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Old Aug 12, 2005, 12:52 AM   #1
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I've been making big prints lately (13x19 & 8x10 @ around 250DPI), which is much harder than making pictures for the web. This has lead to a bit of frustration and dissatisfaction with my pictures. But earlier this week I came back to this forum and looked at a few wildlife shots. This reminded me of how much fun it was to post and get feedback from you all. So I went back over some recent shots and found these two.

The first is a green heron (my favorite.) This is the smallest green I've ever seen. It's in adult plumage, and it's too early for this year's adults to have this plumage so I'm assuming it's a runt from last year. For some reason it got it into it's head that it could catch dragon flies. So I watched it raise its crest & fly from bank to bank (5") trying to nab dragon flies… and never got one. Rather funny to watch, actually. It did catch the first frog it tried for, though.

This shot is full frame, I love it when they get that close.

This second one is some kind of shore bird, but I don't know what type. Any ideas? It got even closer than with the green and this is also full frame. Both were taking in really bad light. Trying to stop a feeding shore bird at 1/160th (and I needed ISO800 to get even that much speed) is basically foolish. But this one came out. I also like how I got almost all of it within the DOF (except for the tail)… the DOF is almost nothing at this focal length & distance. I wish the head angle was better, but I can't have it all, especially in these conditions.

1)
Camera: 20D 600mm + 1.4TC + extention tube (maybe?) 1/50 f5.6 ISO200 550EX tripod
PhotoShop: RAW, selective contrast, reduce, selective sharpen

2)
Camera: 20D 600mm + 1.4TC + extention tube 1/160 f5.6 ISO800 550EX tripod
PhotoShop: RAW, selective contrast, reduce, selective sharpen

Eric

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Old Aug 12, 2005, 3:18 AM   #2
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These are really nice shots Eric. I find it hard to believe you can not be happy with making larger prints, you have an 8 mega pixel 20D right. I have to print out about 6 a month for photographic competitions with my camera club. I print 8x10s on normal not best print out because I really could not pick the difference. The digital rebel is only 6 mega pixel and the printed photos look pretty good to me. Maybe you are just too self critical (Im told I am all the time:-)). When i do my editing I edit for a suitable printout only, I never do the editing for the web, the only time I adjust them for the web is just before posting. The only dissatisfaction I have is that my printer Ink runs out too fast and is one of the most expensive cartridges to buy:-)
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 7:09 AM   #3
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Wonderful shots, Eric. Not sure about the id.
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 9:16 AM   #4
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aladyforty
The 8x10's aren't too bad, and with the 20D cropping doesn't cause too many problems. But the more interesting birds are the small ones! And you can never get close enough to those. Combine that with the best light often being the hardest to photograph in and sharpness & detail become an issue.

I generally like both of these shots (the head of the shorebird is a bit off, but the tongue showing in the heron is nice) but due to the low shutter speeds neither would make a very good print even at full frame. Pluss they just don't grab me... the spark or interest isn't there. I want something dynamic that grabs the eye. Ok, I'm asking a lot. A HUGE amount, actually. But I've seen "bird on a stick" done expertly so often that unless it's really good I'm not impressed. I can appreciate the subject, but my standards in a picture are high.

My photo club is off for the summer, and I think that is effecting me. I prepare around 6 or so every month for the club as well. It gives me that little nudge to look critically at my work.

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Glad you like them.

Eric
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 9:19 AM   #5
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If the little guy is about 6 inches long than it's probably a Sanderling. Yellow feet at that size would make it a
Least Sandpiper...

I've never seen a Heron chase dragonflies - That must have someting else!

Dave
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Old Aug 12, 2005, 9:37 AM   #6
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eric s wrote:
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aladyforty
The 8x10's aren't too bad, and with the 20D cropping doesn't cause too many problems. But the more interesting birds are the small ones! And you can never get close enough to those. Combine that with the best light often being the hardest to photograph in and sharpness & detail become an issue.

I generally like both of these shots (the head of the shorebird is a bit off, but the tongue showing in the heron is nice) but due to the low shutter speeds neither would make a very good print even at full frame. Pluss they just don't grab me... the spark or interest isn't there. I want something dynamic that grabs the eye. Ok, I'm asking a lot. A HUGE amount, actually. But I've seen "bird on a stick" done expertly so often that unless it's really good I'm not impressed. I can appreciate the subject, but my standards in a picture are high.

My photo club is off for the summer, and I think that is effecting me. I prepare around 6 or so every month for the club as well. It gives me that little nudge to look critically at my work.

bmullen@comcast
Glad you like them.

Eric

I get what you are saying about the small birds and getting close, I dream of having something with a little more reach than a 300mm lens:-)
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Old Aug 13, 2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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Nice shots, Eric. On the printing side, maybe you couldlook at FM's Stair Interpolation Pro 2 [increases the size of the pic via a sophisticated interpolation algorithm ??

http://www.fredmiranda.com/shopping/SIpro



Regards





Jake
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Old Aug 13, 2005, 1:39 PM   #8
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These are very nice shots, Eric, and I am glad to see you posting again too! I've been scarce myself but manage to post something once in awhile (juvenile Cooper's Hawk).

As Julie mentioned, I do believe that you're a bit too critical of your own work and others see it as much better than you might see your own stuff. I hear you on the small birds, however. Imagine my situation - I only have the 300mm f4 + 1.4x TC and you have that monster 600mm!

BTW, some of the things you might try doing with some of your more heavily cropped images is creating diptychs or triptychs, especially if the series of images tell a story. I'm going to do that with a series of pictures I took of a hovering American Kestrel (I'm posting one of the shots after I finish this message).

Geoff


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Old Aug 13, 2005, 8:28 PM   #9
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OK can someone tell what diptychs or triptychs are??????:-)
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Old Aug 13, 2005, 8:32 PM   #10
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aladyforty wrote:
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OK can someone tell what diptychs or triptychs are??????:-)
:blah:

Ok, Julie, it is really quite simple (once someone has told you, of course).

A diptych is a presentation of two images as one (usually the images are related in some manner). Similarly, a triptych is a presentation of three images. There are -tych names for higher numbers too...
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