June 25, 2022 at 4:34 pm #71167
We have birds around our house, and I like taking pictures of them. I took these a while ago. These are just the raw photos, but I do have some that I’ve edited a little. I don’t really like the way they look! Does anyone have any suggestions for improvement?
The camera was a Canon EOS Rebel SL1.
The lens was a EF 75-300mm f4-5.6
For the first one, the ISO was 400, the aperture was f5.6, and the shutter speed was 1/125.
The second one I took before I had any idea what I was doing, so the ISO was 1600, the aperture was f5.6, and the shutter speed was 1/500.
Thanks!June 25, 2022 at 6:37 pm #71170William FrazerParticipant
I like that first shot a lot. You have an obvious subject, and a very non-distracting background. Good job capturing the catch-light in the eye. That catch-light is what gives this picture some “life.”
But to answer the question, whenever you want to do anything with a long lens with smaller aperture values, the first thing you need to think of is light. It looks to me as though you were shooting on a day when rain was threatening. Think: Dark sky, cool light, dead picture. You can fix some things in post-processing, but your best shots aren’t going to be the rainy-day ones. There is nothing that can replace strong sunlight for beautifying pictures. So do try to plan your shooting times (if you can) for times when the sun is out. Early morning is the best time for this; the sun’s light is ‘warmer’ and its angle will be lower.
I might recommend getting a slightly lower perspective, if you can. Putting yourself at eye-level with an animal subject, instead of shooting from above, gives a more personal, more interactive feel to the photo.
Just for fun, I played around with the first image in Darktable. Essentially, I saturated the image a bit more, increased the temperature in white balance, and made the whole image lighter. I also sharpened and de-noised it a bit.
But the main key with bird photography is Practice. You’ve got some great work here; keep it up.
And have fun!
June 25, 2022 at 7:29 pm #71182
- This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by William Frazer.
Thank you! That’s all really helpful! It’s good to know about the dark sky. I am defiantly going to try again with all that in mind. I really like taking bird pictures, but animals are tricky!
Wow, it looks a lot better after you edited it! Thank you! I am just getting into photography, so I appreciate all the tips!June 26, 2022 at 8:13 pm #71186June 30, 2022 at 6:15 pm #71251June 30, 2022 at 10:36 pm #71257
Thank you so much @jamesstaddon! That was all really helpful! I really appreciate it! 😊July 6, 2022 at 3:11 pm #71290
Great!July 23, 2022 at 5:26 pm #71506July 23, 2022 at 5:31 pm #71508July 23, 2022 at 8:03 pm #71517William FrazerParticipant
I love that first picture! The picture is a little too small for me to be able to tell if the focus is right on, or if it’s slightly back-focused, but great job on:
• catchlight in the eye. Bird looks “alive.”
• unique expression and activity. Bird looks “curious, active.”
• eye-level perspective.
• high focal length, combined with (relatively) low aperture number, resulting in nice background blur.
One thought: it might be nice if the bird had been brighter than the background rather than the reverse. Naturally, the eye of an observer will go to the brightest spots in the picture first. You can’t move the sun (except by waiting,) but you can move yourself, as explained helpfully here.
Your work demonstrates a lot of thought, work and preparation.
Keep it up!July 23, 2022 at 8:14 pm #71518
Thank you @cheesestick! That’s true about the background and lighting. I’ll have to keep experimenting!July 25, 2022 at 12:18 pm #71534Lydia BennettKeymaster
WOW! Way to go, @musicgal!! That setup is SO neat! Keep honing that skill…you’ve got good things going there!July 25, 2022 at 12:31 pm #71535July 29, 2022 at 7:52 pm #71611July 30, 2022 at 11:15 am #71613
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