A little C&C On this photo please

Scott Whaley

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My wife & I were at the Hiawassee Wildlife refuge a few years ago. She took this photo when she was practicing using her new Sigma 150-600 Sports lens. It was foggy that morning. She was using her Canon 5d mkiv set at aperture priority mode. Fstop at 9, shutter speed at 1/2000, ISO on auto at (1250) and the Sigma lense at 600mm. Here is the original photo and then the photo I processed in LR. The file was saved as a jpeg in the camera.

Sandhill Cranes - Original.jpg


Sandhill Cranes - Processed.jpg
 
The photo processed in LR looks good. I can't really give good critique on this (due to lack of experience), other than to say that I would have probably moved the lens down to capture more of the reflections in the water, and less of the treeline at the top. Hope that makes sense.
 
That's what I thought too. She was hand holding the Sigma 150-600 Sports lens which is very heavy. Thanks for the feedback.
 
The photo processed in LR looks good. I can't really give good critique on this (due to lack of experience), other than to say that I would have probably moved the lens down to capture more of the reflections in the water, and less of the treeline at the top. Hope that makes sense.
Apologies for taking the OP a bit off topic, but if you'd like advice about how to critique PM me and I'll try and explain how I look at art and how I do it. My approach stems from having a very good art teacher in high school, who taught us how to look at artwork and write essays exploring the work. We spent quite a bit of time on art history, and I went on to study a little at college too. I use the same method she taught me today.

I'm of the opinion that critique is really important, and if you are able to articulate thoughts on other peoples work, it can really help refine your thoughts on your own work.
 
Scott, I can see what you've aimed for here, but I don't think it works I'm afraid. The shot isn't bad, and your edit does make things clearer by increasing the contrast (and in those terms I think your edit is decent).

But, it's a foggy day with flat light. Part of the charm of photography in fog is showing the quality of the fade in the mist. I'd look at @Pomo shots for some great examples of how you can use this. Maybe Pomo can give a few tips about foggy days?

I'd suggest that using the fog to emerge a subject from a mysterious background is where the concept of the shot shoud be, and that in these conditions shooting with a foreground and at an angle is key. As this shot is pretty much at 90°, it's very difficult to use the conditions to your advantage.

Good job in getting out though, in different weather conditions, and a little crop I'm sure this shot would have worked fine.
 
Scott, I can see what you've aimed for here, but I don't think it works I'm afraid. The shot isn't bad, and your edit does make things clearer by increasing the contrast (and in those terms I think your edit is decent).

But, it's a foggy day with flat light. Part of the charm of photography in fog is showing the quality of the fade in the mist. I'd look at @Pomo shots for some great examples of how you can use this. Maybe Pomo can give a few tips about foggy days?

I'd suggest that using the fog to emerge a subject from a mysterious background is where the concept of the shot shoud be, and that in these conditions shooting with a foreground and at an angle is key. As this shot is pretty much at 90°, it's very difficult to use the conditions to your advantage.

Good job in getting out though, in different weather conditions, and a little crop I'm sure this shot would have worked fine.
Thanks for the comments. I agree that the fog is part of the charm and some cropping would have helped.. I posted a photo last year I took the same day using your suggestions. Here is that same photo.

3 Craines (1 of 1) (2).jpg
 
@Scott Whaley okay here's a few recommendations you might find helpful.

1. Even at 1/1200, shooting 600mm handheld is going to hamper sharp focus. For long, heavy glass use a tripod, monopod, or bean bag. Consider that with magnification and distance minute movement at the camera can be huge at a distance.

2. Fog is a giant softbox, the lght is scattered over a broader area, depriving the scene of contrast and saturation. Exposure is tricky because the scene is more dimly lit than it appears. Fog is like snow, it's highly reflective, which will fool your camera's light meter into reducing the exposure, when it fact you need to increase. Regardless of whether you use an auto mode and exposure compensation, or full manual, it requires a little trial and error to get it right. Expose for the subject, not the fog.

3. Finally "Depth" in a scene is drastically reduced in fog. On a clear day distant objects might appear smaller, but they're still visible giving you perspective. With fog you lose that perspective, causing the image to appear flat. To counteract the effect it helps to have some of your subject close to the camera. This way a portion of your image can contain high contrast and color, while also hinting at what everything else would look like otherwise, It also serves to add some tonal diversity to the scene.
 
I agree with @weepete although he said it better than I might have. I think the second misses the mystique of the first.
 
That last one is a really good shot. When I look at this one my eye goes straight to the birds, which I can tell are sandhill cranes. My eye goes from the bird on the LHS, and follows their arrangement to the tree in the background which brings my attention around to the foggy background and back ti the first bird keeping my eye in the frame and leading it through the shot. The cranes stand out from yhe background well and are clearly the focal point of the shot.

I think you've got a small sensor spot on the LHS I'd clone out, but other than that it's spot on IMO
 
A nice shot to work with and it appears it could be tricky to process. I might've also tried to separate the subjects from the bg if that's possible with all those birds and work on them individually, leaving the fog intact.
 
Apologies for taking the OP a bit off topic, but if you'd like advice about how to critique PM me and I'll try and explain how I look at art and how I do it. My approach stems from having a very good art teacher in high school, who taught us how to look at artwork and write essays exploring the work. We spent quite a bit of time on art history, and I went on to study a little at college too. I use the same method she taught me today.

I'm of the opinion that critique is really important, and if you are able to articulate thoughts on other peoples work, it can really help refine your thoughts on your own work.
Thanks, I'll do that!
 
Thanks for the comments. I agree that the fog is part of the charm and some cropping would have helped.. I posted a photo last year I took the same day using your suggestions. Here is that same photo.
On that second one, it strikes me as a finely done painting one might find in one of those German castles or a British manor house.
 

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