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Thread: Blackburnian Warbler in Spruce

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    Default Blackburnian Warbler in Spruce

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    A few weekends ago I spent a couple days with these birds and some other warbler species in a spruce forest. These guys were pretty cooperative on the first day, the next they wanted nothing to do with me. Of the shots I got on the first day though I think this was my favorite. Shot with my Canon R5 and EF 600mm f/4 IS II, 1/400th f/4 ISO 2000, playback was used to get the bird to come close. Processed in ACR, ran through Denoise AI, and I cloned out a branch that was going through the bird's back. Other than that it was a fairly minimal edit aside from a slight crop. Hope you enjoy, thanks for looking!
    Last edited by Anthony Barsotti; 06-10-2021 at 10:52 PM.

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    Beautiful colors.

    Image works very well with black background
    TFS

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Nice shot, for me just a little heavy and contrasted, the yellows are blown and the dark areas are just clipped.

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    Anthony:

    Agree about the contrast, just a bit less would play well. I might consider darkening the OOF area just below the bird. It is bright enough in this darker image to draw the eye, compete with the subject.

    Look forward to more of this beautiful little fellow!

    Randy
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    Hi Anthony, I like the concept, but agree that the image is too Contrasty, the shadows are blown, (no detail) but it does 'pop', although there is a slight magenta cast in the wing. Agree also in darkening the FG branches on the RHS, but without adding any additional black or contrast. The image has an RGB profile and so may not be displayed correctly, you need to change the profile to sRGB for uploading as a web image.

    With that kit and low SS, unless supported via a tripod or resting on a bean bag how critically sharp the raw is... I'm sure with a few changes as detailed above this could work even better.

    TFS
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    I agree about the contrast and blacks, but I like the perch and the pose you managed. With that said, it looks like it was challenging light (or lack of) to work with.

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    Thanks everyone, definitely a bit too much contrast now that Iím looking at it, I might give this one another go in ACR and keep that in mind from the beginning. Iíll hit that magenta cast on the wing too, not sure if it was because of the greens of the spruce in the scene but that magenta cast was a common issue in all my shots.

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    Nicely done even with the contrast and highlights. Still a impressive image. I like the spruce bough along with the dark background makes the bird pop. Looking forward to more Anthony.TFS

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    Hi Anthony, I like this one a lot. That is one beautiful little jewel of a bird. The only thing that bugs me is the o-o-f bough in the foreground.

    with love, artie
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    The only thing that bugs me is the o-o-f bough in the foreground.
    As I said earlier Artie, by toning the area down, (but not with black), addresses the issue quite well and is more 'pleasing' to the eye.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Anthony, a very pleasing frame to view. The dramatic lighting and deep forest feel work quite well.

    The comments RE contrast have been well addressed but I do love the richness in colors. Blackburnians are stunningly created creatures. Composition is also nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    With that kit and low SS, unless supported via a tripod or resting on a bean bag how critically sharp the raw is... I'm sure with a few changes as detailed above this could work even better.

    TFS
    Steve
    Steve, why do you often comment about handholding at low SS? I have only ever shot the R5 with a tripod one time and I often create tack sharp images at 1/400-1/800 (albeit less keepers than much higher SS). I am far from God's gift to bird photography of course, but I just don't understand what you mean.

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    Hi Brian, with 45mpx you want to avoid pixel blur, HH and low SS can/may result in this and deliver soft images. This is why I love the 1DX3 & R6 (with lower px's, 21mpx), because I can do/push things a lot more, especially in more low light conditions, however because of the amount of pixels of the R5, it's felt that upping your SS, more than you think you need, will help avoid pixel blur.

    Where you are location wise, it appears you have fantastic light, for me it’s a trade off on bodies when shooting based on light conditions, but in low light you have to push the ISO and unlike the 1DX3 there is for me, a comfortable ceiling with the R5 (ie ISO6400, albeit you still can get images at times with a higher ISO ie 10k+ but the processing/exposure has to be good), so again it’s a balancing act IMHO. I’m not saying you can get sharp images at low SS, I’m just suggesting folk think about the techs and especially when in low light conditions, so using a tripod or bean bag to reduce camera shake/pixel blur with low SS is a good option in my book.

    At the end of the day I'm just trying to highlight a point, folk can then distill and make up their own decision and direction.

    Hope this clarifies my point, some may disagree, thats fine, as it's a Forum where ideas and thoughts are shared and where folk can ponder on and explore the thinking... perhaps?
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    Hi Anthony .... a beautiful bird in a pleasing setting , well captured .
    I do agree with the other comments about contrast and lost details in shadow and brighter parts , with a more gentle hand the details might appear better .

    TFS Andreas

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    Love the dark rich tones and details, fantastic image well done

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    The setting is perfect here. Where you usually see these birds. Nice job on the framing.

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    Ok so in other words, whenever possible get more shutter speed?! If you need to brace at lower SS to avoid blur, do it? Couldn't agree more :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    Hi Brian, with 45mpx you want to avoid pixel blur, HH and low SS can/may result in this and deliver soft images. This is why I love the 1DX3 & R6 (with lower px's, 21mpx), because I can do/push things a lot more, especially in more low light conditions, however because of the amount of pixels of the R5, it's felt that upping your SS, more than you think you need, will help avoid pixel blur.

    Where you are location wise, it appears you have fantastic light, for me it’s a trade off on bodies when shooting based on light conditions, but in low light you have to push the ISO and unlike the 1DX3 there is for me, a comfortable ceiling with the R5 (ie ISO6400, albeit you still can get images at times with a higher ISO ie 10k+ but the processing/exposure has to be good), so again it’s a balancing act IMHO. I’m not saying you can get sharp images at low SS, I’m just suggesting folk think about the techs and especially when in low light conditions, so using a tripod or bean bag to reduce camera shake/pixel blur with low SS is a good option in my book.

    At the end of the day I'm just trying to highlight a point, folk can then distill and make up their own decision and direction.

    Hope this clarifies my point, some may disagree, thats fine, as it's a Forum where ideas and thoughts are shared and where folk can ponder on and explore the thinking... perhaps?

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    Ok so in other words, whenever possible get more shutter speed?! If you need to brace at lower SS to avoid blur, do it? Couldn't agree more :-)
    Yep.

    BTW Brian, when shooting BIF and you do shoot high SS ie 1/4000 and above, at those speeds try switching OFF, the IS!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    Yep.

    BTW Brian, when shooting BIF and you do shoot high SS ie 1/4000 and above, at those speeds try switching OFF, the IS!!!!!!
    You know, that's interesting Steve. Artie, a few other R5 BIF shooters and I had a long discussion about this earlier in the year before he published his guide. There were a couple who suggested that, however since then they are getting better results with IS on and lens Stabilization Mode 2.

    I've never really tried it. I was having great results during the winter, did you by chance see any of the water fowl I posted?

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    Not read the guide and obviously not party to the conversation but at 1/4000 plus, it may not have any effect, and… may even slow things down. Mode 2 if it works fine, I might just stick to 1, but it could depend on the ‘flight path’.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    Not read the guide and obviously not party to the conversation but at 1/4000 plus, it may not have any effect, and… may even slow things down. Mode 2 if it works fine, I might just stick to 1, but it could depend on the ‘flight path’.
    Ok Steve, great dialogue. From personal experience, and others I speak with generally agree - Mode 1 for portraits/still subjects and Mode 2 for horizontal flying subjects. Quite a bit of improvement in keepers when making these adjustments.

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    Thanks Brian, when the opportunity arises will swop to 2 and yes, good dialog, just wish there was a lot more.
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    Thanks so much for the kind words and feedback everyone, I went back and reworked the edit quite a bit and think it's quite an improvement. Regarding the shutter speed, I was shooting this on a tripod so the low shutter speed wasn't a huge concern to me. On the tripod with songbirds 1/400th or so is about the slowest I'd go, I rarely have issues in that range unless the bird is moving.

    It's funny you should mention the increased due diligence required when shooting these higher resolution bodies, the more I've shot with it the more I've realized it's not for me. 90% of my work is downsampled for web and I've noticed that downsampling from a 45MP file vs a 24MP file results in a noticeably softer image (not to mention the time it takes for things like Denoise to work with the larger files). I picked up an a9 ii a few weeks ago and I'm thinking that's more my speed, I've owned the a9 in the past and have had no issues with IQ from the lower-res files and rarely find myself heavily cropping these days so the extra resolution feels like overkill more often than not.

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    Hi Anthony, thanks for adding more content to the posting and yes, at those speeds using a tripod was a good move and the RP is better.

    Ultimately you have to be happy in the gear and the software you use, but just before you jump ship it might be helpful in a new thread, to disclose the steps in your workflow once you are ready to create a web image for posting. Personally and like may folk I have not had an issue in IQ, even when files have been shot at 8, 12.8, 25k ISO, so perhaps there might be a step(s) that could be refined to retain the IQ you refer to once you expand on the process step you take to create a web file. In addition, and it's just a thought as I mentioned to Jay on one of his threads, it might be worth checking if once cropped ie to 1600px wide, it actually is 1600px wide. Ideally, crop to a 5x4 format, longest edge being 5 inches and with a PLASTIC rule, measure it, if its out then you have to address that within PS.

    Sharpening must always be applied at the final output size, not prior then cropped, whatever that is for, web, PI, magazine, print...

    Good luck in whatever decision you make and look forward to seeing more from you.

    Steve
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