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Archive 2012 · Background Issues
  
 
OldProf
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Background Issues


Normally a clear background is the way to go when photographing wildlife. However, I feel that these pictures extract the main subject from its environment. Your opinions are welcome.

In the pictures below I have left the dense background to emphasize the surroundings in which these egrets and anhinga build their nests. Taken at the Venice rookery, FL with a Nikkor 800mm setup.

C&C welcome



OldProf 2012


Egret, Venice Rookery





OldProf 2012










OldProf 2012


female anhinga




Mar 13, 2012 at 02:56 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Background Issues


I hear/see what you're saying...but greater distance betwixt subject and BG is more pleasing still.
Nice series, however.



Mar 13, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Ed Robertson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Background Issues


Real nice. Ed


Mar 13, 2012 at 03:07 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Background Issues


You are absolutely right Will!
Have a good day.
Saba



Mar 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Background Issues


Thank you Ed. Still love your avatar
Cheers
Saba



Mar 13, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Shasoc
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Background Issues


Saba, one of the difficulties to tell a story is including the habitat w/o becoming a clutter or a distraction from the subject. It also depends on the way you see your subject and how you want to tell the story.
In your particular case I believe the shots are too close to give a sense of the environment. If that is your intent than you should open up the image to include more of the habitat, still with the subject being significant enough in the frame.
If your intent was to tell about the birds, especially in their breeding plumage, than a nice separation from the bg would have worked better creating a powerful image and a better connection with the viewer. Generally speaking the simpler the composition, the stronger the image.
I'm a fan of frame-filling wildlife images that tells you something about the subject, but I'm not opposed to a shot that includes the environment. This is actually a good way to shoot when you can't isolate the subject.
However, at the end all what it matters is your personal taste and the message you want to send across
Socrate


Edited on Mar 13, 2012 at 03:59 PM · View previous versions



Mar 13, 2012 at 03:53 PM
B Benson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Background Issues


I agree with the others, Socrate is right on with his observations. Again though each person sees things in their own mind way. Bruce


Mar 13, 2012 at 03:59 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Background Issues


Hello Socrate,
Glad to hear from you again. Your comments are most useful and you are exactly right. One has to make a decision about what one wants to portray. Is it the overall environment or the details of the subject (bird in this case)?

Some times it is difficult to find a compromise. In this particular case, the picture below may do the job.

Further comments are always welcome.

Hello Bruce,
Thank you! I appreciate your input.

Cheers
Saba




OldProf 2012


Opening up the image to include the habitat.




Mar 13, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Shasoc
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Background Issues


OldProf wrote:
Hello Socrate,
Glad to hear from you again. Your comments are most useful and you are exactly right. One has to make a decision about what one wants to portray. Is it the overall environment or the details of the subject (bird in this case)?

Some times it is difficult to find a compromise. In this particular case, the picture below may do the job.

Further comments are always welcome.

Hello Bruce,
Thank you! I appreciate your input.

Cheers
Saba




Yes, that will do it and can be improved by placing the subject (the bird) off center.
This is the way I see it. I like to include the water so I turned the birds head around in the direction of the water but I hope it will give you an idea of a type of composition that includes the environment.
To reduce the impact of the environment you can reduce its brightness and the Saturation which will help the bird standing out a bit more.
I will delete my awful demo once you'll see it, but I hope this helps.
Socrate


Edited on Mar 13, 2012 at 09:59 PM · View previous versions



Mar 13, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Conrad Tan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Background Issues


I know exactly where you got these! Woohoo!

I try to isolate the subject when I can get a chance, but like its been said here, nothing wrong with some BG!



Mar 13, 2012 at 08:23 PM
 

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kmunroe
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Background Issues


great shots Saba


Mar 13, 2012 at 09:57 PM
davidearls
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Background Issues


Just to add something to Socrate's comments, when you include habitat in the shot you want it to be in full focus along with your subject. To my eye the egret was OK until I got to the OOF birds on the right. They're sitting in a "hole" in your image.


Mar 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Background Issues


Hi Socrate,
I agree with you totally. Great advice. Yes desaturation of the leaves will certainly help. But I'll have to take another picture of the egret tomorrow to make her face the water. If I attempt to twist its neck in this picture I will probably kill her.
Thanks
Saba



Mar 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Background Issues


Hi Conrad,
I am sure you know the spot. Sometimes one can even recognize the bird. For example at Ding Darling there are two reddish egrets that at the first lagoon. They have been photographed so many times you can make them out right away

Take care my friend
Saba



Mar 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Background Issues


Thank you Kenney.
Cheers!
Saba



Mar 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Background Issues


Agreed David
point well taken
Thanks
Saba



Mar 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM
birdied
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Background Issues


Beautiful birds Saba !!

Birdie



Mar 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
normsmith
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Background Issues


Saba,
Maybe us old Profs see things a bit differently . The photos that mean the most to me are the ones that show a natural view of the animal as a part of its habitat, doing things they do naturally and undisturbed by the photographer.

When I see an animal in its habitat, I don't see it against a blurred, out of focus background. The blurred background is what a camera records. I also prefer to photograph an undisturbed animal. If it is alert and staring at me, about to flee, I have disturbed it. That doesn't mean I prefer static, cud-chewing, docile shots. Wildlife critters do lots of interesting thing normally and that is what I prefer to record. If it has a naturally cluttered background, so be it.

I realize that my preferences are not the standard, but for me it's the"norm."
Norm



Mar 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM
OldProf
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Background Issues


Thank you Roberta for your kind remarks However, the picture of the anhinga you posted a couple of days ago was, in my opinion, much sharper and clearer than the one I posted here.

Saba



Mar 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Tim Kuhn
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Background Issues


A lot has already been said about backgrounds so I won't parrot any of the opinions already expressed. Suffice to say there are different ways to treat the background for different effects. I think it's great you used this post to bring up an interesting discussion Saba

Tim



Mar 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM
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