k k k k k kestral!

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by Overread, May 24, 2009.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Went out today and caught the end of a bird display - bit of a pain that it was semi popular as I was at the back with a lot of heads between me and the birds.
    There were a few birds in the display, missed the first mostly - though he did make a diving appearance right at the end (after the guy spent a good 10 mins trying to find him with the tracking machine - little black dot in big blue sky!). Others were either low fliers or hoppers (that is jump along the floor sort). But the Kestral was a lot easier with his hovering habbit letting me get a few lockons with the AF and a chance of finding him in the sky.

    All taken with: Canon 400D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS + 1.4Teleconverter.

    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3362/3560881342_3f9d61a7a1_o.jpg
    f4, ISO 200, 1/3200sec
    After a first hover and a few shots I had a look and realised (even on the LCD) that the bird was coming up rather dark since I don't have spot metering and all the blue sky was giving a very fast shutter speed. So I decided to make the camera overexpose a bit and then used a higher ISO to bring my shutter speed back up. I was working in aperture priority mode so overexposing meant slower shutter - counter that with higher ISO and away we try....

    [​IMG]
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2425/3560879986_156615fc05_o.jpg
    f4, ISO 400, 1/4000sec

    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3016/3560063579_2c142349b0_o.jpg
    f4, ISO 400, 1/3200sec
    clearest shot of him and he is facing the wrong way!

    Well in the end I think my reach was too little, there is a decent level of sharpness in the shots for the net, but fullsize there is a lot of noise and the kestral has come up rather soft and lacking in details. I think it would have been better to have gone for a smaller aperture rather than slower shutter speeds in ap mode since there was the light to work with.

    And now for an owl - just to restor my confidence in myself and gear that we can get a sharp shot now and again (even if the monkey has to get composition understood oneday)

    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3348/3560881852_cfb5be6b91_o.jpg
    f4, ISO 200, 1/2000sec

    All in one!
    [​IMG]
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3321/3560064973_81a768c655_o.jpg
    f4, 1/1600sec, ISO 200

    Comments and crits welcome - seriously people I need some inflight bird shot advice here -- I have no idea how the rest of you do it - it can't all be down to 1DMIII cameras!
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I call these successful photos of the bird display!
    They are all very sharp. And you decided very right on the exposure!
    If I think back to my first (and so far only) attempts at taking photos of birds of prey at a show ... :oops: ...
     
  3. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was expecting a Caldari Missile Frigate with 4 launcher hardpoints.

    I'm sure no one has ANY idea what I'm talking about.

    Nice pictures, very sharp. God I love owls. LOVE #3. Nice DOF and look at those eyes. Nice framing too. Menacing. Awesome shot.

    Is that owl eating something? omg I think I'm gonna barf. :lol:
     
  4. malicky

    malicky TPF Noob!

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    Grat shots,,,wow real nice
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Many thanks all - but I am still not happy with the kestral shots - I do agree exposure looks good for the angle I was shooting at, but clarity I am just not as happy with - though it could very well be me overestimating the capabilities of my gear in such a shoot (but I always like to think its me and not the gear until proven otherwise - otherwise I would get way too lazy when shooting).

    If you want an example here is a 100% crop from the last Kestral shot
    [​IMG]

    Mana - I belive its either a chick or a dead rat baby that the owl had - took the whole bit down in one go he did - looked rather funny as he did it too!
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What lens were you using? (yes, I know, I don't have Opanda EXIF installed yet) I find that every time I shoot a bird I'm at full extension of the lens and either I can't be fast enough on the exposure to avoid camera shake or that there are such issues with the lens at full extension (chromatic aberations, I think) that the image just gets borked.)
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    psst tis in first post as always ;)
    but a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L + 1.4 Teleconverter
    However I didn't have it at full extension - at the time I found it easier to drop back a little and have more room to actually find the bird in the frame and then let the AF lockon to it. I might have tried letting the AF be totally auto, but I don't much trust its speed on my 400D for the outer points, but I might give it a go since he was flying against a clear sky.
    Similarly I think with more practice (And shifting to viewing through my right eye so that the left can see something and track the bird) I should be able to operate close still. Ps if you want EXIF details have a follow of this link here to the set - click a shot then on the right side there is a menu option to view EXIF - it gives up everything in the EXIF but its good reading/
    Bird Display 1 - a set on Flickr
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    errr... whoops.

    Yeah, it was. Totally forgot. durrr...

    So do you think you just missed the focus?
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure - the websized images clearly show what I think is an infocus shot - it could be that the distance (hard to guess - why can't cameras tell me!) and small subject mean that when I view larger I am looking for details that my camera can't record - or that the focus is ever so slightly off - or another detail. I really don't do enough of this sort of work to be able to tell.
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Can you post the original somewhere that I can look at and play with?

    I'm looking at it more critically each time I revisit it... and I see what you mean... it seems pretty well in focus... and yet, there is a softness to it. A little noise, too.

    Have you sharpened it at all?

    If I do a 100% crop of anything taken with pretty much any one of my lenses it looks sharper than this. Not overwhelmingly so, but sharper. Motion blur seems nearly impossible. You've got a nice wide aperature so light refraction shouldn't be an issue. It's not TOO wide so you shouldn't have quality issues.

    What about the teleconverter? I found some issues with quality when putting a teleconverter on my 80-200 2.8.

    What about the ISO400? How does your cam handle higher ISOs?
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    it is sharpened and has had a little noise removal as well. As for the teleconverter it might be causing a bit of softness in the shot, but honestly my experiences are that in most cases its very minor softness.
    The ISO is (at the moment) my main consideration for the softness - generally I keep to ISO 200 (often because I want shutter speeds fast) and that works well, ISO 400 is my upper limit and I generally find it a bit noisy most times - and damaging to finer details (which I do like). Honestly though I think I won't be ISO happy till I have a cam that does ISO 800 like ISO 100 ;)
     

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