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Old Apr 20, 2006, 9:35 AM   #21
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Thanks everyone. I suppose the 'tack sharp' issue might be attributed to my new lens, although I've not used it much yet, so I can't say for sure. I think I identified it, but if not, it's a Minolta 200mm f/2.8 APO HS lens (possibly G-series although I bought it used, so I'm not certain). My camera is the Minolta 7D.

I might have explained this, but if not here is what I do. I stand about 5 feet from my feeder (without perches). I sort of pre-focus on one of the feeder ports, then I recompose and move it out away from the port just a bit. If you've ever watched a hummer feed when there's not perch, they will feed then back up for a second, then they go forward and feed, then back up again. I recompose to the area where he will be backing up in between feedings. I usually end up with a touch of the feeder in the lower left corner, but with the background I have, it's really easy to clone out in PS. I just planted some lantana (which hummers are suppose to love) in a hanging basket, so hopefully, I'll do away with the feeder altogetherfor some shots and get a real flower in the photo. Just hope the little guy cooperates as I expect.
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 12:17 PM   #22
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Great shots from a fellow Tennessean

Thanks for reminding us to put out our feeder:G

We will definitely have to try to get a few shots of our hummers around here

Mugmar
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 12:34 PM   #23
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Great Pictures Gracie, as a fellow KM 7D user, if you ever get tired of that lens or not like it anymore, I'll take it off your hands. :-) That is if it still works of course.

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Old Apr 21, 2006, 7:08 PM   #24
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first shot is exceptional, I would enter it in a photography competition
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Old Apr 21, 2006, 8:40 PM   #25
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Thanks everyone. Nice to meet you, Mugmar. I use to live in Nashville many moons ago. Still visit occasionally... but it's a whole different world up there now.

LT7, believe me, there's moments when I wish I didn't have a Minolta... but I'm stuck with it for now. There are things I love about it, but Minolta has definitely had their shortcomings. Maybe Sony will surprise us.

Aladyforty... I've never been much on contests. I don't know... guess I'm just not much of a competitive person. I don't even know any contests in which to enter it anyway. Thanks for the vote of confidence though.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 3:05 AM   #26
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Awesome! We put our feeders out yesterday but probably won't see any here for another couple weeks or so. I've tried my luck at shooting hummingbirds a few times and have gotten a few fairly nice shots (but nothing anywhere nearly that good) after many failures and many hours of patiently trying, so I really appreciate your effort. My attempts to date can be seen here. I've gotten a couple new cameras since then so I'm eager to try again this year.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 9:56 AM   #27
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Thanks Dave... I'm going right now to send you a PM about my process. I think it will help you greatly. Be sure you read it.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 10:38 AM   #28
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Is there a smiley somewhere for "Wow!!"

Those are amazing shots Gracie - thank you for sharing them.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 2:05 PM   #29
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And in an allied vein - would you mind sharing with us the secret to get such clear images resized so well for posting to these forums??

What software do you use, and with what settings are you resizing in order to keep your posted images so clear and crisp, and still so small?

Greg
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Old Apr 23, 2006, 3:36 PM   #30
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Greg, I wouldn't mind at all. Hope it helps.

I have PS Elements. I crop to my liking... then Imake any needed adjustments to white balance/color.Next I duplicate layer and go to filters and select 'unsharp mask'. I usually run it at about 20/50/0 the first round... then I do another round of USM around 200/0.4/2. That usually make it look pretty good. But sometimes I go even further and I go to filters and select 'other' and 'high pass'. I run the high pass filter at about 1.5. Then I go to levels and move the top sliders on each side just until I see the edges showing a bit more clearly. I then flatten the image. Next, I resize. (If I'm going to add a frame which I usually do, I do it BEFORE I resize.) I usually stay a little under the maximum allowed size for the websites I post on.Then it asks if I want to save and I select save (renaming the file if needed)... then the 'JPEG Options' window opens. I move the slider just low enough to where the KB (shown at the bottom of that window)is just under the alotted amount for the website. I usually keep it under 150 KB as that's the lowest restriction of any website I visit. After resizing, I will sometimes run another USM to bring back a little sharpness lost in the resizing... usually around 80 to 100/0.4/2... but that may vary a bit.

I'm sure I probably 'over-explained', but I sort of have to do that as I walk through the process in my brain. Again, hope this helps some. Good luck.
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