Anhinga Bird (C&C)

shelby16

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I went back out tonight and tried to use some of the tips you guys gave me! Here are a few of the Anhinga bird in Florida. Also, some other shots I took on my walk. C&C is appreciated!!
All taken with my Nikon D5100, 55-300mm on Aperture Priority at f5.6.

Thank you so much,
Shelby

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#1
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#2
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#3
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#4
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#5
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Thank you!! I know I post in this forum alot and probably get on your guys' nerves, but I love to learn and I love your advice.
 

SCraig

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Look at the difference in color between #3 and #5. #3 is very cool because the white balance is off. It should be much closer in color to #5. You also cut his tail off in #3.

#1 and #2 have some serious blown-out highlights. In bright sunlight situations like that you are much better off using spot or center-weighted metering on the brightest area of the image. It may darken the shadows but at least you won't lose the highlights. The best thing though is to try and catch the bird in the shade. Notice how #3 and #5 have no such issues since they were taken in the shade.

When you have a mostly-vertical subject as in #2 use portrait orientation. Those steps in the background don't add anything to your shot and tend to draw the eye away from the subject.

Your composition still tends to center the subject every time.
 
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shelby16

shelby16

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Look at the difference in color between #3 and #5. #3 is very cool because the white balance is off. It should be much closer in color to #5. You also cut his tail off in #3.

#1 and #2 have some serious blown-out highlights. In bright sunlight situations like that you are much better off using spot or center-weighted metering on the brightest area of the image. It may darken the shadows but at least you won't lose the highlights. The best thing though is to try and catch the bird in the shade. Notice how #3 and #5 have no such issues since they were taken in the shade.

When you have a mostly-vertical subject as in #2 use portrait orientation. Those steps in the background don't add anything to your shot and tend to draw the eye away from the subject.

Your composition still tends to center the subject every time.

Thank you so much for your comments!
#1 and #2 were taken outside and no where near shade, so that one had to have blow outs, I guess. But can you explain to my newbie brain what you mean by "spot or center-weighted metering"?

I understand about using the portrat orientation in #2, thank you for the tip! :)

Also, it's interesting because the WB was the same for #3 ad #5, but #3 is so much cooler. It's also on concrete, but still. No excuses. When editing photos, is there a way to add more contrast to ONE part of the image and not affect the rest? Because that was my issue with #3.

I appreciate it!
 

SCraig

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Thank you so much for your comments!
#1 and #2 were taken outside and no where near shade, so that one had to have blow outs, I guess. But can you explain to my newbie brain what you mean by "spot or center-weighted metering"?
Your camera has three metering modes: Matrix, Spot, and Center-Weighted. Matrix takes an average of the entire scene through the lens. Spot uses a tiny spot right in the center of the viewfinder. Centwe-weighted is in between. It averages the entire scene however gives precedence to the area in the center of the view. In many cases spot or center-weighted metering will give a more accurate reading than matrix.
I understand about using the portrat orientation in #2, thank you for the tip! :)

Also, it's interesting because the WB was the same for #3 ad #5, but #3 is so much cooler. It's also on concrete, but still. No excuses. When editing photos, is there a way to add more contrast to ONE part of the image and not affect the rest? Because that was my issue with #3.
Auto white balance will do that from time to time. If you shoot in RAW it's not difficult to correct it.

Using the curve tool in any good editor will allow you to adjust just the highlights or shadows or mid-tones. It's a simple way to bring blown highlights down to the point that their RGB value is less than pure white, however it will not recover the details that are lost. When you have an area that is completely blown-out all of the details are pure white so there is no separation in the details. As with your bird's blown-out chest there is no detail at all in the feathers, everything is just pure white, so there is nothing to recover.

Keep shooting. You're doing OK, just keep at it.
 
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shelby16

shelby16

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Ahh, now I understand. :) I haven't changed the meter yet, but I will play with it. Thank you for the blowout tips!

Of course, Ive loved shooting! Will keep practicing!
 
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Aloicious

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I see improvements you are making....keep at it!

+1, just keep working at it, the more you shoot, the more you learn.

thats a really interesting bird too, I don't know as if I've seen one of those before, what area are you in? it looks like they're mostly residing in the south US and south america.
 
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shelby16

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+1, just keep working at it, the more you shoot, the more you learn.

thats a really interesting bird too, I don't know as if I've seen one of those before, what area are you in? it looks like they're mostly residing in the south US and south america.

Thank you so much!! I will keep at it. :)
I took this in my neighborhood in Florida! First time I saw this bird in my 12 months of living here!
Mostly we see the regular Seagulls, pelicans, or blue herrings in the neighborhood. This was a nice surprise!
 

Aloicious

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nice, its really interesting to see one, the only time I've been down south is at the atlanta airport on a layover, so its not like I've been able to cruize around there looking at all the interesting species I don't get out here in the desert.
 
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shelby16

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nice, its really interesting to see one, the only time I've been down south is at the atlanta airport on a layover, so its not like I've been able to cruize around there looking at all the interesting species I don't get out here in the desert.

You should take vacation here someday!
 

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nice, its really interesting to see one, the only time I've been down south is at the atlanta airport on a layover, so its not like I've been able to cruize around there looking at all the interesting species I don't get out here in the desert.

You've got your own share of fantastic scenery up there to. I took a motorcycle trip from Nashville to Phoenix a few years ago, and we went up through New Mexico, the southern portion of Colorado and Utah, and then south into Arizona. Absolutely spectacular scenery from the time we left I-40. Damn cold in places though even though it was early October. Some light snow in Colorado and when we went through Cedar Breaks National Monument it was 25 degrees at 10,600'. Great trip! I'd do it again in a minute ;)
 

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oh yeah, the desert definitely offers it's own unique scenes and wildlife. I'd really like to travel around sometime and see some extra variety, for example, I want to see some species of Kite, we have none out here that I'm aware of and I find them very interesting. that's one reason I really enjoy people posting up various wildlife photos, even if they aren't the best shots or anything, its just really interesting to see the wildlife that exists elsewhere in the world.
 

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oh yeah, the desert definitely offers it's own unique scenes and wildlife. I'd really like to travel around sometime and see some extra variety, for example, I want to see some species of Kite, we have none out here that I'm aware of and I find them very interesting. that's one reason I really enjoy people posting up various wildlife photos, even if they aren't the best shots or anything, its just really interesting to see the wildlife that exists elsewhere in the world.

I agree, and that's why I enjoy the photographs of others as well. People tend to take the birds and wildlife and scenery where they live for granted whereas to others it's something unique. There is no place in this world, absolutely none, that doesn't have something that others would love to see.
 

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