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Critique Puffins and Guillemots

Discussion in 'Birds' started by billtils, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. From a recent trip to the Isle of May.

    Puffin and eels.jpg
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    Off to sea for baby food.jpg
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    Guillemots on guard.jpg
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    ... and a baby gull

    When I grow up I want to be ....jpg
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    Note to EXIF peepers: The main objective was to catch at least one puffin in flight. This is not an easy task as they fly in straight lines close to the ground and the resulting high angular velocity gives next to no time to frame, focus and shoot. For that reason the camera was left in "BIF against a blue sky" mode pretty well all the time - even for the static shots as it was a case of always ready. I achieved 50% of the goal with around half a dozen acceptable shots, but none of them had the bird with a beak full of sand eels. And that's the reason for the second image. The other two are to show there is more to the location than puffins ...
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  2. Love that PIF, I’ve read this is very hard to do. Are those penguins in #3? Wow.
  3. Flight shot is a bit soft - also the puffin is turned slightly away from you. Of course, you are right saying it is hard to get a good flight shot of them.
  4. Thanks Rick. No, they're guillemots.
  5. Hi Allan

    Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. I chose the "PIF" image posted here because I liked the wing feather detail best of the bunch (the birds are built for diving/swimming under water and have relatively small wings that they have to flap at a great rate when flying) but you are correct in regard to the back/tail detail - it was the price to pay :) .

  6. Ah, but puffins are so comical and cute, what's a little bit of softness among friends? :) 
    Nice shooting.
  7. Thanks Nick. By "a little bit of softness" do you mean like in the gull chick? :) ;) 
  8. That too (y)
    I was thinking of Allan's comments on #1.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Allan

    I replaced the Puffin + Sand eels shot.
  10. I like #1 but it looks a little hot and over saturated in the sky. Perfect pose and the fish is nice
  11. When you change the order of pics it confuses readers
  12. Very nice shots, but as was said, they all seem a bit High Key range, and whites overtake photos, the crop spacing on the last 3 would make a much better shot.
  13. Good shooting, but I agree with Randy regarding #1 and two is a bit soft, imo.
  14. Thanks Randy. It was a blue sky day - kind of rare in these parts!

    Thanks Darrell. I'll take another look at the histograms but nothing jumped out as being clipped on first look. Not sure what you mean re the cropping - I cropped it tight to eliminate as much of the distracting background as possible. Sometimes background works in the sense that it provides information on the setting, but it can get a bit fussy and intrusive.

    Louis, see post #5 re the detail.

    Everyone - your feedback has been great and very helpful.
  15. Most of the time bird shots work in the rule of 3rds, which would give space in the direction the bird is looking, #1 shot has great space in front of him, but the last is dead center, the 4 bird shot I would have made space on the left side which would work for the 3 birds looking, just my 2 cents.
  16. nice to get shots of these seabirds. Different common names on different continents lead to confusion. Uria aalge you call Guillemot but here in North America it's Common Murre. It's too bad tehnaming authorities on different continents can't come together.:rolleyes: 
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Thanks for the elaboration on what you mean re cropping, Darrell.

    Yes, I cropped the first to place the head on (or close to) the upper/left third; I wasn't fussed with the gull and went for a square crop since s/he is just cute and not really looking anywhere; and absolutely, I thought about that framing for the guillemots but left it with the 4 as it could be argued that the orientation of the heads in the group of 3 takes you out of the photo but leaving the 4th in the frame keeps you in (just had another look before posting and the main problem with my idea is that the left-most bird is below the group of 3 and doesn't really act as a "stop" - your idea looks better).
  18. With the Guillemots I would be tempted to try cropping off enough of the right side to leave an equal amount of space between the bird and the border as there is on the left side.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. keirin


    Dec 31, 2005
    I see you've asked for a 'critique', so I will try my best: In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad shot of a puffin. Thanks much for sharing these.
    • Like Like x 1
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