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Thread: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

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    New Member Grace's Avatar
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    Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    Hi there! This is my first thread here in the general discussion threads!

    This poor, poor cat was unhappily walking back and forth behind a glass 'cage' with very little walking space to walk around in. He pivoted in his little space, just walking back and forth, with restlessness some dejection. I felt so badly for this poor animal, as most animals in zoos. It took a while to get a decent shot due to his movement, and in the end, managed to get this decent shot despite him moving around (and me, for that matter, trying to follow him).

    Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question
    Camera Canon EOS 40D
    Lens 24-105mm L series
    Exposure 0.025 sec (1/40)
    Aperture f/6.3
    Focal Length 73 mm
    ISO Speed 100
    Exposure Bias -1 EV (Didn't realise this was on -1...)


    What made this shot difficult, too, is that the lighting, as there was extreme light and dark where this poor kitty was in. I pointed my zoom lens as close as I can against the glass so I could shoot through as much as possible. You can still see some reflection on the body.

    I would love some critique on this as I'm a beginner and still learning the ropes. I also have a question regarding the depth of field - should I have used a smaller aperture so I could have had a little bit wider depth of field? His whiskers and nose are out of focus due to such narrow depth of field. Or is what i used ok considering any smaller aperture would slow down the shutter speed?

    Sorry for the dumb questions - I told you I'm a beginner

    Many thanks for looking and for any replies!

    Cheers!

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    Considering your predicament and that of the tigers', I think you did good here, Grace. if given this situation, the practical option would be to increase the ISO so you can set the shutter at a higher speed. If you can get away with it, an f8 opening can save you on the out of focus issue. Composition wise, it's OK aside from the small cut-off on the ears. There's nothing that can be fixed with some extra practice next time. For a beginner... you're far better than me when I first started using my D70.

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    New Member Grace's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    A countless thanks for your advice!

    You know, I think the most difficult about being a beginner is balancing the important triangle of photography - ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. I know there's only three of them but goodness, why is it when you're into action those three is hard to all keep in mind? It's all so obvious to me know - duhhhhh....the ISO! I wish my camera had a feature that would smack me on the head everytime I forget to adjust or look into one of those three.

    Yeah....the ears. As soon as I loaded the image onto camera and saw his poor ears chopped off, I shook my head. But then I remembered not to be too harsh on myself (as I usually am) and kept in mind that it was such a candid shot and did not have time to properly compose the shot. I was just lucky to even get that milisecond to snap this shot. But I do have to also remember to shoot a bit wider (I don't know if I shoot too tight or that I underestimate or don't know how much my crop-sensor camera chops the image off). Now that you've mentioned this and I've just written it - goodness, is the image you see on your viewfinder wider than what you get on a crop-sensor camera?? This is the first time I've thought about this....

    I wish to say there wouldn't be a next time shooting this poor animal in the zoo, but then I have a toddler and will probably be back at the zoo. I really hate seeing those poor animals in such cramped environment.....I get so depressed.

    I'm still getting my thick head around depth of field, so many thanks for your reply. I keep using bigger apertures (under f/8) because I keep thinking it would be sharper or lighter, but forgetting that I have ISO to help me in circumstances like this one. I'm also just trying to get my head around figuring out the sweet spot on my lenses.

    Willie, many thanks again. I hope to talk to you many more times here in this forum.

    Cheers!

    Grace
    Last edited by Grace; 29th April 2011 at 01:19 PM.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    A word of thought - "You can only the change the things that you are AWARE of." From a guy with too much caffeine in his blood. What I meant is that since you are "aware" of your shortcomings, it would be easier for you to learn how to correct them. The fastest way to study photography is to commit a lot of mistakes and learn from them. Looking forward to seeing your progress, Grace.

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    Re: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    As you said, Grace, it's nose is soft while the area behind the head, on the left of the photo, is sharp. I would have preferred that to be the other way around.

    Focus (on the eyes) then recompose the scene sounds like an easy answer; but it is difficult to retain a correct focus distance when your subject is moving.

    And shooting through glass is always tricky. I assume it was rather thick 'non optical' glass too.

    In this case I would have increased the ISO to 400 which would have enabled you to use a little faster shutter speed and narrower aperture, as Willie remarked.

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    Re: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    I noticed that there was only a minimal amount of reflected light on the glass which is good when doing this type of photography.

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    New Member Grace's Avatar
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    Re: Poor Restless Tiger Behind a Glass Cage - Critique/Depth of Field Question

    Thank you so much for your input, guys

    You know, I did do the focus/recompose on this and did aim for the eyes, but darn, he was restless and didn't stop moving. He literally walked back and forth from wall to wall It was heartbreaking.

    It was a good practice, though, and I do like to shoot through glass (esp in car) so I learnt to put the lens as close to the glass as possible.

    I hope I can post a better photo next time

    Cheers everyone!

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