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Beautiful Raptors - (2 photos)

Discussion in 'Birds' started by cajun angel, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. First thing, I'm petrified to post these - I should know what I'm doing by now!

    Well, I had a rare opportunity yesterday - I was invited along with 99 other photographers to go photograph all the birds from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center. I was able to see birds I haven't seen before and 2 pairs of birds that I've only seen one or the other. They had the birds split up in 3 groups - owls, hawks, and falcons. That allowed smaller #'s of photographers for each set of birds and less crowding. Erich, the main handler even came up with an ingenius way to put the birds in "natural settings and perches!" I'm gonna try making one for my back yard!

    The day was very overcast, a bunch of the others were using flash and often my shots would end up over-exposed when I clicked and they clicked, then if I turned off my flash, I'd get under-exposed. Out of 4 D200 users, none would offer me any tips, so I tried and feel like I've failed miserably. There's just something that isn't "clicking" in my brain - dunno if I'm trying too hard, or what, I know when something is wrong, but don't always know what to do first to correct it. I used my 80-200mm 2.8 (we were that close!) ISO was set to 400, Mode was Aperture Priority, WB ended up on Auto. I think at times, my shutter speed ended up too slow. If that was my only problem, I at least know how to fix that one! If ya wanna see the exif, just go to flickr. Some were just too bad to post here. I shot about 12gig photos and still have a lot to go through. I'd appreciate any help - I don't want to give up, but I'm sorely tempted to start selling my gear - just before leaving, to make things worse, I fell and hurt my back. The camera and lens seem to be okay. I think I had the noise reduction feature turned off - the first photo is noisy. PM's are welcome if anyone wants to "tutor" me - if not, that's understandable too.

    This one is shot in manual mode and ISO was 500
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 240356
  2. Dianne nice Models, I haven't a clue on a D200 but the second shot looks like shallow DOF and Focus was on the Limb not the Kestrel!! The Owl looks good!
  3. Thanks Gary! On the 2nd one, my DOF was 5.6. I think what I may have done too, was on the auto focus area I used the closest subject - that may be what messed me up since I couldn't see where the focus reticle was, my metering was in matrix.
  4. I agree Dianne
  5. Thanks Gary! I guess I'd be better off not using that little feature. I usually double check to see where my reticle is before I turn that one on. Guess I may have gotten in too big of a hurry.
  6. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hello Cajun

    The owl needs some NR on the background, a contrast adjustment selectively on the bird and a saturation boost as well.

    The second one is simply not going to make it as the focus was on the branch and at that DOF there isn't much that you can do.

    When shooting closeups on static subjects like this, the most important thing is to have the eyes in dead perfect focus......and you can't do that with much else other than single point if you're wanting to be precise.

    Don't rely on "closest subject" in any type of dynamic mode for these situations.

    We've all learned through shots we've made like these...believ me :) 
  7. Well done Dianne, would agree with Jim's comments. #1 is a very sweet shot.
  8. Gee Guys!:redface: Am I getting the idea NOT to sell just yet?! I still have a lot of photos to go through because there were 4 owls, 3 falcons, and 3 hawks at the session. They were rotated every 30 minutes to allow for the groups to get them all in. Guess in some ways I got in a hurry, but tried every time to focus on the eyes. I won't be using the "closest subject" like I did any more - lesson well learned! It's too easy to forget where the focus reticle is! I'm still learning how to use elements and have Scott Kelby's book - I hope to buy Noise Ninja at some point. Thanks for the encouragement, I promise to work harder and I'll get it right one way or another! Thanks again guys!
  9. 1 is very nice
    2 is oof on the eyes (chk where the focus pt is in PP)
  10. Thanks Randy! I'll be going back over this when I get back home = Jimmy has an eye appt. I think I got in too big of a hurry at some points.
  11. Dianne, these are why the forums are so good. You can take this and learn. Jim has really given you the best advice. Looks like you had a great time. What a treat that must have been. Hope you are ok after that fall. I took a long hike to the ocean on Saturday and ended up slipping going down the trail. I was lucky to keep the camera above my head on the way down to the ground. All that got hurt was my pride. A fall can happen so fast. Guess it is a good reminder to get some camera insurance.
  12. Well, I'm sore, bruised, and my back hurts. I was more worried about the camera and lens than myself! Now, I'm trying to test the camera and lens to make sure they're both okay. Glad you weren't hurt and glad your gear survived too! Yeppers on the insurance!
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