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GBH and BCNH, Flying to a theater near you

Discussion in 'Birds' started by helmet155, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Second part of my Monday, skipped out of work a little early and stopped by SJWS in Irvine to settle the score with some BIF shots...the GBH and BCNH were happy to oblige.

    Eventually I want to get some good enough to hang on the walls in my office at work and the den at home - some of these are tempting to my newbie eye...

    As always, please critique and comment if you feel the need ;) 




  2. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Great shots, Brett. I really like the BCNH pix, especially the first. Perfect wing positions, flying into the picture, perfect exposure, and that weird red eye against that great sky. Blue sky with mottled white clouds makes a wonderful background!

    The only nit I have is that all the images look oversharpened. It's tough to see halos in small JPEGs, but I think they are there. More telling, the feathers are so sharp they look a bit unreal. I would love to see that first image with slightly less sharpening. Try it, and if works please post it again.

  3. Gordon I will try less sharpening...I've been using pretty much the same on everything - time to learn how to spot a halo...I will do just that and re-post when time allows. Thank you very much for the tip ;) 
  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Very very nice.
    Might try a different crop on the second one.
    I see a bit of over sharpen also.....But I have found my LCD shows that most of the time. So I don't pay much attention to it anymore.
    On my own pics I do...but then I don't know what you see. Maybe not sharp enough.
    But I am stuck with what I have.
  5. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I can't believe that you are new at this. These are great shots. :smile:

    I do concur with the sharpening comments. Less would be better. With shots like these, you don't need much. :wink:
  6. Now that I am at home and on my laptop, which I mainly use for my processing I can see the over-sharpening...shows how really crummy my 21" Viewsonic that I have at work is.

    Frank thank you very much for the compliments, truly means a lot coming from you.

    I'm hooked!
  7. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    Oh-oh......a whole bunch of us are sensing competition :) 

    (This is a good thing).

    The two flight shots of the BCNH appear over sharpened simply because you either really had it OOF in you DOF when the shot was made, or you blurred the background in processing.

    The transition of the edge of the bird into the background definitely needs to be a hair softer...then the sharpness of the main body of the bird would be fine.
  8. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Hey I'm glad you scored well at SJWC, as we passed I had mentioned to Laura that I hope you don't get skunked like I had :biggrin:

    Instead of using USM for sharpening try just local contrast enhancement for now at these settings


    Let me know what you think

    When or If you use NC for processing then you can use one of Ron's presets for sharpening. Most of the time works well for me. By the way my 1st few posts here received the same comments as to over sharpening (and they were too).
  9. If you used the Sigma 300 + 2.0 tc, I'm amazed at how sharp these are! Bravo!!

  10. I am using NC and have been using some settings from Ron's ebook:55,5,5 and then hitting it with the FM Intellisharpen Plugin until I *thought* I saw halos...I am going to test a few and back off on the FM Plugin sharpening.

    Ron doesn't make any presets (that I know of) for the D70 for capture, I will look around for one though - I thought he only had D2H, D2Hs and D2X...

    Thanks for the tips, I will try them and re-post..

  11. Kevin now you've got me thinking, since the EXIF data didn't erroneously show 1600mm as the focal length maybe these were shot at 300...I will make the correction after checking the original NEF.

    In defense of the Sigma, I think it is very underrated with the 2.0x TC attached...
  12. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Ron did give out D70 USM settings. They are 48, 5, 8.
  13. Worked these re-dos up real quick, based on feedback and the RR D70 USM settings...

    Workflow, per RR's book, then CS2 I use the FM SI2 Plugin to resize for web, add frame, save for web then post...

    Thanks to all for the help, please comment on the redos and let me know your thoughts.


  14. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey Brett -

    I've just been looking at the BCNH pix side-by-side, and somehow IMVHO you lost more than you gained. I'll be very curious to see what others think.

    The sharpening does look better to me, but it's hard to tell because so many other things changed. Your crop is different - you've pulled back from the bird so it is smaller and has less impact. Also it is moved to the center and therefor flying out of the image instead of into it. You also picked up some disconcerting background stuff at the top. But the biggest change is color tone and contrast. The first bird was definitely warmer and had higher contrast vs the background and therefor really popped. The second has lost that. One last nit that is strictly a matter of personal likes and dislikes - I like frames, but I think yours doesn't do the bird justice. I would like to see a fairly wide white matte for max contrast with the photo, and then a medium-width black line. Just a line, not a pseudo-frame.

    Wow. That sounds like a lot of negatives. I just thought your first post was sensational except for the oversharpening, while this image has lost a lot of impact. I hope after getting everyone else's comments you will try again. This is a sensational shot and it needs sensation post-processing to do it justice.

  15. Gordon, I appreciate you taking the time to give such detailed feedback. The points you bring up make a lot of sense to me and are a great reinforcement in some basics that I overlooked in the 2nd attempt. I will try again tomorrow and get the pop and contrast back and include the crop which I inadvertently forgot to do again.

    Unfortunately, in the past three days I have been issued a new PC and laptop at work so in the confusion I lost the TIFF from the original BCNH, before I did any sharpening in CS2. I will have to best emulate my workflow from the first time around and keep trying.

    Already the Cafe has taught me so much about photography that I could never learn on my own...

    One last thing, is it alright to keep reprocessing and posting for everyone's comments or is that bad net etiquette?
  16. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Brett -

    Ouch. That's a bummer to lose your TIFF. It sounds like you have the original RAW or JPEG. I sure hope so, because this image is a super keeper. Do you take you laptop home and back up there? Investing in an external harddrive at home could be the best investment you can make. I back up originals but also TIFFs and JPEGs made from the originals.

    I'm glad you took my comments positively. I was a little worried that I sounded too negative. As far as I'm concerned, there is no netiquette that applies here. This forum is about showing and critiquing images, and I've reposted based on critiques lots of time and never been criticized. How else can you learn?

  17. Gordon I do still have the original NEF, backed up on an external HD :) 

    I usually backup the TIFFs also but made a mistake and didn't copy it over prior to handing in the laptop for the new one...

    I will spend some time today and post another attempt!
  18. Gordon, here's another attempt - hopefully using your comments to produce a more positive image similar to my original attempt but with less sharpening and a better matte...

    This image does not have any sharpening in CS2, just the standard 48,5,8 from Capture...

  19. Excellent --The first shot is a "killer". Agree with the comments re: overuse of USM.

  20. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Great shots, and My first birding lens was the same Sigma with 2x adapter. In my usage with the D70 it was faster than the standard nikon (non VR) 300 2.8 with the nikon 2x. I strongly recommend also the Sigma tele adapters for use with the sigma lenses. And in regards to quality comparison it was 99.999% of the nikon.

    I believe this combo is the best 600mm rig you can get for under $2000.00 I only switched because of the need for VR and the quality comparison to the 400VR with a 1.4 at 550mm allowed me to crop more than the sigma at 600.

    Great shots, and for most of my sharpening I use 35, 8, 3 now for birds in Nikon capture, but I tend to shoot JPG due to buffer concerns, so my settings for JPG are different. If needed a bit of final touch up in PS, but now I don't do much further sharpening for birds. For most landscape Raw shots I use 38-40, 8-15, and 6-8, just depends on each image, and the content of each image.

    What settings for focus and metering have you found on your D70, I have my pet settings and I am always interested in others.


    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2005
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