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Thread: Red-tailed hawk

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Default Red-tailed hawk

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    This is a closeup frame of the red-tailed hawk. The RTH is a very large raptor yet a skittish one. They often perch quite high on power lines, telephone posts or top of the trees making it difficult to make appealing frames. I used dense bushes as cover to approach this hawk and waited for him to take off. Hawk take-off shots are usually quite challenging, more often than not, the camera will focus on the talons leaving the head OOF/soft. I have had my share of such frames in the past. This is one example where the Bird Eye AF feature in the A1 (or generally head tracking) saves the day and makes a significant difference. The DOF is quite shallow, focus locked on the head an tracked it while the talons are almost fully outside of the DOF, but between the head and talons, I take the head being sharpest! Almost a full-frame image. Hope you like it

    A1 600mm f/4GM ISO-640 1/4000 sec f/4. Handheld processed with C1P.
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    BPN Member Paul Burdett's Avatar
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    Yes Arash, I do like it. Love the lighting in this one, as well as the BG. Usual "wow" factor here.

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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    Love the blood on the beak and the sharp face... I might warm it up a bit if it are mine.
    Dan Kearl

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Very nice, and yes, these guys are super skittish around here as well (unless lucky enough to stumble upon a still-naive youngster). Everything looks great, but I feel the WB is a touch off - a bit on the green/yellow side of things. Could be me, or it could be how it was in the field, but your other images are spot-on as far as wb goes.

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    Sweet pose, eye contact is awesome and sharpness is great! I do agree with Daniel about seeing a bit of a green/yellow tint to the image though.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    thank you all the yellow is the bird's natural color, some green might be reflection from grass...

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Arash a super capture for sure- congratulations! I too wonder about a slight green wash. Now I am sure you will disagree but I feel some aspect are over sharpened eg the head/bill and feet and left forewing, the other feathers - I know we seem to disagree totally, but they look silky smooth almost no detail. Having said that I think it is a super image. I think it must be me and no one else but for some reason I get the impression that the images from the Sony cameras and lenses look fantastic and yet at the same time seem to lack a little detail, I know you say the Harriers plumage is smooth but is the Red tailed hawk - so also very smooth plumage? I am not nit picking for the sake of it - no one else has made these observations, maybe it's me and I need a new prescription for my glasses. I just don't seem to be able to get my head around very fine detail and next to no detail in the same image. I look forward to your reply.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Ashton View Post
    Arash a super capture for sure- congratulations! I too wonder about a slight green wash. Now I am sure you will disagree but I feel some aspect are over sharpened eg the head/bill and feet and left forewing, the other feathers - I know we seem to disagree totally, but they look silky smooth almost no detail. Having said that I think it is a super image. I think it must be me and no one else but for some reason I get the impression that the images from the Sony cameras and lenses look fantastic and yet at the same time seem to lack a little detail, I know you say the Harriers plumage is smooth but is the Red tailed hawk - so also very smooth plumage? I am not nit picking for the sake of it - no one else has made these observations, maybe it's me and I need a new prescription for my glasses. I just don't seem to be able to get my head around very fine detail and next to no detail in the same image. I look forward to your reply.

    Hi Jonatan

    Thanks for your comments. I disagree with you but only 100% as Artie says :)

    The image looks fantastic on my 4K NEC, the wigs and talons are outside DOF but the head makes it for me. I don't know what's wrong on you side, old low res monitor perhaps, eyesight issues, impression (you don't have these birds where you live and probably never see them up-close in this light) , I honestly don't know but please don't take it personal if I am going to totally ignore your comments as they make no sense to me. I think beating this dead horse is counter productive as when I look at your images I find the IQ lacking in the fine details, often noisy and the colors quite dull, but I guess they look good to you so there is no point for me to "critique" them.

    the Sony cameras have by far the highest level of details compared to the best Nikon and Canon that looks like toys compared to this monster, all which I have owned and used extensively in the field through the years (have you?) so I can tell you which one is the best. On the other hand, I have also tried a few Olympus cameras, I would toss one in the trash in less than a second and do something better with my time if it were me so it comes out as bizarre someone caring about details shooting with that stuff...by far the worst in the business. I understand not everyone is fortunate enough to afford Sony but even a Nikon D500 would do 10X better than Olympus IMO.

    as for the the details here is a 100% unsharpened crop of the head from RAW, the rest of the bird is mostly outside DOF as I mentioned, no other camera would be able to focus on the head and render this kind of sharpness from a hawk flying towards you, as a matter of fact, I can count the individual nasal feathers. so your comments re. "silky smooth" make me scratch my head , I am sorry.

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Arash the 100% crop looks great and thank you so very much for your reply, that was very courteous of you to reply in such detail.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Razor-sharp on the eye and no sign of over-sharpening from here. Killer bird and background. Your fast reflexes are a huge part of your success. Along with superior hand-eye coordination, strength, stamina, determination, and excellent field skills.

    For more than 38 years I have been focusing on the bird's eye and to heck with depth-of-field :)

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Razor-sharp on the eye and no sign of over-sharpening from here. Killer bird and background. Your fast reflexes are a huge part of your success. Along with superior hand-eye coordination, strength, stamina, determination, and excellent field skills.

    For more than 38 years I have been focusing on the bird's eye and to heck with depth-of-field :)

    with love, artie
    Thanks Artie,

    I have to admit, with Sony it feels like cheating a bit as the camera does most of the work for you, just need to hold it right :D


    to add more, there was no way to get the whole bird inside DOF even if I had stopped down to something like f/10 since the bird was quite close almost filling the frame. In past most of the frames I had were taken from farther away, mostly because the inability of the DSLR AF system to keep the focus on the head at closer distance, 90% of the time the focus would be on talons or tail....the distant shots had more DOF and most parts of the bird were indeed in focus but they never had such amount of detail. They were good for the old 2000 pixel crunchy monitors but wouldn't stand scrutiny on a 5K monitor

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