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Thread: Little Egret

  1. #1
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    Default Little Egret

    Second photograph from my trip to France. I was doing a few scary exposition experiments when this egret came flying toward me out of nowhere. I quickly aimed at it and just fired hoping that I would be lucky enough to get one nice shot.

    And that is what I got: one nice shot. The other 21 pictures are a tribute to my clumsiness (is that even english?). I now truly master the art of wing clipping.

    Even though randomness has all the credit, I actually like this composition. The problem is that the bird landed in the shadow of a large tree. Since I did not have time to adjust exposition settings, the original image is badly underexposed. I tried my best to recover it and here is the result. Since I am now trying to get beyond the "play around and hope something nice will appear" in terms of image processing, I will probably post the original to hear your input on what could be done on such an image (and how).

    Canon 60D
    100-400mm @ 400mm, f/5.6
    ISO 640
    1/8000 (!)
    EV -2 1/3 (!!!)
    Evaluative Metering
    92% Crop

    Significant exposition increase. Reduction of the blue saturation level. Bit of NR and Sharpening.

    Name:  _MG_3845-1.jpg
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    Lifetime Member Michael Gerald-Yamasaki's Avatar
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    P-A.,

    Greetings. Exposure looks good for the whites with good sharp detail. Additional space is needed all around, but particularly below with the implied landing pose. The lighting is problematic since the wb spans warm to cool on the whites. You might consider just desaturating the whites completely and perhaps blending back a little of the color where most appealing (I would do so with the warmer colors in the body). In general, the wb across the image needs some work.

    Cheers,

    -Michael-

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    The original underexposed image:

    Name:  _MG_3845-2.jpg
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    BPN Viewer Jeff Cashdollar's Avatar
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    P-A,

    When things happen fast like this we do the best we can. It is difficult to plan, frame and control composition. Given the circumstances, "aiming and hoping" you did well. Image is too tight needs room to breath. You have a ? next to the shutter speed - 1/8000 would be overkill. Might be some hotspots, did the histogram show any clipping. Thanks for sharing, love the narrative and overall nice job of capturing the feathers and wing detail.

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    Forgot to mention I was shooting in Av, which explains the 1/8000 shutter speed (due to the ISO/Ev from the other scenario).

    Histogram did not show any clipping in the white, but showed a tiny bit in the blacks (a few pixels in the eye mostly). If I did not have this @#! -2 1/3 Ev set I think I could have come up with something great, even though it would still have lacked some room.

    Lesson learned: no more exposure experiments in foreign birding parks

    I might try Michael's suggestions because I would really like to "save" this image. However this will require me to step up one level in terms of image processing. Will give it a shot.

    Thank you both for comments & advices.

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    BPN Viewer Jeff Cashdollar's Avatar
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    Look in education forum on adding canvas and other interesting articles. Have you been to the Canadian Rockies, I hear it is beautiful.

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    Will read about it tonight. Thanks for the pointer.

    I have never been to the Canadian Rockies, which is a shame. It is quite high on my "To visit next" list. And it is beautiful for sure, just look at the images posted by Rachel Hollander in the Landscape forum about a month ago from the Lake Louise area.

    Not an easy nor cheap trip for me however. It is a bit scary to think that such a place within my own country is almost as far away from home as UK is.

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    I think warming up the WB might help a bit, but in general the detail you pulled out of those white feathers is absolutely delicious.

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    BPN Member Kerry Perkins's Avatar
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    P-A, with an 18MP sensor it wouldn't hurt to back off on the zoom a bit to give your subject more room. For me the main issues with this image are the cramped framing and the mixed light. White birds in mixed light are double trouble. You can't possibly expose properly for both the whites and the blacks. Digital SLRs just don't have the dynamic range to pull this off. You absolutely must expose for the whites, and if you have any shadow areas in your image, they will be underexposed.
    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." - Henri Cartier Bresson

    Please visit me on the web at http://kerryperkinsphotography.com


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