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Old Jul 7, 2004, 2:20 PM   #21
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Howdy all, first Eric, I understand fully how you see what I've done to your shot, compared to what you've done. I feel exactly the same way when someone plays with one of my image, I always feel "my way" is better. I think it's quite natural to feel this way, it's your "baby".

I didnt know these were your "firsts" shots with the lens, so F/4 was simply too short for a good ammount of DOF. I'm not sure what software you use to manipulate RAW, I believe you use PS CS with the raw converter. It's a question of habit really, I use C1 for manipulation. What I have found with the Canon CMOS is initially the image looks dull, plain, no contrast. That's not a problem really. I fix the contrast in PS after the conversion. I use to push the contrast compensation in C1 before exporting to TIFF. Been told my shots were too contrasty. So now what I do is do a local contrasting on the background, and try to reveal all the shades in birds or animals. Pushing the contrast on the subject is not a good idea, it kills the subtle difference of feathers for example.

Now about what I've done to your shot, my prime reason was to show that it's quite easy to push USM and other sharpness method without showing any trace of noise. Actually your shot was virtually noiseless, so that was easy.

What happen when underexposing quite a lot a shot, even at ISO200, when you bring back enough brightness, then noise will appear. Reason I mentioned about exposing to the right was for the reverse reason. At ISO400, dropping the brightness of lets say the background will kill the noise. Which is a good thing. Then you have more latitude to play with the subject brightness.

Ok now, how I've seen the shot in RAW was and that's how I feel, where's the sharpness ? I couldn't pinpoint the focusing area. With Canon Fileviewer (another RAW converter), I could see where the center AF was , and it showed it was the neck near the water. My question I rise is, have you ever thoroughly test your 10D for back or front focusing ? Cause your 600 L is the nec plus ultra in lens and I couldn't tell right off where the sharpess part of the bird was. Don't take this negatively Eric. You could do a simple test with lets say 3 cereal box on a table which each cereal box max width facing you. Then each box being lets say 1/2 in difference in distance compared to you. Then your like 30 feet from the box, and try different aperture on a tripod by focusing on the center box. Which the other 2 box being one closer, the other further. This is a basic test to see what's going on. Then try another lens and see again what's going on.

Resized image won't show this, but when I do a 100% enlargement of a section of the photo, I can see something was wrong. Maybe it was just a slight induced blur or something. I can't tell

If you want I can show you before after shot of lets say a recent one I've done. But it would be more valuable to show a 100% crop of portion of the bird with the background. So we could easily see more what happened.

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Old Jul 7, 2004, 3:40 PM   #22
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Eric s, I found your blue heron picture.

I see what you are saying about the color changes. If the bird was not in the same exact pose it would look like two different birds due to the color changes between the two versions.

Original has a really nice reddish/purple color on the neck and back which is almost totally absent on the second version. The original has a nice subtle color change from the red into the darker color of the hip area. The second version does not seem to have this subtle color change and is much lighter overall.

On the other hand the second version seems to have more detail. Particularly noticeable in the far left section of the bird and that little tail part that sticks out to the far left.

So as the other posters have noted, due to the large differences in color between the two birds it would be easy for a person to like them both in different ways.

I prefer the first one because I like the colors better and I prefer the second one because of the detail of the photo. Great work Eric s and Eric Can.

Like geoffs I found this discussion to be particulary educational. It always amazes me the depths of knowledge there are to be gained in this field of digital photography and as I am just putting my foot on the first rung of that knowledge ladder, discussions like this really go far.

Great photo Eric s. As you no doubt noted in my heron post earlier I am keenly aware of what a great effort it was for you to capture that photo!! Have to stop typing.......


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Old Jul 7, 2004, 5:51 PM   #23
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I'm not sure I'd say that mine is "better", but there are more aspects of mine that I prefer than in yours. But the feel of them is different enough that I'm not sure "better" applies.

I did do the conversion in PS CS. In my case I don't have C1, so it wasn't an option. I don't remember if C1 has its own conversion code or uses Canon's. From your comment, I'd guess it does. I fully agree that the lack of contrast is fixable, but it seemed odd that the 100-400 had a lot more contrast than the 600 (a bigger difference than I expected.)

I pay special attention to the shadows and details therein on the subject to. Its interesting that you don't adjust contrast much on the subject... I would have thought that the differences in light/dark is part of what shows detail and increasing contrast would bring those out, not kill it. (Of course, you get details by more than light/dark, and that is also effected by a contrast boost. Maybe negitively, I'll have to experiment.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric CAN
At ISO400, dropping the brightness of lets say the background will kill the noise. Which is a good thing. Then you have more latitude to play with the subject brightness.
I do agree, darkening the shot should mask noise. I hadn't though about that benefit (only that shooting to the right gives you more dynamic range which can enhance the shot visually.) So there is another good reason to get better at shooting to the right.

I have thought about doing a test for back/front focusing. I did one with the 100-400 when I got it. I read a lot about doing it when I got my 10D, so I know some better ways that that with multiple boxes. Maybe that will be my task tonight.

The lack of sharpness could also be my long lens technique. I don't claim to be an expert with that lens, and I don't think I will be for awhile. I practice good technique, but that doesn't mean I've internalized it yet. So I could easily have made a mistake and introduced a slight shake.

A 100% crop was what I was thinking. I just wonder some times what you have for starting material. I wonder how much more I could get out of my shots if I had the PS skill (as a way to prod myself into taking the time to get better.)

Eric

ps. You know, now that I think about it... if nothing is in tack sharp focus then the area outside of the DOF would look just as good as the "best" part that is in focus. That would make the DOF look bigger. That could be what threw me off.
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Old Jul 7, 2004, 6:11 PM   #24
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eric wrote...

That isn't a slam on his photographic skill

Your "art" tastes are specific and personal, as are all who are creative. I personally appreciated the way you phrased your critique of the processing of your heron and didn't see anything in the way of "slamming" anywhere myself.

Art is subjective, and needs room to breath, as it is doing here in this forum. Many types and forms of photographic art are being displayed, critiqued, and discussed, which is exactly as it should be.

I will always look forward to postings from both "erics" because you each have your own personal and wonderful forte' and expression.
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Old Jul 7, 2004, 7:42 PM   #25
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Eric, just to be sure it was just a fluke, can you post 2 recent shots of keepers at 100% crop ? What I mean is, just make sure you crop in PS only a portion of the full size image (no post-processing) including lets say bird feather inside DOF with a portion of a background OOF. I'm really curious to see if what I saw from the RAW was just this shot, or it does that all the time.

I'll post some examples right here on this thread, 2-3 shots of my recent bird shots, then your Heron, but would like to see more from you.

You could always send me more raws, I would do it.

Thanks everyone who brings interesting comments, I love these discussion.

Won't take long I'll post some 100% crops.

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Old Jul 7, 2004, 7:53 PM   #26
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Just have to add, Eric and others, always shoot at the lowest possible ISO if you can, as long as you have enough shutter speed in there. But if you need to decrease the size of the aperture to get more DOF, then you might be stuck to go at ISO400. Reason why lowest ISO (apart noise) is preferable is, the dynamic range is always better going lower ISO.

Many times I'll switch ISO on the fly while shooting birds, for example if the bird is now located in the shade, I'll bump the ISO so I have enough shutter speed.

Last note, what metering mode you're using normally ? Here I use Center-Weight Average all the time, if I want to be picky, I'll choose Partial Metering (I shoot in M mode almost exclusively) and meter lets say white feather on a bird that have many shades/colours.

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Old Jul 7, 2004, 9:24 PM   #27
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Ok friends, here's the 100% crops of 3 shot I took and the one by Eric S. This demonstration is just to illustrate the points we've been debating on this thread. Every shots were extract from RAW to TIFF, then I did a 100% crop of each @ 1000x750, which the output for the web is 72 DPI. No manipulation was done apart one thing in C1 which is 50% sharpening of the original file. This is my normal procedure for full size prints. So I applied the same thing on each shots. Each shots have their own details as followed :

I used Canon Fileviewer software to see where the AF was, and the first thing that strikes me is the Heron shot of Eric shows that the AF is more or less like this :

Also, what I did is choose daylight WB (I know its not the perfect one), +0.25 EC, and + 5 CC in "film extra shadow" -> that's a method I use to extract in TIFF to preserve all the shadows in C1 LE, I eventually fix the contrast later when I do my normal post-processing workflow.

What strikes me with the image below, I can't find a spot where its really focus to the nail. It looks like its focusing to the left, that spot beeing closer to the photographer. This is where I think there's a front focusing issue. But I can't be certain at this point.





Next shots are from my own, with the Sigma EX 50-500 HSM.

This 100% crop was taken at about as the same distance as Eric's Heron, which is 30 feet, it was ISO400, F/8, 1/800 sec, M mode, Center-Weight Average :





Next shot, much closer - this is my normal working distance with small birds, about 20 feet, this shot again was ISO400, F/8, 1/640 sec, M mode, Center-Weight Average :



And a last shot, even closer : about 15 feet, ISO400, but NOW it was F/11, I needed more DOF for this one, I was too close @ 500mm, rest is the same :



So thats about it , now you just saw 3 of my shots, not Post-Process, 100% crop

What do you think Eric, anyone ?

Cheers




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Old Jul 7, 2004, 10:33 PM   #28
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I will be reading all of this, I just wanted to say that I was told "come to bed!" so I am. Hard to refuse someone that cute. :-)

I will post some crops so we can look at them. I didn't get to do the focusing test tonight, but I will tomorrow. I'm working from home so I can take a break around lunch time and do the tests.

Night all.

Eric

ps. I like these disucssions as well. I learn a lot, and it's fun to try to figure these things out.
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 9:13 PM   #29
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Have I muzzled everyone with my last post or ? LOL

Please respond ! haha

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Old Jul 8, 2004, 9:15 PM   #30
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Hi, Eric. No, you haven't muzzled me. In fact, I am reading everything and learning from all of it. It's just that I am not up to the level of you, Eric S, or Norm and I just don't have anything that I think I can say that would be useful. Maybe over time...
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