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Old Nov 25, 2008, 2:15 PM   #1
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Correction, I got in a hurry and mis-typed the lens. It should say 200-400mm VR. My 18-200mm does take outstanding shots but not this good. Oops!

Three shots of a Snowy Egret in a canal from the refuge the other day.

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Old Nov 25, 2008, 2:15 PM   #2
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#2
wterdfhg

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Old Nov 25, 2008, 2:16 PM   #3
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And my personal favorite.

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Old Nov 27, 2008, 6:44 PM   #4
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Fantastic photos, very beautiful.
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Old Nov 28, 2008, 1:44 PM   #5
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Thanks, I don't know why but it was almost like they were taken at night.
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Old Nov 28, 2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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smac wrote:
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Thanks,* I don't know why but it was almost like they were taken at night.*
Steve
Steve, white birds in bright sunlight are tough to photograph without blowing the highlights. If you spotmeter to expose for the highlights, the background will be underexposed. There is a feature in Photoshop Elements that I have used to compensate somewhat for this - it is designed to allow you to darken highlights and lighten shadows, but I find it is more helpful in these situations than simply fiddling with contrast and brightness. Here is a quickie attempt with one of your photos:
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Old Nov 29, 2008, 10:46 AM   #7
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Very nice Steve! Just use the shadows/highlight tool in ps, and that should bring out the background leaving the highlights alone....cheers...Don
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Old Nov 29, 2008, 11:14 AM   #8
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Thanks to you both. I will definitely do that. I knew about those tools and have used them in the past. I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner. Good call.
Steve
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Old Nov 29, 2008, 9:58 PM   #9
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cool snowy shots. try to keep your shots level if possible. since there really is no horizon, you can base it upon the snowy's legs where they enter the water.

in regards to how to balance out the darkness of the background vs the whiteness of the bird, that's a super tough one. i had some shots of a great egret yesterday that came out just like yours. cameras have a limit to their dynamic range. in order to preserve the white details it has to compromise the darker background.

the only thing you can do is to shoot in RAW and adjust the exposure to protect the white highlights first. then in post processing you are going to have to separate the subject from the background with different layers and adjust the contrast separately.
keep in mind that if you try to brighten something up in post processing, you will increase the background noise noticebly.

personally, i find this too much work to do in post process. in regards to the adjust shadows/highlights tool, i find that only small amounts of this adjustment can be used. if you push this feature to far, the image quality degrades the image looks flat. i generally use only a touch of it to bring out some details in the shadows.

if anyone has any other tips on how to overcome this situation, i'd appreciate them too.

thanks

- hung
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Old Nov 30, 2008, 12:47 AM   #10
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Thanks Hung.
I agree that sometimes the post work can really take the fun out the shot. I have in the past shot RAW and if I think the majority of the days shots are going to be under tough light or high contrast situations I might set the camera for to shoot both RAW and JPEG.
Thanks for the suggestions I always appreciate the input of others. Especially those that put out such high quality photos themselves.
Have a great holiday shooting season, and keep avoiding the crowds,

Steve
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