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geoffs Jul 8, 2004 7:22 PM

So, I finally figured out how to get close enough with my equipment to take decent bird pictures... make sure they are behind bars! :-) I hope this qualifies as wildlife - in Africa it would be, and since we've already had postings of panthers behind bars and tigers behind bars, well...

These pictures were taken at my camera's full telephoto range of 140mm, aperture priority at f/8.0, with flash and from a distance of about 14 inches.

I've cropped, done some levels work, and some USM (hopefully not too much).

I found out something funny too - even birds within cages can be tough to photograph! These two lovebirds (my wife's) saw the eye of that lens coming at them and kept wanting to retreat behind things in their cage. I ended up being a bit more patient than them, at least this go around.

I need some opinions or explanations from some of you guys on this picture. The following detail is of the bird's wing feathers. Depending on the scaling of the image, I see various amounts of moire effect. Now I am wondering if this is lens or sensor induced moire, or if the moire effect is purely a manifestation of the feather patterns. It would be nice if there was something I could do to minimize or eliminate the effect in the future.

photosbyvito Jul 8, 2004 8:40 PM

hmm....this is cool, you could probably, in PS, work in an exotic background, with blurred out greens and some pink or orange thrown in to show flowers....

i'm not sure how easy it would be where the feathers are....but i'm sure it's possible...if you use the right blending mode...

nice shots!

btw....wat's a moire pattern?


geoffs Jul 8, 2004 8:47 PM

Thanks, vito! I might work in a better background, but in a more natural way. I think it would be easier to let the birds out of their cage to perch somewhere where we've setup the cool background. I might work on that...

Here's a (very) short explanation of moire effect:;searchString=

photosbyvito Jul 8, 2004 8:52 PM

are these your birds? cuz that would be the best way...if you could entice it to sit still for a while...

food would help....stick a treat on/near a perch, and it "should" stay for ya, for a little while at least ;)


thanks for the link...

geoffs Jul 8, 2004 8:56 PM

They are our birds but they are kind of intransigent, meaning that they like to bite the hands that feed them. :-)

I'll try though...

photosbyvito Jul 8, 2004 9:38 PM

well that's can try multiple times, at multiple times a year....


Normcar Jul 9, 2004 12:27 AM

Now don't get me wrong when I critique these...


I can't believe how much you've progressed photographically in a few weeks!

What are you trying to do? Embarass the rest of us with your great photos?

Well, you have done it.

Geoff, I'm beginning to think that you are a pro photographer who has come into our amateur forum in order to infiltrate the infidels.

These photos are spectacular!

Did I already say that?

I'm a bit confused perhaps. Good grief, did you go to an auto-photog place that teaches you to be a photographer in a weekend?


Oh, have I told you that I'm impressed?:D:D

Nice work:O

By the way, I'm positive that bird loves you to death...what a great first shot!

geoffs Jul 9, 2004 1:10 AM

Norm, I don't know if you are just trying to puff me up or if you really mean all that praise you just heaped on me, but if you did mean it then it really means alot to me hearing it come from you! I will assume you did mean it and shout back a big thank you!

I'm not a beginning photographer to be sure. I started in photography way back in my teens when I used to go backpacking in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. For awhile I had some success in landscape stuff but I've really never advanced my knowledge since college. Photography just sort of went the way of my birding, receding somewhere into the corners of my interests until recently. I was never well grounded in the basics and it's all been whatever I could learn on my own. Now, I am reawakening both photography and birding interests in a serious way. So, if you say I am improving, I believe you and take that as a very serious compliment.


By the way, I'm positive that bird loves you to death...what a great first shot!
That bird (and his partner - I can't tell male from female) ought to love my wife and I to death. After all, we saved them from the pet store! But, all we get from them is less than playful nips on our fingers - those are some strong beaks!

BTW, I can't stand not having some gear suitable for wildlife and action shots any longer. After getting some additional advice from Eric CAN, I believe that I am going to bite the bullet and get a DRebel + Bigma. Instead of the kit lens, we are thinking I could go with a 24 or 28-135 lens from Sigma or perhaps even Tamron. What do you think of these lenses:

Sigma - 24-135mm F2.8-4.5

Tamron - 24-135mm F3.5-5.6

The lens above is supposed to be my general purpose lens when not shooting wildlife. Or do you feel that the Canon 28-135 lens with IS would do me better?

Normcar Jul 9, 2004 1:23 AM

I'd say spend a few more dollars and get the D10 rather than the Rebel, primarily because it has a larger buffer and is stronger (I think you will be taking a while pile of photos). As for the Sigma 50-500, I'd say that every photographer on the face of the earth should have this lens.

I look forward to seeing what you produce.

As for wide angle and macro lenses, it hasn't been my focus at all so I'd suggest that you chat with others about these.

geoffs Jul 9, 2004 1:45 AM

Thanks for the advice Norm - appreciated as always.

The problem with the 10D versus DRebel choice is that there's always something to add "just a few more bucks" to my total cost. It's like tax levies: the individual levies only add a few cents / thousandto my property taxes, but all levies together add up to a whopper of a property tax bill! :-)

Given the choice of sinking money now into lenses or body, I thought it might be more prudent to sink it into the lenses. Didn't someone once say "Bodies may come and go, but lenses are here to stay"? :-)

It's getting late here and I'm getting sillier by the minute so I better leave it at that - tomorrow is another day.


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