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Archive 2012 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.
  
 
acjd
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


My goal is always to get pictures suitable to print large. The number of pixels on the bird is important. Eagles are great but the opportunities to get full frame pictures are rare.

These song bird pictures were taken 11/12/12. Each image is about full frame with minor cropping. The DOF is about 1/4". I used spot autofocus trying to get the spot focus on the eye. Pictures were taken with extension tubes at about the minimum focusing distance. Aperture doesn't matter. It's not going to significantly change the DOF. If I can just get the focus point on the eye, I'm happy. The chickadees, in particular, fly off so quickly just catching them still for a second is an achievement. Wrens, on the other hand, sit and sing.

Any c&c is welcome. I know some of the backgrounds have other twigs in them but that is nature. I hate the idea of photoshopping them away as it just doesn't seem right. If you think it matters to get greater DOF, then please voice your opinion. Since I don't own a 20,000 mm lens, it means the pixels on the bird will be far less and the opportunity to print large shrinks. If you are knowledgable about this, please give advise.

Thank you

#1 and #2 Chickadees. When I first started taking chickadees I had a terrible time getting even close to the black and whites correctly. I'm happy to get even close.







#2 That little brown spot is a tiny leaf, or something, on the bird.







#3 Tufted Titmouse. I just like the pose. He's ready to jump.







#4 Goldfinch in winter colors







#5 I don't know what this is. A sparrow? Anybody?







#6 and #7 are Black-eyed Juncos. They seem to only visit in the fall.







#7








Nov 14, 2012 at 09:01 PM
tfoltz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Great shots, but IMO they are cropped to tight, I want my birds to breath so to speak with a little more room
around them and some extra in the direction they are looking.

-Tim



Nov 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
atodzia
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


#5 is a Pine Siskin


Nov 14, 2012 at 09:07 PM
acjd
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


tfoltz wrote:
Great shots, but IMO they are cropped to tight, I want my birds to breath so to speak with a little more room
around them and some extra in the direction they are looking.

-Tim


Tim, good advice. I do that without thinking with eagles or any BIF but thought of these more as portraits, hence the tighter crops. I will give more room in my next set I work on. Thank you.



Nov 14, 2012 at 09:46 PM
acjd
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


atodzia wrote:
#5 is a Pine Siskin


Cool. That is a new one for me.



Nov 14, 2012 at 09:53 PM
David Leask
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


You have captured some fabulous detail here, well done.
David



Nov 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Lance B
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


All have great detail and eye contact, but as Tim says, just a bit tight with the crops. Otherwise, they are spot on!


Nov 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Lance B wrote:
All have great detail and eye contact, but as Tim says, just a bit tight with the crops. Otherwise, they are spot on!


+1



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Rob Tillyer
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Nice work. I agree with the crop being way to close for my taste. If you plan to move back for your next set that will get you some DOF

Rob



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:20 PM
surfnron
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Nicely done. It's 5 for me ~ Ron


Nov 15, 2012 at 02:38 AM
 

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Herb Houghton
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Nice set of little birds. I tend to disagree that the "aperture doesn't matter. " When filling the frame with a little bird, I'd rather have the whole bird in focus, head to tail. It's not uncommon for me to fill the frame with a little guy and stop down from f11- f16. Your 1/4 inch dof would turn into 2-5 inches of dof, allowing the whole bird to be in focus and sharp. Now I would only do this with clean, far away BGDs, not while they're in the midst of branches or other BGD parts that you wouldn't want to be in focus.


Nov 15, 2012 at 03:28 AM
morris
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


3 and 6 are my picks

Morris



Nov 15, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Harry.C
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Lovely shots, but can you explain why you are using extension tubes for these please?


Nov 15, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Cincy Bruce
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Herb Houghton wrote:
Nice set of little birds. I tend to disagree that the "aperture doesn't matter. " When filling the frame with a little bird, I'd rather have the whole bird in focus, head to tail. It's not uncommon for me to fill the frame with a little guy and stop down from f11- f16. Your 1/4 inch dof would turn into 2-5 inches of dof, allowing the whole bird to be in focus and sharp. Now I would only do this with clean, far away BGDs, not while they're in the midst of branches or other BGD parts that you
...Show more

I have to agree with Herb. Having the focus point set on the eye is good but there is more to these little guys than a sharp eye.

Bruce



Nov 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM
jodelak
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


You did an excellent job in controlling the exposures, the details and clarity are superb as well. Thanks for posting this thread because I am learning as well .

My 2 cents, if your goal are portrait shots, I would crop half of the body (or shoulder) only. If I am going to include the whole body, I would give a little bit breathing room as well (I am guilty of cropping too tight as well )



Nov 15, 2012 at 04:26 PM
acjd
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Thank you all for the C&C. I do seek advise. In regards to the tight cropping. I agree. That's easy to fix. The next set of song birds I work on, I'll work on that.

Thank you



Nov 16, 2012 at 12:22 AM
acjd
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


jodelak wrote:
You did an excellent job in controlling the exposures, the details and clarity are superb as well. Thanks for posting this thread because I am learning as well .

My 2 cents, if your goal are portrait shots, I would crop half of the body (or shoulder) only. If I am going to include the whole body, I would give a little bit breathing room as well (I am guilty of cropping too tight as well )


if your goal are portrait shots, I would crop half of the body (or shoulder) only.

That's my fault for the miscommunication. I too think of a portrait shot as head and shoulders. That is not what I meant. I really meant full body shot, which I do not think is a traditional portrait. I referenced it as a portrait shot in the sense that the subject was static. With no motion I wasn't putting any space into the side where the bird was looking. My bad - in not communicating that correctly. Sorry.



Nov 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Ted ellis
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Cincy Bruce wrote:
I have to agree with Herb. Having the focus point set on the eye is good but there is more to these little guys than a sharp eye.

Bruce


I agree with Herb and Bruce. This is how I/we learn.

Ted



Nov 16, 2012 at 12:28 AM
acjd
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Herb Houghton wrote:
Nice set of little birds. I tend to disagree that the "aperture doesn't matter. " When filling the frame with a little bird, I'd rather have the whole bird in focus, head to tail. It's not uncommon for me to fill the frame with a little guy and stop down from f11- f16. Your 1/4 inch dof would turn into 2-5 inches of dof, allowing the whole bird to be in focus and sharp. Now I would only do this with clean, far away BGDs, not while they're in the midst of branches or other BGD parts that you
...Show more

Herb and Cincy

I am trying to understand what your saying. I appreciate your input and want to here your thoughts. I wrote:

My goal is always to get pictures suitable to print large. The number of pixels on the bird is important.

I want 16 x 20, 16 x 24, 20 x 30. I'm not getting bigger than that without a full frame camera. This means I need many pixels on the bird. Anytime you extrapolate pixels, for example with photoshop, then you lose something. You can't make something out of nothing without losing something. So, please think - print large.

Harry C asked can you explain why you are using extension tubes for these please?

That was to get closer than the minimum focusing distance. More pixels on the bird. I simply could not get full frame images without it.

First, I rechecked the DOF calculator and at the distance I am at, DOF is 0.36" (not 1/4", sorry). At F16 it is .72". That is fairly insignificant. However, the DLA for the camera is F6.8. F8, F9 doesn't really matter. F16 does. You can see the softness set in. Blow that picture up to 16 x 24 and that just makes the softness worse. Shooting at F16 is not going to help. DOF change is not significant and the images will be soft.

Second, the option is to move back from the bird. More distance equal greater DOF. At F8 doubling the distance to 32 feet, the DOF is .84". So, now we are up to more than 3/4" DOF. Still very thin. Double the distance again and DOF is 3.36" Now we are in the range you're talking about. But, moving back 4 times the distance means 1/4 x 1/4 = 1/16 the pixels on the bird (pixels are two dimensions). That is going to be one tiny bird.

So there is the dilemma. F16 is going to add a fraction of an inch to DOF and the diffraction will be noticeable printed large. Moving back far enough to get decent DOF means the pixels on the bird will be unsuitable for printing large.

Maybe I did the math wrong and someone can correct me or maybe I don't understand this well. I know I need maximum pixels on the subject and seek advise on how to do this. Please correct me if I get this wrong.

I know people say they blow up 6 MP images to 24 x 36, or whatever, and are happy with it. I'm not going to be happy with that. Anytime you make up data out of the sky, you lose something. Resolution matters.

Thank you for any advise you can provide.



Nov 16, 2012 at 12:54 AM
acjd
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Recent Songbirds (7) - advise sought.


Ted ellis wrote:
I agree with Herb and Bruce. This is how I/we learn.

Ted


Ted, please read my previous post and explain how to get DOF to print large. I would appreciate it.

thank you



Nov 16, 2012 at 12:55 AM
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