Sunday Trip to the Zoo and Bird Sanctuary

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by 63square, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. 63square

    63square TPF Noob!

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    Decided to take a trip to the Calgary Zoo and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary one sunday since I hadn't been to either in a while.

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    I know this one isn't great but it was through glass and wasn't easy to get close because of all of the little kids trying to get close to look.
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  2. paulk_68

    paulk_68 TPF Noob!

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    They are fine photos, 63square. Would you like some advice on improving them? Since you did not ask for a critique, I am hesitant to say anymore about them.
     
  3. 63square

    63square TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, that is exactly what I was looking for. Any help to improve is good.
     
  4. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    The duck shot (3rd pic you posted) really pops - nice sharp focus on the eye, and good colour capture in the feathers. (Maybe less of a centred subject would work well too though)
     
  5. 63square

    63square TPF Noob!

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    Thanks antarctican, the whole centered subject thing is something I keep trying to get away from. I have to really think about it in order to keep from doing it.
     
  6. paulk_68

    paulk_68 TPF Noob!

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    Hey again, 63square. People become easily hurt when others offer opinions and advice that they did not ask for, so it is always best to err on the side of caution.

    The first shot is way overexposed. It is always a problem when shooting dark objects against bright backgrounds, and it will take time to learn how to get a good exposure in that situation. Somethings you can do are, moving around to get a different angle where there is not so much sun reflected off of the snow, or if you see clouds moving toward the sun, wait.

    When you do your post processing, try playing around with shadows and highlights to reduce some of the hot spots in your photos (or use the burn tool if you know how, I'm not any good at it myself). For posting on the web, don't be afraid to crop your pictures until you get some more experience. And, if you have a nice image that you do not want anyone stealing, post it with a resolution no higher than 72 (there is not need to post a pic on the net with a resolution over 300).

    This is the edit that I came up with, with the first image, there are still some hot spots in it, but not so many,..

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    The second image, just has too much in it. You can compose your picture by cropping it after it has been taken, and soon it will start coming to you when you are taking the pictures (composing them, that is). I played around with the shadows and highlights in this image also, and tried to crop out as much of the "man made" objects in the picture as I could.

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    The mallard is the best of your shots in this thread, if the duck was a little closer to the bottom right corner, it would look even better. The pictures with the golden-eyes in them have snow that is over exposed and could be cropped out. When taking pictures of animals, try to take them with the animal looking in your direction, getting a good clear shot of an animals eyes makes a HUGE difference in how good the photo is.

    I hope some of that helped.
     
  7. 63square

    63square TPF Noob!

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    Thanks paulk_68, that is exactly the kinds of things I was looking for. I have been doing lots of searching and reading on the web about the histograms to try and learn how to interpret them better, to help get the exposure right.

    The next book I need to purchase is one that tells me how photoshop works, I have CS3 but haven't quite got the hang of it yet. One of my reasons for this day trip was to take pictures in raw format to try and play with them with photoshop but i am still trying to figure out why photoshop can't open my raw pictures.

    I will play with some and post them to see if they are better.
     
  8. paulk_68

    paulk_68 TPF Noob!

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    Ansel Adams never saw a "histogram" :lol: Your biggest concern with exposures should be to avoiding clipping,.. shadowed areas that just look black, and bright areas that just look white, with no detail in either.

    From what I understand, not being able to open RAW files is Adobe's way of getting us to upgrade to CS4. I still have CS2 and haven't been able to open my RAW files with it, in quite some time.
     
  9. 63square

    63square TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again, paulk_68, I will keep the clipping part in mind for sure.

    I went through some of the other pictures I took at the zoo that day and found some ones that I think turned out better. The rule of thirds still is aparent, got to work on that as well.

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