better placed focus assist light on the 600/800 appeals to me, quite apart from the extra flash power undoubtedly being useful on occasion (even if not this one).

    What sort of camera to Blue/Coal Tit distance are you?
    ... and I have forgotten what camera you have? (and the EXIF doesn't show)

    Ok, that was 3 more questions

    Thanks again,

  13. #13

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Keith, Thanks for the answers above, very helpful.

    Of course, it prompts another question:
    Do you find or think the small SB400 gives enough benefit over the on camera flash to be worth it, or should I save my pennies for an SB600? (I doubt I could justify/afford an SB800)

    The better placed focus assist light on the 600/800 appeals to me, quite apart from the extra flash power undoubtedly being useful on occasion (even if not this one).

    What sort of camera to Blue/Coal Tit distance are you?
    ... and I have forgotten what camera you have? (and the EXIF doesn't show)

    Ok, that was 3 more questions

    Thanks again,
    Hi Dave, I only have the SB400 because it is adequate for the amount of flash photography I do, having said that I may well upgrade to a 600 or 800 at a later date, I love the 400 as its so light and unobtrusive.
    I have made a small bounce card for it from a plastic milk bottle which works a treat.
    I set the fastest shutter speed I can get from my camera with flash too,125th- 200thsec.

    From memory I was about 15 feet away, at 300mm, then the photo's have been cropped to suit. I always spot meter with this particular lens too.
    I have a Nikon D90, I do not have nearly as much success with the Nikon D40 as it is nowhere near as fast for this type of photography.
    Last edited by Keith; 16th January 2010 at 12:57 PM.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Hi Keith,

    Thanks again.

    Hmmm, 15 feet, not sure how I could get that close - and I only have 200mm, so that's 10 feet for me

    Dunno about Coventry, but the thaw down here has prompted a lot of bird singing today.
    I can see them in adjacent gardens, atop trees, but they are oooh, 45 feet away, would be smaller than the focus point - which is never a good thing
    Perhaps they think spring is coming.

    Cheers,

  15. #15
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Hi Keith
    Nice birds.
    I do like to adjust some things which to me would make the picture 'sing' a little more.
    1st pic. I would crop out that top flower, then the distracting 'stick' at the bottom.
    In the 2nd. similar crop but also in PSE I would clone out the shadow on the left.
    Finally and most importantly, see if you can put some light in the birds eyes. Look again and see how 'dead' they look - (all black on my monitor.) Other colours Ok. Oh and a PS I do like the birds to have a tail!.. go for it .. Noel

  16. #16
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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Quote Originally Posted by martianpictlover2 View Post
    Hi Keith
    Nice birds.
    I do like to adjust some things which to me would make the picture 'sing' a little more.
    1st pic. I would crop out that top flower, then the distracting 'stick' at the bottom.
    In the 2nd. similar crop but also in PSE I would clone out the shadow on the left.
    Finally and most importantly, see if you can put some light in the birds eyes. Look again and see how 'dead' they look - (all black on my monitor.) Other colours Ok. Oh and a PS I do like the birds to have a tail!.. go for it .. Noel
    My screen shows detail in the Coal Tit's eye - slightly less in the Blue Tit's, but still some.

    Personal choice, granted, but these are terrific images and so much can be done with them - posters, calendars, wall tiles for a country themed kitchen etc etc. as well as a photograph! Each one may require a slightly different crop etc. I still think Keith has a couple of winners here.

    Rob

    PS - I'll start a new thread to give you an example of "bird's eye" detail.

  17. #17

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    Re: A pair of little posers.

    Thanks for the C&C, I have had a couple of people comment re cloning out the leaf over the Blue Tit, I will have a play later.

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