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Bird Portraits

gordoncgordonc Posts: 28 Greenhorn
I posted the following shot and explanation on another forum & thought it might be a good discussion starter on some of the tricks for great wildlife portraits. What do you guys think? - Gordon:

With some slate grey skies typical of Summer lately I thought it might be worth taking an interested student out for bird portraits. Down at Tiger Tail beach on Marco we found this Osprey perched on an unsightly fence post. So taking advantage of the bird's comfort with people we crept in, went for a head shot to lose the fence & brightened things up with a fill flash- Gordon.
i-dTHmgZW-M.jpg

Replies

  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    Good capture. Is the WB off just a touch from using the flashgun, or is it my screen?
  • gordoncgordonc Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    That's a good/tough question. I process so I like it and was quite happy with the tones & the whites being brightened without being over exposed. There is a ton of technical info out there on this stuff but in the end its in the eye of the beholder, whoever that might be!

    I do prefer in this environment warmer tones, maybe that's what you're seeing? Great hearing from you & thanks for the good question- Gordon.
  • WaterEngineerWaterEngineer Posts: 24,415 AG
    gordonc wrote: »
    That's a good/tough question. I process so I like it and was quite happy with the tones & the whites being brightened without being over exposed. There is a ton of technical info out there on this stuff but in the end its in the eye of the beholder, whoever that might be!

    I do prefer in this environment warmer tones, maybe that's what you're seeing? Great hearing from you & thanks for the good question- Gordon.

    Yes, warmer tones. It is a touch yellow, for me.

    Also, how about a few more details...camera....set up....lens....etc. Thanks.
  • FishdflatsFishdflats Posts: 176 Deckhand
    Gordon,

    I think that the photo is a wall hanger. Love the sharpness, the gray background is just right. The colors look good to me as well. The only thing I noticed on my screen is a bit of white glow (probably Halo) around the hear and neck.

    Thanks for sharing.

    -Luis
    -Luis
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • gordoncgordonc Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Interesting, I went back & checked the data. I had taken a few shots of this bird some with a flash & some without. Turns out this one was not with fill flash but here was the setup- Shooting off hand with my 70-30mm zoom I wanted to be sure not to blur so the ISO was at 400 & as I metered I made sure the speed was greater than 1/320th. The exposure was f10 at 1/400th at a focal length of 280mm. As a rule I want processing to be simple & in this case it was a slight relief of the shadows, a small boost in contrast & my favorite- a minimal levels adjustment to liven up the eye.

    Nikon D300 with the 70-300mm VR.

    Thanks for the questions & comments, Gordon.
  • mississippi macmississippi mac Posts: 4,222 Captain
    Gordon,
    i love the image and thought that you had indeed used a little fill flash....
    the fact that you didn't, bumped your iso and shutter speed still produced a fine image...
    it is perfect against the grey...truly a "wall hanger" in my opinion....

    i carry a flash around with me but being a "natural light" guy i forget about how useful it can be....
    oddly enough, when i shoot macro...i'lll use the flash, or paint the image with a high power mag-light at slow shutter speeds, ie small f-stops and long exposures to get the dof i need....

    tim
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....
    #12976, joined 8-17-2002
  • gordoncgordonc Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Interesting thoughts on flash Tim. I always gravitate to natural light myself & I think silhouettes are the single most artistic photo one can take under the right conditions. With the grey skies on this Osprey, I shot a few with the flash in fear of one of those flat, shady images that need big levels adjustments. As it turns out the image was easy to finish & its proven popular. Gordon.
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