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Old Jun 16, 2003, 6:10 PM   #11
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Thanks to all for your kind words, "fatbaby" I used a Nikon D1H with a 600mm F4 lens & a 1.4 teleconverter.

Hi again Eric, I use a Gitzo 410 tripod with a Wimberley head (couldn't imagine using a ball head with this lens, but I know that many do very sucessfully). The Grackle shot is no big trick once you get the hang of the way the camera's exposure metering works. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but to get a nice exposure on a dark subject like this go to spot or a tight center weighted meter pattern, meter off the darkest area you want to hold detail in and then SUBTRACT 1-1.5 stops of exposure. Why, you ask... because the camera is going to try to render the dark area as medium grey thus blowing the exposure to pieces. The opposite applies for whites, such as an Egret, as before meter off the brightest spot you want to hold detail in and then ADD 1-1.5 exposure compensation. If I may recommend a good book, try Art Morris' "The art of Bird Photography" Just don't plan on doing much reading of the text the first few times you look at the book... the pictures are absolutely stunning!! Hope I haven't dragged on too much
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Old Jun 16, 2003, 10:14 PM   #12
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Not at all. I need/want to learn these tricks. Of course, you've got an advantage over me because you have a real spot meter in that D100 of yours. The 10D's "partial" meter is closer to 9%... not small enough to be a real spot meter. (At least they don't try to call it one!) I do need to learn my meter & its 3 modes better.

I think I get the trick, though. The camera will try to shift the grackle's back to gray, so you need to subtract light to make it darker. Yes?

That book is on my list, I guess I should bump it up. I've been reading John Shaw's "The Nature Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques." It's not a bad book, but it seems a little... disjointed. I didn't feel it flowed and built on its self very well. It has good stuff, but I didn't connect to it well. Now that I have the camera and have used it a bit I should probably read it again… it might sync better.

Of course, Art Moris' work aligns better with my interests so that is a plus for it right there.

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