A few from today

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by rpk, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. rpk

    rpk TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few from todays trip to the zoo. The sun played havoc with me and I was having a difficult time trying to get around it.

    So let me know what you think. Any C&C would be appreciated.

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    6. [​IMG]
     
  2. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Hmm they all look soft to me, and the aligators nose isn't in focus, which is a shame. The leopard ones with them under that industrial-looking concrete make a bad setting and spoil the serenity to me. Pay more attention to the background, and try to catch the animals in something other than expressionless poses.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    With the gator its not that your focus is bad - you have focused on the rights spot that is the eyes - what is defeating you though is the depth of field. With a human face it is flat (mostly) so you can shoot with a wide open aperture (small f number) and get most of it in focus - but with a lot of wildlife the face is very elongated, so when you shoot wide open, the eyes come out right, but the nose ends up blurry. To counter stop down the lens (bigger f number) I would have started with the gator at f8 at least for that shot - and possibly smaller still. Of coures you might have to counter this with a higher ISO and also with flash - lizards tend to show no responce to flash but if using it at the zoo just watch reaction in what you flash - a softbox or some folds of toilet paper will help diffuse the light (good for you and them).
    A few of the other shots look a little soft - the first siberian definatly looks soft, but the latter ones don't look as bad - part of it could be compression and its always advisable to run sharpening over a shot after resizeing for the net - usually much less is needed than the first time around, but it does help restore sharpness lost in resizing.
    With your cheetah shots try underexposing the shot by up to one stop to try and keep the highlights from blowing - with a shot like that you will also (again) need to reach for the flash - again just moniter the reactions of the animals - some show no repsonce whilst others will react - if they clearly don't like it then just stop :)
    Aside from that I have to say I like your framing of the shots and the colours you are getting in them (least when the light is nice to you ;))
    All in all I do like what I see and with a few modifications and some attention to sharpnes I think you can get some really cracking results
     
  4. rpk

    rpk TPF Noob!

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    pm63 & Overread:

    Thanks for the comments, like I said the sun and shade were making life very difficult and I was having a hard time with the settings.

    pm63 - the cheetahs were not moving out of that concrete culvert thus not giving me a real natural shot. Normally I would not have taken the shot but after standing there for about 1/2 hr and wanting a pic I took a few. I also agree with you about having a good background, I don't like a unnatural or man made background and normally wouldn't have taken the shot.

    Overread - I will pay more attention to the F-Stop next time, thanks for explaining that. I don't like shooting a ISO higher than 400 on my XTI, never quite looks right. If and when I can afford a new body I will up grade. I also don't have a tripod or external flash (something else I need to purchase) and I also didn't know if my flash would work from that distance? I too am Leary about using it at the zoo?

    The white tiger was shot completely in the shade and through a wire fence and from a good distance? I was playing hell trying not to get a reflection off the fence and make the fence disappear at the same time. Again I will try and slow down and pay attention to the F-stop and focus. The softness may have come from the shot or from all the work I had to do in Photo shop?

    I'm finding that the 100-400 would probably be the better lens for what I like to photograph. Some day when I can afford it, I'll get one until then the 70-200 will have to do. I'm still new at all this and still trying to understand all there is to know about DSLR's and hopefully will start to get better.

    Thanks again to both of you for you comments.

    Ross
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Get the flash before your new body - I also use a 400D and also don't like going high with the ISO - also I was also like you with regard to flash in the zoo, but if you watch others the compact shooters seem to always be flashing away 0 like I said watch the animal and if they show that they don't like it then just stop and bump your ISO.

    Also for the 70-200 get a 1.4 times teleconverter that will give you a much more suitable range for zoo work. Also I would bypass the 100-400mm and look to something like a 300mm f4 - a good solid lens which willl give much sharper results and not be competing with your 70-200mm in range - also it will combine for a good 420mmish with the 1.4TC.
    Personally myself I am aiming for a 300mm f2.8, but in price that is a much bigger jump - quality is worth it if you can save for it.
     
  6. rpk

    rpk TPF Noob!

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    I have the 1.4 I just forget to put it on. I see you have the 70-200 2.8 I got the f/4 which is a great lens just not as good in lower light, which is what I'm finding my self shooting in. I like you suggestion about the 300 f/4 prime, I looked at it and it's not a bad price. I was contemplating selling the 70-200 and getting the 100-400 but I really like this lens and the 300 would be more than enough at the zoo. So this is another option, thanks.

    Another thing I want to get into is Macro and if all goes right I'm going to pick up the 100mm 2.8 and a tripod around Christmas. My only dilemma is I'm not sure about the flash? I was thinking about a off camera and then buying a hot shoe this way I can use it with the 70-200 or the macro with a bracket and only have to buy one flash. Or do I but a macro ring? I still need to figure out the macro rig, which flash and flash bracket? Any advise would be great.

    Thanks
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    with macro at the moment I use a camera mounted speedlite 580M2 and a lumiquest softbox - That it what I would go for first since both speedlite and softbox can be used well with most other kinds of photography.
    A ringflash I have considered, but they are just not as usefull for other kinds of longer distance photography for me to get one first. They do have the advantage that they don't tend to cause shadowing which I can get from the camera mounted speedlite - off camera or a second flash (slave) would solve that problem, but is again more cost. Getting the flash off camera though can work wonders - I will admit on te subject of flashes I am a novice very much so
     
  8. rpk

    rpk TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I was thing of the 580 or the 480? will do some more reading and make a decision later. I think for what I want to do one of these with or with out a bracket will be my best bet. And a the softbox is a must, I personally like the pic's with one on better than with out, not to mention not as bad with animals.

    Thanks again,

    Ross
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    yep the softbox makes a heck of a difference!
    and its a great saving in toiletpaper too!

    but I would go for the 580 first (M2) that way you start with the master and most expensive - adding a second flash would be cheaper :)
     

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