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Old Jan 22, 2005, 7:36 AM   #1
kex
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This shot is still not the optimum, but it's so hard not to shake at 300mm.

Picture was converted from NEF (RAW), cropped and contrast increased + sharpening:

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Old Jan 22, 2005, 10:48 AM   #2
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What kind of bird is this? very cute. What sort of camera are you trying to hold with the 300mm? Ive found that you have to hold the lens, breath in before taking the shot and shoot fast, don't let your arms get weak while you line up the shot, shoot quickly. Maybe I just have steady hands, I don't know.

I hope you don't mind but I like the bird and it is a nice photoso I sharpened a little more and put the photo through neat image for you.


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Old Jan 22, 2005, 12:06 PM   #3
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Kex, I'm not so sure that the out of focus bird was as much your unsteadiness as it might have been a combination of two other factors. The reason I think this is because the midsection of the bird (stomach, lower areas of wings) does seem to have some sharpness to it. So, I think you're seeing these two things at play:

1. Some motion blur of the bird itself in the head area perhaps. What shutter speed was this shot at?

2. The fact that it seems like your focus point wason the midsection of the bird rather than the head and eye area of the bird. Your depth of field is very small which is why things to the rear and to the front of the bird's midsection are out of focus.

And, yes, there still was a contributory factor from handholding at 300mm. Your lens doesn't have image stabilization, does it?

The bird sure looks to be pretty and it is definitely worth trying for this bird again, learning from your mistakes the first time around.
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 12:14 PM   #4
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Kex (and Julie)- here's my attempt to "improve" on the original photo. What I did differently from what Julie did was to create a selection in Photoshop that isolated the bird from the background. I then did NeatImage noise reduction on the background only to prevent any loss of detail on the bird. Inverting the selection, I then only sharpened the bird. Here's the result...


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Old Jan 22, 2005, 5:24 PM   #5
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thanks very much for your comments and tips, and also for the improved versions of the shot. I like them both very much!

The lense I'm using is the Sigma 70-300 APO Macro Super II 4.0-5.6

The shot was taken at:

Aperature: 5.6
Shutter speed: 1/125
ISO 200
P-Mode

Plus, have I mentioned that it is a crop?
You can view the original shot out of the cam here:

http://www.digitalpleasure.net/_DSC0587.jpg (1MB!)

Now, as I take a look at the exif data, I recognize that I could've bumped the ISO speed a little more up to get a faster shutter speed.

As I see it, there's just one way to improve:
Practice!

I've seen superb shots with that lense/body combo I got now, and I guess it's a matter of experience, too.
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 9:01 PM   #6
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I don't know if this helps but I shoot all my bird shots these days at F8 and 400 ISO, I find if they are a little noisy that running them through neat image does the trick.
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