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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:29 PM   #1
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Hi there,

I recently bought a DSLR and not only battling with all the settings but also getting "it" right. So much to learn, so little time!

I'd appreciate any and all feedback, especially critique! Composition, Exposure, focus, etc...

For some reason I'm attling to get sharp images. Let me rephrase - Sharp as in majority of pics I see on this site.

Thanks,
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 9:34 PM   #2
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this picture makes me laugh. In good way.
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Old Sep 29, 2010, 10:36 PM   #3
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I personally think the bird is sharp. You caught a good moment. The only thing I see is the white on the bird might be blown out a tad bit. White birds are very difficult to shoot, but I think you did a great job.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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I like it a lot!
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:27 AM   #5
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Sharp is hard. Believe me, I'm struggling with this, too.
A few things to remember:
(1) dSLR images aren't as sharp right out of the camera as point-and-shoots. They almost always require post-processing on a computer. The idea is that your computer power (and hundreds of dollars worth of software) can do a better job sharpening than the little brain in your camera. But for someone who wants to shoot and share, it's kind of annoying. Are you doing any post-processing sharpening? If so and you're not getting the results you like, perhaps ask around. There are tons of ways to do sharpening, tons of macros to help automate the process, etc.
(2) Of course, dSLRs have a much greater ability to have narrow depth of field than point and shoots. Sometimes I forget that DOF may be only a few inches, if the lens is wide open, zoomed in, and you're far away (http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html). With your lens and fstop, if your subject was 20 feet away, DOF is .37 feet.
(3) That said, this photo looks sharp enough to me. I'm sure the other experts will have more to say.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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It's a nice shot. The biggest problem is the eye isn't sharp. With most living things when you're doing a "portrait", it is the eye that is most important. Additionally, given the angle of the beak, the bird is pushed a bit too much to the left of the frame for my tastes. But that angle is important - if the site line of the bird were more to the right of the frame, having more empty space like this would work better.

Lastly, there's a lack of feather detail. If you're going to have a partial body crop on a bird like this, you want to see a lot of detail. The amount of detail here would be OK with a looser framed shot but with it this tight, the detail just isn't there.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 12:48 PM   #7
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It is an excellent photo. My reservations are all compositional. First, I would prefer to see the entire bird. And second, it looks like you were attempting to follow the rule of thirds in your placement of the bird, but for the life of me I can't see that it is appropriate here -- you have a lot of out-of focus background that adds nothing to the image. Crop it off and it's a better photo to my eye. The rule of thirds can be helpul if the rest of the image has any content. In that case, you have selected the "sweet spot" of the viewer's attention as being centered around where the photo's thematic focus should be. As it is, you just have 2/3 dead space. Or so ISTM.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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Nice catch. You can always zoom in, select the eye and apply unsharp mask to it.
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Old Sep 30, 2010, 1:00 PM   #9
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And remember there's a trick to post pics on the web. After resizing, apply USM with a mínimun radius and huge amout, something like: Amount: 400, Radius: 0.1-0.2.

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Old Sep 30, 2010, 2:16 PM   #10
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I really actually like the placement of the bird to one side. To me it gives the picture a little more character...almost as if you were taking a picture and the bird just walked into it and started making faces. Of course if it were nature magazine or something that's not what you'd be going for.
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