Bonnie and Clyde (Pels)

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Commodorefirst, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    I haven't been out much in the last month or two, so Sunday I went out, very very early, golden light time, and I went to visit some of my friends. We have several different resident pairs of Pelicans that stay throughout the year here on the Mississippi River. These two I named bonnie and clyde during the summer.

    Here they are this past weekend: D70, 450-650mm range with 200-400Vr lens and 1.7 attached, Tripod, f7.1, JPG, ultra windy 20mph/wavy day, (the lens was a chattering) thank goodness for VR.

    Was hard to meter this early on in the morning, on some shots the water was to dark or to light, and the birds being white had a tendency to be blown out, (meaning I was out of practice! :eek: ) but I think I finally got them dialed in. Glad I shoot digital. :smile:

    There was a bird watching group (around 15 people) out spotting for birds, but they ignored these guys, they were "only" Pelicans I heard someone say as they drove by me and my rig. I just smiled and enjoyed the windy morning.

    bonnie and clyde:

    [​IMG]

    Clyde surfing and flapping
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bonnie sitting pretty through the waves:
    [​IMG]

    Clyde seems to be saying: What's that smell?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Among the things I love in this life - birders who ignore the birds I'm taking pictures of because they are too "common", and digital images which you can adjust! Your first image IMO is pretty darn close to perfect. Exposure and focus dead on. And stopping down to avoid blown whites gave you really dark and attractive blue water. The birds are lined up in symetrical poses, well placed in the image. But the thing that really makes this for me is the breaking wave between the birds which adds interest without distracting from the birds. The only additional PP I would have done is clone out the small wave spot above the left bird. Just a super image.

    The others are good shots but not up to the same standard. In the second the breaking wave behind the bird "hides" the (outline of) the bird. In the third you captured the bird cleanly in a nice pose, but the shadows across the base of the neck and on the end of its beak cost you a few points. I like the fourth one; the bird isn't doing anything but exposure and focus are right on and the little wave breaking behind it adds interest. It would have been better if you could have turned the bird about 20-30 degrees to the left so its face and chest caught a little more direct sun and you could see more of the bird's face. Interesting behavior with lovely lines in the last one, but the bird's head nees a little more room and again the wave above and behind the bird is a distraction. Although....the wave does form a nice line with the wing, bill and head.

    Hope this helps. I hope the first one is up on your wall. :smile:

    Gordon
     
  3. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Wade,

    These are pretty good shots. The first of my two nits are (and I know you guys are tired of hearing this from me :rolleyes:), are that they look sharpened. To me, the ideal shot is one that doesn't look that way, even if some USM has been applied. My recent reference examples in this regard are the shots that Yves posted a day or so ago, and that Phillip 200 posted about a week ago. These both included images that were razor sharp, but didn't look sharpened. Does that mean that I never do it? Of course not. I actually belong to USM Anonymous. :tongue:

    My second nit is that they look a little over-saturated. I've been nailed on that one too (by my gal pal Gale). If the shots weren't already pretty good, I probably wouldn't have even responded to your critique request, but IMO, they can more than stand on their own with a little less USM, and a little less color saturation.

    Hope this helps. :wink:
     
  4. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Gordon, Frank,

    thanks very much for the constructive comments. It was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted some good eyes to look at these.

    Specifics: Gordon, Great catch on the back splash wave, I should have caught that, but I tend to not clone much except on people, don't know why I do that? go figure.... landscapes and wildlife could use some PS work too! Corrected in the images below.

    I agree on the image quality, I was most proud of the first image and was probably planning to throw this one on the select website, and remove some of my other so so images that are waiting replacement. Most of these belong in the keep for fun, and post on the family site.

    thanks for the discussion on the shadows, they do create some problems on the images, but at least they were caused by "good" light, but even good light can create "bad" shadows!

    Frank, Thank you for the honesty on the saturation and the oversharpening. I actually did very little sharpening, but you were right, they didn't need any. Both of these have only been PS a little for color and levels, sharpening is how they came out of the camera. (camera set on JPG normal sharpening) How about that! Good eye.

    Thoughts on these also appreciated.

    Wade
    Minor color enhacement only, background wave PS work, no additional sharpening-as is out of camera
    [​IMG]

    less color enhancement, sharpening as out of camera:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Wade,

    IMHO, way better. I'm curious though. I haven't shot .jpg in a long time, so I really don't know whether a .jpg out of the cam is as good at a RAW file processed to a .jpg. I do know that most of the better photog's (but certainly not all) that I know shoot RAW. Have you tried RAW? I think that you would be pleased with the results.

    Also, one more thought. I prefer to shoot RAW, set the sharpening to none, then add the appropriate USM in Capture (per Ron R). To me, it looks a little more natural than the in-camera sharpening.
     
  6. Wade the 2nd batch you posted are a lot more appealing for sure.

    I love pelicans, can't get enough shots of those guys.
     
  7. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Frank,

    Sure Raw is better, much better, In fact I am a RAW NUT! and I also prefer it and I get better sharpening results in raw than JPG out of the camera. I shoot raw all the time except when birding/flying shots due to the FPS and buffer write speed on my D70 being slower in raw than JPG. That is the only reason for JPG on these shots. This is one reason why I can't wait for the D200, 5fps in raw will seem like heaven compared to the D70. I have missed many many flight shots trying to shoot raw continous with the D70 this past year, so I stopped trying and the speed increase and buffer write time makes it worthwhile for the quality trade off.

    By the way, I really do like photo mechanic for pure raw image viewing speed. Much faster than bridge or ivew.

    thanks Frank.

    Wade
     
  8. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Wade,

    OK, I understand now. The D70 was my first DSLR, and I really liked it (just sold it to pay for my 2nd D2H), but you are right. The frame rate for high speed action shooting in RAW isn't blazing. :rolleyes:

    Regards,
     
  9. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey Frank -

    I agree with you that starting with an unsharpened RAW image is best, but I get there in a way that I think is helpful and doesn't change the final result. I shoot sharpened RAW in camera so the images are sharp when I review them in Photo Mechanic. Then in NC I remove all sharpening from the keepers in batch mode, and effectively start PP with unsharpened RAW files. Can you see any problem with this approach? It really does help when picking the keepers.

    Gordon
     
  10. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Gordon,

    That's exactly what I do. I don't use Photo Mechanic, but I like for the basic .jpg to be sharp for review, both during PP and in the cam. When I open in NC, I set the sharpening to none, and apply the RR USM settings (I do sometimes back off of Ron's USM settings since the FM plug-in that I use for resizing tends to be on the aggressive side sharpening wise).
     
  11. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Interesting, When I shoot RAW I shot normal auto everything, and I don't shoot with added jpg files. I just shoot Raw only. I always like having the extra space avaialble for those last few files. Using Photo Mechanic has removed the JPG viewing step from my workflow, and eases things a bit.

    I do a keeper check in photo mechanic, then I do all naming and catalogue work in ivew media pro.

    My workflow is Nikon Capture first where I start over for initial adjustments and WB and first sharpening, and 16 bit tiffs to PS for final adjustments if needed, and any layer/masks adjustments and further detail work. I save the ultra select print files as 16 bit tiffs, and only convert to sRGB and color space and jpg before outputting to the lab or web.

    Wade
     
  12. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Wade,

    Now you and Gordon have got me interested in Photo Mechanic. I'd like that extra space too, and then I wouldn't have to fool around with all of those blasted .jpg's.

    Do you have a recommended source?

    Thanks,
     
  13. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Yes, and hang on to your wallet. http://www.camerabits.com/

    But, it saves so much time in culling those shots you do not want to save. It is also great for scanning thousands of photos from a year of photos to see a series you know you took, but can't recall when or what you called it.

    I don't use all of the features since I have I-view media pro, for catlogue work, but the speed and time on culling a couple of thousand jpg shots from a birding trip, is worth the $$$ to me. I also use it to quick delete indoor dance recitals, which I shoot in raw. So culling 600-800 raw shots from a day of dance shooting would take forever in other programs, photo mechanic scrolls through the images very fast. Try the 20 day demo, I ws sceptical at first, but after installing the demo, was wow, blown out of the water. Even on slower machines.

    I think that you (with your D2h cameras shooting raw all the time) would benifit from this program. Upgrade prices are steep, but I plan on just using the basic program for culling and not always updating until the operating system I use insists.

    On my older latop, when on vacation, I keep a copy just to do culls and keep space available on the Hard Drive. I don't do significant processing when on trips, just archiving on HD and DVDR media.

    Any questions holler, and I am sure Gordon would be glad to add his thoughts on his usage.

    Wade
     
  14. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Yeow!! You're right about the price. :eek:

    You did answer just about all of my questions though. I'll download the demo and see what I think of the feature set.

    I do have one comment with regard to your response. One thing that I don't have much problem with is finding shots from 6 months, or a year ago. I organize my files in such a way that I can pretty much find the right folder in a few seconds.

    \Pictures
    ----\D2H
    --------\Guntersville
    --------\Merritt_Island
    --------.
    --------.
    --------\Sanibel
    --------\UAH
    ------------\2005_11
    ----------------\2005_11_12
    --------------------\300_14
    ------------------------.NEF's go here
    ------------------------\JPGs
    ----------------------------The %$@#%^ .JPG's go here (but maybe not much longer :wink:)

    With this structure, I can find the folder pretty quickly. Then I have to find the shot of course. I typically use ThumbsPlus for that. Have you tried this app? How do you compare it to Photo Mechanic?

    Thanks,

     
  15. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    I haven't tried thumbsplus, and I too use a similar file format, Everything is dated. titled, Raw and processed folders, complete with a iview catalogue, with titles. But I bet you know someone who doesn't!! :biggrin:

    I just mentioned that statement about viewing thousands of images as a side note about messy files so others looking at our thread and, (how do I put this,) not as organized as us!

    I know the biggest, disorganized person for image files is my wife! Her photos on her laptop of the school kids, and musical shows, take me a while to organize every year, Sheesh...... At least my daughter uses my method and iview pro too. Thank goodness she learned that from Dad. 14 and organzied with her image. I love her!

    Thanks Frank,

    Wade
     
  16. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Wade,

    I should have known. :rolleyes:

    This may be too much to ask, but I'm curious about the advantages of an iview catalog. What does it give you that you don't get just from the directory structure?

    Thanks,

     
  17. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Oh boy, I don't know where to begin, Lets see, thumbnails of all images in the catalogue, ability to view an image from thumbnail by selecting it, search and sort by type, size, quality, name, capture date, search by exif parameters, ability to add metadata to each shot, batch, rename, copy, paste, duplicate images, convert images all by batch, resize, rotate, by batch and groups, easily transfer files, rename, change color profile of flies, label images, sort images by labels, record voice data about images, you can also catalogue all types of other files including PDF, mp3, movie files, organize your fonts, set up slideshows, and pdf files from your libraries, combine images from, as example 20 different shooting dates and take the best 20 from those and combine into a new top 400 list and duplicate the images into a new folder, etc. and on and on and on, all done by not looking at the actual photo but the thumbnail of the photo. It also has some decent photo processing tools for snapshot use, on and on and on

    It does a lot.

    Wade
     
  18. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Cool,

    Thanks Wade. :smile:
     
  19. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey, I want to know that too! I don't have any catalog software and am just beginning to look at iView and others. This has become a really useful thread!

    Here is my file structure. You'll see why I start with this later.

    2005
    ----2005-10-01 Bombay Hook (original unprocessed NEFs go here)
    --------NEFs - Processed
    --------PEGs - 600x800
    --------TIFFs - WIP
    --------TIFFs - Prints

    I've just started using a neat product called DIM which is freeware. http://www.alanlight.com/dim/Dim.htm I don't know all its tricks yet, but here's what I do know. Stick a CF card in your reader and DIM figures out your file naming convention and opens a new file at the second level. It gives you a name box that is already filled in based on EXIF data 2005-11-16__ where the __ are spaces (per my setup). Type in the job or shoot name, say Cape May, and the file gets named 2005-11-16 Cape May. Then it dumps your images named the way you want them - in my case 2005-11-16_14-32-56. DIM is so smart that the first time it gets 2006 images it will go up a level and set up the 2006 file! DIM can also copy to a backup file.

    Then I go to Photo Mechanic for really fast culling. Well worth the money now, and a major new version is due out soon. The program may get even better and get some new tricks. The sole creator is incredibly responsive. See a forum devoted entirely to PM on Rob Galbraith's web sit.

    I have a template set up with the next level file names and just drag and drop them under the DIM file. Their names should be self-explanatory. I use NC now - very high quality but, at least on my laptop, files can take forever to save. I'm going to try ACR and RawShooterPro and see what the quality/speed tradeoffs are. After NC I save as TIFF and head off to PS CS2 if necessary. I find that for web shots PS is often unnecessary.

    Soooo......I can always find an image if I know the approximate date and the location. So what do I need iView for? So far I haven't been entering key words or anything else in the IPTC fields, so I can't, for example, find all my pelican shots from 1997 through 2001. I'm going to look into iView and see if I need it and how I would want or have to change my current workflow to accomadate it.

    Any comments or suggestions?

    Gordon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2005
  20. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Missouri
    Gordon, some questions, Are you Mac based or Windows based? If windows I personally feel that iview which started as a Mac format and has been ported to windows works best in the mac format, although folks are a bit "ticked" at the newest version 3.0 for Mac and how some features were left off the new release, and other issues not addressed yet.

    Some of my friends like and use http://www.acdsystems.com/offers/NA/ACDSee8/index?CMP=KAC-googleawacdsee&CRA=USA_B or ACDsee which is a counterpart for iview.

    Also some folks like http://www.photools.com/ as a useful tool. Most of these do very similar things, and some are geared toward certain OS and camera brands. Viewing Raw in iview is very very slow. I only use it to view jpgs and tiffs, and to process quick snapshot jpg files. I use it exclusively as a cataloging system. I will be looking at Apple's aperture soon too to see if I could do away with photomechanic and iview in one fell swoop. I would still do final processing and conversions with Nikon capture and PS. For me Raw conversion in Capture is easier for me than PS. I haven't switched yet to CS2

    The best thing about catalog software is the ability to batch rename, add metadata, duplicate, copy, transfer, locate, and search all from thumbnails and not have to touch your files. One cool feature of iview is the ability to locate duplicate files even if they are a different name. Very handy to find an original sometimes.

    forum site for iview: http://www.iview-multimedia.com/forum/index.php

    One other negative for iview, they integrate using part of Nikon view software to view the nefs (can you say slow!) and there is some discussion about metadata insertion in the ; files perhaps being a bit confusing for some other software to read? I have not had any problems, but I haven't done a lot of metadata stuff yet in other software.

    Cheers,

    Wade
     
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