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Old Feb 3, 2006, 12:53 AM   #1
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try as i might I seem to have problems with photographing the iridescent blue and the black of this fairy wren. Conditions were dull light, I shot this at ISO 400 F8 shutter 250. It just does not seem to have any ooomph or pop if you know what i mean.

Ive compared it to other photos taken of this bird and it does not measure up at all.:sad: Ive posted a shot from a wildlife directory to show how defined the colors really look.

Any opinions or advice for improvement or setting welcome



Here is my shot taken this morning







This is a shot i search the web for and believe this is much better than mine, although not perfect. at least it seems as if the two colors don't blend together as in my shot




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Old Feb 3, 2006, 1:29 AM   #2
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Maybe if you post this in the critique and technique forum, you will find someone with the necessary knowledge and skills. Regards. Jaki.
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 2:54 AM   #3
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I put it in here because all the best birdie photographers spend time over here, more so than in the other forum:-)
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 4:35 AM   #4
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You might be lacking light in your shot. It seems a little soft, and as you said, the light was dull, hence colours don't usually jump out when the light is dull. At least I find that, as I experience the same results shooting on gray days. Could be something else, but that seems the most logical answer to me. Hope this helps.......thekman.
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 8:35 AM   #5
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aladyforty wrote:
Quote:
Any opinions or advice for improvement or setting welcome


Here is my shot taken this morning



It seems to me that you have this dark, glowing bird in a light background. The background lacks all contrast and depth, and the bird has no detail:

[img]www.davidbarkinphotography.com/Temp/redwingedfairywren.jpg[/img]

Certainly I wish I had an opportunit to work on the orginal....

Dave
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 9:00 AM   #6
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I'm not sure what kind of equipment you have, but I think DBB had it right. It seems like the exposure was for the background which made the dark part of the bird even darker and you lost the detail. It's also a little soft, but that could be the lens (I know about that since I don't have any "pro" lenses). I'm not one of the "birdie photographers", just a wannabe, but I thought I'd jump in with a comment anyway.
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 9:04 AM   #7
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Hi alady, from what I can tell it looks like a little camera movement. The whole pic is a little soft. It's pretty tough to get a sharp hand-held shot at that focal length and shutter speed. I think I'd risk less DOF for a faster shutter speed with a wider aperture.

Bob
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 9:21 AM   #8
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Does your camera have spot metering. I run into this shooting Purple Martins against a bright sky. I set to spot metering and meter on the bird, you can then lock exposure recompose if needed and then shoot.
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 11:11 AM   #9
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I've got various thoughts on the image.

The pose is nice, the head angle is very good. Not always something that you can control, so you were good to catch it. I'm not a great fan of the tail tip being cut off, but that is a really long tail. I forgive you that... other, more picky people might not (I go to some forums where slighly bright background spots are called out.... come on!)

Some of the problem is lack of sharpness. I think that blurs some of the detail in the blacks and that cause those parts to not stand out.

The light background works well to cause the bird to stand out, although the belly does lack a bit of an edge at the bottom. Birds with this much variety in their plumage are difficult that way.

My guess is that you'll need to take the picture on a bright but slightly overcast day. That would reduce contrast a touch, which will help you not blow out the bright parts. That should allow you to use some fill flash, which will fill in under the chin. Probalby with -1 or maybe even -2 flash exposure compensation.

There are three problems with that solution.
- The flash might be reflected badly on the iridescent head. It could erase detail there. The hope is that the FEC will solve that. But it might not.
- It will light the underside of branches in a way that might look artifical.
- It could scare the bird. Some are bothered by it, some are not.

Does that help
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Old Feb 3, 2006, 2:48 PM   #10
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alady, nice shot of a pretty birdie!!! I agree with some of the others about the shot being a bit soft which can muddy details. I also agree with Eric about needing a bit brighter light but, not harsh sunlight. Fill flash may help too. Also, for the irridescence, you might need the light coming at a different angle, sorta like an opal. Opals' irridescence stands out only at certain angles. Just my 2 cents.

dennis
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