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Thread: Welcome Swallow Quest #2

  1. #1
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    Default Welcome Swallow Quest #2

    Another tough one for you Arash - if you can recover more from this one it will deserve a place in your PP manual!

    This was very underexposed in poor light, but still I thought it was interesting with quite a lot of detail, much of which if lost in the downsampling.

    The intensity with which they scan for insects is amazing and it takes 0.1 seconds (3 frames) to go from here to insect in the mouth. Human reaction time is between 0.15 and 0.3 sec - so it was over before I even realised they had left the frame !

    On a lot of the images you can see the droplets of water on their foreheads.

    1/4000s iso6400 f5.6 - and no crop !

    A question for the experts - would it have been better to use a higher iso setting here ?

    I had to separate into two layers and drop the highlights on the background and raise the exposure on the foreground and then mask out the bird in the foreground to make it stand out a bit more - is that classified as fake background - not that I care but some might ?

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    Click here for the raw file

    and click here for a full resolution 16x9 jpg

    Feedback much appreciated thanks.

  2. #2
    Avian Moderator Brian Sump's Avatar
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    Duncan, you are really impressing with your ability to get these little speedsters.

    First off, I love the color palette on this one. Beautiful blend of blues to greens. Details are very nice. And no crop, wow :-)

    It would have been great to get a head angle even or slightly toward the lens but this is better than most get.

    I think you could even out your sharpening a bit as the feathers appear just a touch coarse and do you see the thin halo just above the beak and heading over the head? Usually a good indication of a bit too much. And I am a big color saturation guy, love to make them pop, but maybe you can pull that back a bit too.

    As far as your question on the bkg, IMO absolutely and totally a good process, which I use very often. Adjusting the brightness of the bkg in order to make the subject pop is great, as long as it's tasteful.

    Considering underexposing I think you did great! RE ISO, not sure of the full capabilities of the A1 but 6400 is getting up there. I'd bet you could get to 10000 and benefit from not having to artificially raise exp in post, which can add lots of noise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sump View Post
    Duncan, you are really impressing with your ability to get these little speedsters.

    First off, I love the color palette on this one. Beautiful blend of blues to greens. Details are very nice. And no crop, wow :-)

    It would have been great to get a head angle even or slightly toward the lens but this is better than most get.

    I think you could even out your sharpening a bit as the feathers appear just a touch coarse and do you see the thin halo just above the beak and heading over the head? Usually a good indication of a bit too much. And I am a big color saturation guy, love to make them pop, but maybe you can pull that back a bit too.

    As far as your question on the bkg, IMO absolutely and totally a good process, which I use very often. Adjusting the brightness of the bkg in order to make the subject pop is great, as long as it's tasteful.

    Considering underexposing I think you did great! RE ISO, not sure of the full capabilities of the A1 but 6400 is getting up there. I'd bet you could get to 10000 and benefit from not having to artificially raise exp in post, which can add lots of noise.
    I got lucky finding the location that's for sure.

    That shine on the beak is actually reflection of the water on the beak and not artefact - I did notice than and check it - downsampling has exaggerated it instead of muting it slightly - I should probably manually tone it down slightly.

    Next time I will try pushing the iso a bit further.

    I will tweak it with your suggestions thanks.

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    How does this one look ?


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    Yes to a better head angle. Those colors/patterns in the water are great.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    the repost addressed the over-sharpening issue in the original Brain pointed out, looks very nice, could go 1/3 stop brighter. there is some masking halo/artifact above the bill. But excellent IQ for ISO6400. The main issue here is the HA, not ideal. that's tough to nail and that's what makes these birds quite a challenge


    BTW Sony and some Nikon cameras (with Sony sensors) don't suffer from high sensor read noise like Canon so for these camera increasing exposure in post processing doesn't ruin the files as long as it's not something like 6 stops. With Canon you need to get the exposure perfectly right in the camera to achieve a clean file.
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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with tweaking the BG, and you did so tastefully here. Yes, the head angle is the one biggest issue here, but tough to get swallows on=the-fly to cooperate as needed eh! Looks very good for ISO 6400, so I suppose you could have raised it a bit, but the file, at least as posted, did not suffer from processing. I love the wet forehead!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    the repost addressed the over-sharpening issue in the original Brain pointed out, looks very nice, could go 1/3 stop brighter. there is some masking halo/artifact above the bill. But excellent IQ for ISO6400. The main issue here is the HA, not ideal. that's tough to nail and that's what makes these birds quite a challenge


    BTW Sony and some Nikon cameras (with Sony sensors) don't suffer from high sensor read noise like Canon so for these camera increasing exposure in post processing doesn't ruin the files as long as it's not something like 6 stops. With Canon you need to get the exposure perfectly right in the camera to achieve a clean file.
    Thanks, yes one of the youtubers borrowed my A1 and he also commented about better recovery from the A1 files. That halo above the bill is actually reflection of the bright patch of water on the bill not a processing artefact.

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    Hi Duncan as stated before I am impressed of your ability to capture these fast flyers in cool poses and almost filling the frame , very cool field work !!!

    The OP is a tad over sharp here on my screen and i would prefer a more gentle approach of color and tone , but this is just my personal taste . So you could think about it , or leave the OP as is .
    The RP looks way better in terms of sharpening .... color and tones , well not matching my taste .... but again your call .

    TFS Andreas

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