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Old Sep 11, 2007, 11:40 PM   #1
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1) Close up of a Long-billed dowitcher mucking around in the mud.



2) Another shot of the Sora Rail. Originally I was going to delete this pic when I was reviewing the shots of the day. The subject was in the shade and too underexposed. However, the more I looked at it, I really liked the light, reflections and color. I played around in photoshop and adjusted the shadows enough to bring out some details on the bird.



3) Green-winged Teal.



4) American Kestrel. This little guy stayed around the pond that I was at all afternoon. It would take brief flights around the trees but would come back and sit on a powerline or lightpole. The local crows don't seem to like him very much and would give him a hard time.




5) Just a pic of the reeds around the pond. I was sitting, standing, or squatting in this stuff all afternoon.




Thanks for looking.

- Hung
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 5:29 PM   #2
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Glad to see your sitting in that stuff wasnt a waste of time. Nice shots. I like the atmosphere and mood of your pics.
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 5:32 PM   #3
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Hung... love all of them, but that first picture... WOW! It's almost like I can reach out and touch the bird! Great shot!

Nick
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Old Sep 12, 2007, 11:08 PM   #4
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Glad you took the extra timeto recover #2. Its really a beautiful shot. That water color and reflection of Sora is wonderful.

-Kent


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Old Sep 13, 2007, 6:30 AM   #5
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Hung,

Have been following your shots for some time and found the following: a) colours a bit more saturated than most of the shots put up here; and b)tone a bit more contrastive as well.

You areusingthe Canonbody. A friend of mineis considering to choose between Nikon and Canon for more sophisticated photography. His questions are:

a)Whatmetering mode do you use in general? Are the state of contrast and saturation the result of the A-mode or P-mode metering of the camera?

b) Do you do minor adjustment to the colour, contrast and sharpness setting of the camera?

c)Tendency of using the Photoshop to adjust the saturation and contrast ofthe images taken.

d) The noise control of the shots is great despite being at high ISO. Bearing in mind the use of CMOS on Canon, still have to ask if there is any noise reduction software being used to further bring the noise level down to such a wonderful level as shown in your shots.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 11:38 PM   #6
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Hello wk7leung. I will try to address your questions as best I can.

a) I always use partial metering (aka spot metering). I always shoot in apeture priority mode, center focus point and use jpg.

As far as the state of contrast and saturation in my photography, I do not think they are a result of the A-mode or P-mode. Actually I'm not even sure my canon 20d has an A-mode/P-mode setting. Is that specific to Nikon bodies? In my opinion, the contrast and saturation are mainly due to 3 factors; 1) quality of available light; 2) optical qualities of the lens and 3) post processing adjustments.

b) My camera is set to whatever default values were set by the manufacturer. I prefer to individually adjust, color, contrast and sharpness in post processing.

c) I post process all of my images through photoshop cs2. I have a pretty set algorithm that I use:
- crop
- resize to 1700
- adjust levels for contrast
- adjust color ( I usually add a bit of red and yellow to warm up the colors depending)
- clone out distracting elements
- sharpen
- resize again to 850
- smart sharpen: amount 20-40%, radius 0.2, remove lens blur, and i have the more accurate box checked
- smooth out the background

I use adjust levels and sometimes curves to set the contrast. I don't adjust the saturation much. If I do I just use a little. I find that by increasing the saturation you also increase the color noise of the background picture too.

d) Alot of my post processing has to do with noise reduction which I think is very important. I like my images smooth and as clean as possible. I use different techniques depending on how much time I want to devote to the individual pic and now much ambient noise there is.

A quick and easy thing that I do is to run the image through a noise reduction software like Neat Image. It's been around for awhile and I use the free downloadable version. I like it. Its fairly simple. There are alot of more sophisticated noise reduction softwares out there now like the one Buzzsaw mentioned.

Another trick I use is the Blur tool in photoshop CS2. I actually use this alot. Its kinda like a paintbrush where you run a circle over parts of your image and it smooths that area out. Very simple, but it is time consuming and tedious since you have to magnify your image and essentially trace the outline of your subject and everything outside of that.

Another technique I use is to make a background layer. Apply strong noise reduction to that entire image and then use layer mask to separate the background from the subject. That takes alot more work overall.

best regards,

- Hung

wk7leung wrote:
Quote:
Hung,

Have been following your shots for some time and found the following: a) colours a bit more saturated than most of the shots put up here; and b)tone a bit more contrastive as well.

You areusingthe Canonbody. A friend of mineis considering to choose between Nikon and Canon for more sophisticated photography. His questions are:

a)Whatmetering mode do you use in general? Are the state of contrast and saturation the result of the A-mode or P-mode metering of the camera?

b) Do you do minor adjustment to the colour, contrast and sharpness setting of the camera?

c)Tendency of using the Photoshop to adjust the saturation and contrast ofthe images taken.

d) The noise control of the shots is great despite being at high ISO. Bearing in mind the use of CMOS on Canon, still have to ask if there is any noise reduction software being used to further bring the noise level down to such a wonderful level as shown in your shots.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 12:32 AM   #7
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On behalf of my friend, I would like to thank you for your detailed reply. He is going to go for Canon for its fast auto focusing andrepertoire of lenses;on the latter, Nikon's collection is mighty but often time, its ultra wide and supertele lensesrun out of stock andfans are drivencrazyand have to wait for a long time forthe replenishment.

Another factor is the CMOS which has been very much better than before in terms of image quality, not to mention its low battery requirement and sharp cut innoise for images taken at low light conditions.

I also like usingspot metering.With skill, it is the mode that can provide users withthe greatest flexibility andcreativity in control overexposure.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 12:36 AM   #8
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royce10 wrote:
Quote:
- resize to 1700
Can you tell me a little bit morewhy you choose this for resizing? Is it for posting images up here (avoidfile size larger thanthe250kb limit)or forother reasons?
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 1:21 AM   #9
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I resize actually based upon size limits that other photography forums restrict web posted pics to. My final size is usually 850 pixels maximum. Now what I have found is that when you resize a pic to a smaller size, you actually lose some sharpness to the pic. So I do it in 2 steps. First step is to resize to 1700 (half way to the final size). I do most of my post process work at this size. I use "sharpen" first because it is a crude sharpening tool. I then resize to my final web posted pic size which is 850. I then apply smart sharpen which I find to be a more sophisticated sharpening algorithm. It gives me more control. I also find that it brings out more detail in the picture without over sharpening that can sometimes occur with USM.

- Hung

wk7leung wrote:
Quote:
royce10 wrote:
Quote:
- resize to 1700
Can you tell me a little bit morewhy you choose this for resizing? Is it for posting images up here (avoidfile size larger thanthe250kb limit)or forother reasons?
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 2:11 PM   #10
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Hung, beautiful lighting on these shots, and well used. Your PP techniqueworks perfectly

If I can add my thoughts for wk7, the Canon 40D has just come out and has some excellent specs, and I have seen some posts from guys who have bought the machine, and there's a day and night difference between the 20D/30D and the 40D, it produces superb Image quality, AND sells for much the same price as what I bought my 20D for late 2004
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