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While Strolling Through The Zoo...

Discussion in 'Birds' started by eng45ine, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I came upon these beautiful creatures. But did I shoot too wide open and not get the detail in the feathers that I could have if I would have shot with a tighter aperture? Please leave your honest thoughts so I can do better next time. Images taken with D2H and Nikkor 80-400mm VR handheld with SB800 fill flash. All with Auto WB, ISO 200 and Aperture Priority.

    Burrowing Owl... 1/125 sec. f/5.6
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Bald Eagle... 1/1000 sec. f/5.3
    View attachment 14654

    Bald Eagle... 1/750 sec. f/5.3
    View attachment 14655

    Please be honest with your critiques, it is the only way that I can learn from you folks that shoot birds with passion.
  2. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    I like the first one Frank, but the 2 of the eagle is a little dull and soft.
    Try punching the contrast a little.
  3. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    These are great Frank, really nice.......but since you ask
    and I guess since it was a Zoo you had time to adjust ......

    I would have done just like you did then chimped a bit to chk histogram......... and then bumped ISO to 320-400 range to hold shutter speed and tried at f6.3-7.1 and see what I got.

    Hope that helps and makes sense
  4. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks Dave...I'll give it a try. On PSE, I was at 150...cranking it up!!!
  5. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I understand...when I opened the images up, I really wished that I would have shot them with different settings on my camera....DARN! I appreciate the help.
  6. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I played around with the eagles on PSE and the bottom line...I just didn't shoot these images with the correct settings. :frown: I will head back there sometime soon and re-shoot them with different settings. :rolleyes:  Any additional comments would be truly welcomed. :wink:
  7. Very nice Frank........I LOVE THE LAST SHOT!!!
  8. Nice series of birdies there Frank, but really like the first one. Glad you starting to enjoy shooting these guys, never get enough. LOL
  9. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks Bryan and Keith for your kind words. I can tolerate the results of yesterday's shoot, but I sure wish that I would have had an aperture around f/7, give or take. I am so accustom to shooting sports action, I forget the basics of other kinds of shooting. Stupid me! :mad:  But I'm learning and I will learn as a result of my mistakes.
  10. Nice shots Frank! The first shot makes me wonder what was he thinking about.

  11. Frank
    They look good the short DO cant be helped unless you shot at like f9 or higher at that distance and that focal length, maybe up the ISO a bit make sure you don't underexpose. The use of a tripod can help in these situations.
    Is the first shot of the bald eagle is he blind in that eye?
  12. Hi Frank, thanks for sharing your trip to the zoo. Next time I am in a big city I am going to try out the zoo. It has been a long time since I have done that. I like the last shot but think it could have been improved with a little more DOF to keep the beak in sharp focus.
  13. Hi Frank, I remember the first time I shot eagles. I was so excited that I didn't really pay attention to my aperture and ended up with quite a few like your last one. If it's possible to reshoot, I'd do that. I'd also try spot metering on the eagle's head to avoid blowouts. When I'm in a hurry, I'll check the blinkies, then adjust accordingly to avoid blowouts. Eagles can be tricky.

    These are good lessons for us all to be reminded of, though! :wink:
  14. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks one and all for your help...it was not a very good day shooting since I used some rather poor choices for settings. One thing for certain, it encourages me to get back there and shoot somemore real soon. I appreciate everyones comments.
  15. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Real tough call here. The problem is, an increase in the f stop and subsequent increase in DOF is going to start getting the backgrounds in focus, which you don't want to do. The other problem, the lens. I had one of the first versions of that lens and it was noticably soft until f8, best at f11 and lost again beyond that. Having only 1 stop of usable range bothered me, so I sold it.
    Close ups of raptors are tough. The best shots are profiles, where DOF can handle it, but they aren't that interesting. The better shots are the 1/4 views (or 45 degrees) which brings the problems. You focus on the eye, like you should, and the beak is OOF. The only way I know to improve this is to use a shorter focal length and get closer, the latter which is not always possible.
    As for the eagle's eye, that is a second, transparent lid that protects the eye from damage, yet allows for some vision; helpful when your intended meal is not co-operating!
    If you are using flash, make sure you have the rear-cutain sync selected. The flash will go off just before the shutter closes. If in normal mode, it will go off when the shutter opens, and the flash can cause an animal to twitch which may add a little motion blur or closed eye.
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