Birds from MN

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Lisa, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Lisa

    Lisa

    May 3, 2005
    IL
    Hi all:

    I've finally gotten around to processing most of my photos from the annual trip to Ely, MN. Last year I had just purchased my D70 and armed myself with a 70-300ED and the 18-70 kit lens. I've learned quite a bit from that first outing and taking pictures of anything while on a moving boat was mediocre at best. With 4 little ones, I only get away from the house once a year and I bought myself the 70-200VR and TC17 along with the 17-55DX and was determined to make the best of what I had learned. I was looking for Eagles but these are what I found. Please feel free to give me tips, etc....I want to do better next year.

    Here is a merganser......very interesting looking fellow

    47222517.

    My first osprey
    47223695.

    A Turkey Vulture
    47540074.

    First GBH
    47524306.

    Hard to meter Loon
    47080719.

    All taken with the 70-200VR and TC17 all the way to 340mm. These are around 50% crops. I do notice some image degradation using this combination but it does sharpen up nice. I was disappointed in the amount of keepers, but I chalk it up to needing more practice. It is hit or miss with the birds in flight as I was fighting the sun's direction most of the time as well as the rocking boat and a 3 year old :lol: . I really went looking for Eagles and found one the last day, but nothing worthy of keeping :cry: For that bird, I would have needed a much longer lens.

    Thanks for viewing these......it's back to the old birdfeeder now.
     
  2. I do not have much to say here other than I think these are some nice shots.

    I like the first one the best.

    Couple years ago I never would have thought I would like bird shots or taking pics of birds but, now I enjoy both looking at all sorts of birds pics and cannot wait to go take more pics of birds.
     
  3. Lisa

    Lisa

    May 3, 2005
    IL
    Thanks, Mark. I find birds really challenging and I never knew how difficult it would be.
     
  4. Nice series Lisa!!! nice flight shot............keep them coming
     
  5. Hi Lisa, I really liked your shot of the Merganser a lot. I hope you don't mind but I played with PS a little bit and wanted to see what you thought about this version. What I did was to boost the color just a tad and then gave it a little more contrast. I also burned in the background just a little and cut down on the EV. Your colors were there in the original but the overexposure has them masked. It is really a very nice shot.

    47607924.
     
  6. Lisa

    Lisa

    May 3, 2005
    IL
    Thank you Keith! Gotta wait till next year, though but I can get good practice on the little birdies now :D

    Gordon:

    That looks great! I don't mind you or anybody else playing with my photos. The D70 tends to underexpose, and that's a good thing MOST of the time. I don't shoot in RAW and should, but I'm lazy when it comes to PP. Even after having the D70 for a year, I still run into some quirks with it. Lately, I've noticed that what looks good on the LCD preview screen, isn't what I see on my monitor. Did you sharpen at all?? Looks much better than mine all the way around.
     
  7. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Lisa,

    Excellent images. Your shots have the look of a veteran birder. And such variety!! Just goes to show that they are generally out there everywhere. We just have to know where to look.

    Well done. :wink:
     
  8. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    OHHHHH LISA,

    You are hooked now. A incurable deasease :>)))))

    One bird and your a done deal.

    It is extremely challenging. Fun and frustrating. But boy when get that one you have been after for so long, you always want another and another and a better and a better one.

    Nice shots for sure. Good job.

    Welcome to the bird addicts club.

    Now you need to join us at Merritt III

    Cheers my girl wonderful job.
     
  9. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Gordon excellent job.
     
  10. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hello Lisa,

    While you may not be as pleased with your captures from your Ely trip, I think that you did just fine. I really like what you posted for us and I particularly like the Meranser and the Loon. All of the images came out well and they shall only motivate you more to get out again in the future. Good shooting Lisa and thanks for posting them for us to view.
     
  11. Hi Lisa,

    These are all very pleasing. Nice work!

    First is my favorite, especially with Gordon's tweaking.

    Looking forward to seeing your continuing efforts....isn't this a fun enterprise?? Always something new to try or consider.

    Best wishes,

    David
     
  12. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Real nice work Lisa,

    Getting a shot of ANY bird is hard enough, but getting a bird in flight is the toughest, by far. I think all these shots could benefit from a contrast boost in Curves. Gordon did a great job on the Merganser.
    I did some pic editing on my laptop while on vacation last yr, and everyone commented on how washed out my shots looked. It wasn't until I returned and viewed them on my calibrated CRT monitor, did I see that they really were lacking in contrast. Unless your LCD is calibrated, it's probably gonna give your shots the appearance of having plenty on contrast, but in reality, they're a bit pale looking. That just seems to be the nature of LCDs.
    I learned this little trick from a fellow member, Vernon, and he's admittedly lazy when it comes to post processing :shock: Open the Curves dialogue in PS, then slide the bottom slider to the right some, then if needed, slide the top slider to the left a little. Do it until they look like they have too much on your LCD screen, then they're probably perfect. Works wonders to perk up shots! I also added just a touch more USM.
    Here's a few of your shots, both in their original form and with the Curves tweak added. Don't worry, I'll get em off my pbase page after you've seen them.

    yours:
    47223695.
    tweaked:
    original.
    yours:
    47540074.
    tweaked:
    View attachment 13685
    yours:
    47524306.
    tweaked:
    View attachment 13687
    yours:
    47080719.
    tweaked:
    View attachment 13689
     
  13. Lisa, when you increase the contrast it gives the appearance of a sharper image without having to do more sharpening. Increasing contrast of all shots is not a good idea but it worked on yours because it was a fairly low contrast shot to begin with.
     
  14. Mick V

    Mick V Guest

    Great shots LIsa, thanks for sharing.
     
  15. Your shots are great Lisa. I'll bet you wish you had more time to take your camera and take bird shots more often. Hope you send more.
    Pete
     
  16. Lisa

    Lisa

    May 3, 2005
    IL
    Well......
    Frank/Flew: Thanks very much. I wish I had larger birds around here, but the little ones will have to do. I can go to a parking lot and find some seagulls.. :lol:

    Gale: I never intended this. But I have birdfeeders right outside my picture window and would sit there, watch and wait. In the wintertime, the snow on the branches with the colorful birds, make some pretty shots.
    I am hooked!

    Gordon: I am always afraid to boost saturation/contrast on anything I do. I've tried curves but when it gets to that gray point, I don't know what I'm supposed to be looking for :? Thank you for the tips. The D70 really does need that extra help.

    Steve: Thank you for showing me what I can do with these. 8) No need to take them down. I don't mind at all...that's how I learn. It sometimes takes someone else looking at your pictures to see something you wouldn't normally see. I especially like what you did for the Osprey. I lightened up a lot under his wings so I could see the markings...I overdid it and you cleaned him up. I also like how you brightened up the turkey vulture...especially his white tipped wings.

    David: Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Gordon did a tremendous job on the Merganser.

    Frank: I think it's time to head out to Herrick Lake on Butterfield road to shoot the red tailed hawks. I am surrounded by pines up here and no really clear shots of anything except what lands in them. Thank you for you thoughtful comments..they are much appreciated.

    Matt: Thank you so much! I had to show my husband why I NEEDED the 70-200VR......

    Pete: Good to see you again! And yes, I wish I had more time. This summer really has flown by. I really wanted the eagles. The residents along the lake had built a platform hoping to attract Eagles but instead got the Osprey. I have shots of the Mom and babies but they are not very good. The osprey you see here, was circling the boat making sure we were harmless....very interesting.

    Thanks everyone! I have only one more picture post to make and I am done if you all can stand it. Landscape photos and I really need help with those....Gordon, this is where your contrast processing will come in very handy as the shots are okay, but BORING.
     
  17. Those are great Lisa, don't be afraid of raw files, they are easier to process than jpegs since there are adjustments that can be made that can't be done easily in jpegs like white balance and exposure, give it a try and you won't look back.

    Martin
     
  18. Lisa

    Lisa

    May 3, 2005
    IL
    Martin:

    You are far too kind. I have tried to work with RAW files but my workflow has stumbled considerably when I do. I open and adjust RAW in Capture and then pull into PS...I still have PS7 as I thought CS was just too darned S L O W. Maybe it's time to clean the hard drive :?
     
  19. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Lisa,

    I agree with several other members that encouraged you to bump the contrast a little in these pictures, but I want to emphasize that this was only possible in your shots because they were so well exposed in the first place. I really meant it when I said that your shots look like those from an experienced bird shooter. I have shot literally 10,000's of bird shots and still have problems getting shots this well exposed. And, as Steve said, the hardest thing about shooting birds is getting them in flight, in sharp focus, and you have done that very well.

    The fine details of post-processing can be learned fairly easily. Getting shots like these takes talent, and you obviously have it. :wink:
     
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