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Old Jun 18, 2003, 9:00 PM   #1
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Default Male Cardinal

Just Done Munching On A Peanut.

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Old Jun 18, 2003, 9:41 PM   #2
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I think you've got all these birds trained to pose for you.
You definitely have an eye. I absolutely love your blurred backgrounds. It really makes the birds jump off the page. Unfortunately, with my Canon G3 I don't think I could ever get that effect without doing a lot of post-processing.
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Old Jun 18, 2003, 10:16 PM   #3
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Getting a good background is partially an aspect of the lens its self (I've read it's in the number of blades that make up the aperture, and how they are shaped... but I don't know if that's true. Anyone?)

But it's also skill. Getting into a position where the background is pleasing is hard. I kinda define it at "another step up" in bird photography. First is just getting them (i.e. actually spending the time to wait for them, using the right exposure and shutter speed....) Then in a good pose. Then getting good background. I can do the first two, but that last one is really hard, because for me it's seems less in your control than the other two. And of course, you have to be able to recognise what will make a good background.

Of course, Kevin has a leg up on me because he has lots of feeders (and probably different types) in his backyard. I've only got one right now... so my selection is limited.

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Old Jun 19, 2003, 12:37 AM   #4
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Kevin! I like most of your shots. You are truely gifted for this kind of shooting. There's often nothing to critize on you pics. I have to put on my magnifing glasses on to see things...

That said - I often see, that your focus is a bit uneven. Maybe it's just me - but this time I can see the screw on the feeder to me even more sharp than the bird itself - allthough it's pinsharp too. Sometimes you says that it's the movements of the birds...hmm.

This is in the small departmentstore, if you get my meaning. I just wanted to say this.

But hey - you're the man for birds! No doubt there!
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Old Jun 19, 2003, 4:06 AM   #5
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Aw shucks guys you're making me blush!! ops:

Klaus, you're right on the sharpness thing, but these guys are almost constantly in motion. Please don't worry about your comments being picky, I appreciate your taking the time to post them!!

Hi Eric, it's my understanding that the shape of the opening in the lens diaphragm is what contributes to the quality of the out-of-focus areas. This is, as you said, dependent upon the number of blades in the lens' design. A good trick is to use another tripod as a stand for a log, stump, etc. You can then place it to good advantage and can consider the backround, light source, etc. The photographer's friend (Peanut Butter) is a good thing to use to help attract some "visitors"

Tracey, as always, thanks for your compliments!! I'm not sure what you're using for processing but in PS you could try drawing a selection mask around your subject, then invert the selection (this will select everything BUT your subject), at this point apply some Gaussian blur to the selected area.

Another book that has been very helpful to me is "Wildlife Photography Getting Started In The Field" by Moose Peterson. It was published in 1998 so it's pre-digital, but the photos are great and the techniques used still apply.

BTW I'm NOT saying you guys need to read this or any other books. I'm only mentioning the ones that helped me,your mileage may vary as they say.
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Old Jun 19, 2003, 1:12 PM   #6
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Good shot.

with my Canon G3 I don't think I could ever get that effect
Digicams have a greater DOF than 35mm cams. Therefore it's difficult even at full zoom and max aperture to get a shallow enough DOF.

I need to really use that 10x optical on my 730 to really blur the background.

So Jazcan you need to get a lens converter of say 2x or 3x and stand further back.
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