First time
/forum/topic/1161863/0



serialmike
Registered: Sep 17, 2012
Total Posts: 16
Country: United States

New to the site. Very new to photography. Just started end of August. I want to get better so I figure no better place than here.







ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 5448
Country: United States

Welcome to the forum, you have a nice first start here. As an ex bird photographer, I know how difficult these can be. Even backyard birds can be a challange.

You have a good exposure, the subject is sharp, good eye contact and a good pose. But there is too much clutter for a high quality bird image. The twigs in front of the bird hurt the most, but the rest would be hard to deal with even if the others were not there.

The image could also use a crop, especially the left side. This appears to have just a wee bit more DOF than is optimum for isolating the bird. A 500f4 would be nice, a 400 f5.6 while sharp, will have more dof. As you get shorter and slower, you gain dof and lose isolation. Also as you get closer, you lose dof, so close can be good far not so good.

I used to shoot these nuthatches in my back yard at 30+ feet or so and needed 700mm and still had heavy crops.



serialmike
Registered: Sep 17, 2012
Total Posts: 16
Country: United States

Thank you very much.

I think I should provide a little info. This was shot with a T2i and a 100-400L. Shot at 400mm F5.6 1250shutter.



ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 5448
Country: United States

Ok, thats a good bird lens and a crop camera is generally good for birds too.

I used to feed birds in my backyard and then I created a special perch where they could wait for their turn at the feeder. This perch had a place to sit, and was a branch so it looked natural, but was free of clutter. I put the perch where I could stand without scaring them. But small birds tend to get used to you and you can stay pretty close if you move slowly.

Once you get the hang of it, venture into the wild and figure out their habits and you will sometimes find one with a great setting.



serialmike
Registered: Sep 17, 2012
Total Posts: 16
Country: United States

I shoot at Bombay hook wildlife preserve in Delaware



sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 16711
Country: United States

First, Welcome! A great place to learn and share.
Second, Ben pretty much covered the issues.
I shoot birds with a crop sensor camera and the 100-400L. It aint easy. Find some larger subjects to practice on. Ducks, cormorants. Head to a zoo and shoot some flamingos. Turkeys. Large animals. Then return to the greater challenge of smaller birds. Hold off on birds-in-flight practice until you gain more mastery over static subjects. And shoot alot, throw out alot, review it all.
Third, backgrounds are important. And often overlooked, especially while learning. Seek out clean, uncluttered backgrounds. Double check thru the lens to make sure you dont have extraneous poles, wires, cars, lights, etc.
Finally, if you really are into learning bird photography, pick up Artie Morris' ebook The Art of Bird Photography II. Go to www.birdsasart.com for a link to his store and to see astonishing bird photography that will cause you to Wow and despair. Or take a look at our own Nature forum for similar quality viewing and reactions.
Hope to see more of your work.

Scott



serialmike
Registered: Sep 17, 2012
Total Posts: 16
Country: United States

Thanks for the tips, I appreciate it.

A few more things to note about me. I am about trying to get the best shot I can as it was. I do not intend to paint my own image in post. No blurring, removing objects. I'm into getting the right light and background color and image as sharp and pristine as can be. Capturing the moment.

That said I do some noise removal perhaps a touch of saturation and sharpness if needed.

The tips will and do help. Thanks again.



AuntiPode
Registered: Aug 05, 2008
Total Posts: 6411
Country: New Zealand

And some folks like to build their model boats in bottles for the extra challenge.... Easy to mistake challenge for virtue, however.



serialmike
Registered: Sep 17, 2012
Total Posts: 16
Country: United States

I don't think I said there was anything wrong with other methods. I believe I simply stated how I was interested in taking photos.

Thanks again for the feedback.



AuntiPode
Registered: Aug 05, 2008
Total Posts: 6411
Country: New Zealand

Nope. You didn't. Just taking the opportunity for a side comment.