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Old Jul 30, 2011, 1:52 PM   #1
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Default Ruby Throat Hummingbird images - perched and grooming

I know a lot of folks love their latest and greatest equipment, but here are some images of my favorite subject in my garden.

Self Maintenance I:

Camera PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K10D
Exposure Time 0.004s (1/250)
Aperture f/5.6
ISO 320
Focal Length 600mm (900mm in 35mm)
Photo Dimensions 2368 x 1581



Self Maintenance II:


Camera PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K10D
Exposure Time 0.005s (1/200)
Aperture f/5.6
ISO 320
Focal Length 600mm (900mm in 35mm)
Photo Dimensions 2401 x 1606


Still using the K10D + FA* 250-600/5.6 for the shots. So can "old equipment" still make the grade?

Regards,
Marc
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 2:00 PM   #2
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You just like to tease us with that fantastic lens of yours.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 2:08 PM   #3
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Beautiful shots, Marc! Have you thought about submitting to National Geographic?
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 2:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeSS View Post
You just like to tease us with that fantastic lens of yours.
Agreed about the lens, but the K10D needs an upgrade sometime soon!

I must admit that having a 4.5 y.o. DSLR has limits. However, knowing those limits has made me a better photographer by adapting as best I can. Sometimes I miss out though.

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Beautiful shots, Marc! Have you thought about submitting to National Geographic?
Hi Jeannie,

I sincerely appreciate the comments and that you believe it's worthy of National Geographic!

So are you referring a Nat Geo and submitting to their "Your Shot" section, photo of the week or something similar? I just want to be sure I understand your suggestion.

Regards,
Marc
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 2:37 PM   #5
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So are you referring a Nat Geo and submitting to their "Your Shot" section, photo of the week or something similar? I just want to be sure I understand your suggestion.
No, I'm talking professionally. Like you could go to work for them. I think you are one of the most amazing photographers I've ever seen.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 3:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JeannieBug View Post
No, I'm talking professionally. Like you could go to work for them. I think you are one of the most amazing photographers I've ever seen.
Wow, I really appreciate your believing in my work and it's a tough door to go through. I've always wanted to do that or something similar for some time, although I have to get a few things sorted out before then.

Actually I know someone who works for National Geographic, although with the Australian office of NatGeo. He's the only photographer from Australia who is directly represented by National Geographic in Washington, DC. Jason is also their only Pentax shooter. We have a bit of history together, no question!

Regards,
Marc
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 4:06 PM   #7
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Well, Marc, I really agree with Jeannie on trying NatGeo or something like that, your pictures are second to none.
What I'd like from you, is a lesson on post processing. Perfect focussing and exposure can take you far, but you add something to enhance them even further in pp. I'd love to learn something of that. A thread on that?

Kjell
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 8:37 AM   #8
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Wow. Simply amazing!

Add me to the list for that lesson!

Glen
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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Default At the risk of giving an underwhelming answer

Some background: in mixed lighting it's difficult to properly expose these subjects (especially the males) due to very dark and white plumage patterns. The K10D generally underexposes - that's despite my setting the EV to 0 or +0.3. The difficult part is the white chest if bright sunlight is hitting it. That's why I tend to avoid photographing them during direct lighting conditions (some exceptions will work - try EV -0.3). The good part is that Pentax's philosophy of not clipping/blowing highlights is a big deal for these subjects. However, that can cause issues for the darker plumage not retaining detail.

I was taught by nature photographers to keep the image natural looking. Go to NatGeo's photo submission guideline page and it's the same philosophy, but much shorter than our rule set for the VLF competition: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/yo...t/manipulation

The NG page is a very short - yet concise set - of guidelines, mirroring what I was taught several years ago when we did a PP and photo submission session for the VLF wildlife photo competition. This was to ensure the newcomers didn't mess up and submitted an image that would be discarded/disqualified. Art Wolfe was a judge one year for the VLF and commented that "in my 30 years as a competitor and a judge, I've never seen such strict rules/guidelines in a photo contest". In addition, we had to submit three images per entry: the TIFF, JPEG and RAW files, plus the xmp sidecar file for the RAW file. This is to ensure no inappropriate digital manipulation.

Back to the request/comments about my PP: there is no filter usage, saturation or color enhancement going on - just confirmation of the whites & blacks being properly exposed. That's still a challenge with these subjects, so a slight underexposure is almost a requirement in brighter light. All I do is global exposure tweaks to bring the image back to how I saw it. If needed, a simple pass with noise reduction software, since the K10D has a relatively low ISO ceiling before noise becomes difficult to work with, unless you EV comp at least +0.3 to reduce noise. However, that drops the shutter speed so you bump up the ISO - then it's becoming a compromise. Last is a light sharpening if needed afterward (due to NR software) - I rarely do much else.

Bottom line: I never spend more than several minutes on an image - otherwise it is discarded as a candidate. It already has to be in focus, etc. as already mentioned. It's simply Levels --> Shadow/Highlight (optional) --> Exposure, almost 99% of the time. There is no magic here - it's how you do it.

I can certainly oblige with on the specifics of what's done in PP - let me know if you are still interested?

Regards,
Marc

EDIT: An apology if the subsequent sentence seems like self promotion as someone I know recently made an interesting comment: "... You have a talent that alot of photographers do not have. You see what you want and know how to get the image." (I do believe he's referring to the work I do before a shoot - the visualization part, not what's done in PP.)
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Last edited by Marc Langille; Jul 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 3:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Back to the request/comments about my PP: there is no filter usage, saturation or color enhancement going on - just confirmation of the whites & blacks being properly exposed.
It sounds to me like you meet the NatGeo guidelines... Do it, man!

And I'll tell everyone, "I knew him when..."
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