How could I have done better?

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by PJM, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. PJM

    PJM TPF Noob!

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    That leaves a lot of open territory I'm sure. :1247:

    I came across a couple of deer while wandering through my local state park yesterday. It was close to sunset and overcast so there wasn't much light. I set my shutter speed to 1/400 since I was using my 70-300 zoom lens (shooting handheld). Aperture was as wide open as I could get at long focal length. I had to set the ISO pretty high to get a reasonable exposure.

    I'm a newbie so I will gladly take suggestions on how I could have captured a better image.

    Nikon D5600 w/ 70-300 mm at 220 mm
    f/6.3, 1/400, ISO 1280

    lightly enhanced and cropped a bit.

    [​IMG]DSC_0027 by Peter Martin, on Flickr

    Thanks,
    Pete


     

    Attached Files:

  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ISO 12800 is not something you want to do with that camera.
    You would need a lens with a wider aperture and probably a better camera if you want to continue to shoot under that type of lighting more often.
     
  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not much you can do about there being not enough light, it is what it is.

    Shutter at 1/400 might seem all you can do , but practice good holding technique, so you can get hand-held shots at 1/200 or even slower. Maybe there was a tree nearby upon which to steady your camera, but if not, some steady-holding techniques will help a lot.

    I gave this shot a real run through the wringer and came up with this version:

    46056984982_83f7e4971b_b - Version 2.jpg
     
  4. InFlight

    InFlight TPF Noob!

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    First bit of advice I was given that helped me the most when I posted a photo "alike" this.
    First thing, get closer or a longer lens.
     
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  5. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    get closer, get more light. Longer, faster lens. tripod, monopod at 1/200 or 1/125. Learn your lens, get the most out of the VC (if equipped) find the sharpest aperture...
    You did just fine with what you had!
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A significantly slower shutter speed would have allowed you to have made the shot with a lower ISO level, and that could have upped the technical image quality. Ensuring a non-blurred shot would be the key aspect of a slower speed; if the 70-300 you have offers VR, that would likely have helped a good deal.
     
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  7. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Agree with the comments made. A few more suggestions.
    I'm sure ISO 1600 would have still been ok with the D5600, so you probably could have increased it a little, or even 3200.
    Use the full 300mm of the lens. You only zoomed to 220mm, would have reduced the amount of cropping afterwards.
    Use a single focus point, and place it on the closest dear's head.

    As Derrel mentiond, make sure VR is 'on' if your lens offers this feature.

    Good start!
     
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  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sometimes you hit the limits and there isn't much more you can do.

    1) At 1/400sec you're fast enough to hand hold and get a steady shot, plus you've got some speed to account for motion of the subject. Whilst they are at a fairly sedate moment, there can still be fair bit of motion going on. Ears moving, whiskers, fur, legs twitching and mouths chewing. All of which require a faster shutter speed even if your camera is set on a tripod and thus totally stable (thus letting you avoid handshake).
    In fact for general wildlife I'd consider 1/400sec to be a risky slower speed and would be happier with 1/640sec at least. However in darker conditions I might risk going slower and crossing my fingers that a quick burst of shots would capture one moment of total stillness of the subjects. I'd typically burst in small groups of 3 shots. Controlled bursts are nothing to be shameful about, sometimes using that digital memory card and large storage space can get you those split seconds that are super hard to predict or even see.

    2) Your aperture is wide open for that lens, not ideal in terms of sharpness (you'd want to be stopped down at least one stop from wide open on most lower end zooms when at the long end); but, again, its dark and you're setting your settings for a decent exposure and light capture. Again its a dark situation and you've done what is practical and sensible for that situation in weighting overall exposure over overall sharpness.

    3) ISO 12800 is high and that is going to harm the image quality. But again you're at the limits. You might have got an extra stop or two if you'd slowed the shutter speed, but then you'd introduce more potential handshake and subject motion as possible issues.

    In the end you've honestly done well and what you've hit is simply the limits of your equipment in a challenging lighting and subject situation. This is fantastic experience for you as its teaching you the limits of your gear. It's getting you to work at the hard end of things and to make those choices on what is important to you in the moment. I find it can also help teach you better editing methods since you are now forced to work on your noise reduction method and sharpening somewhat; whilst good light and easy subjects can oftne let you be really casual about such things.

    Ahh but you have to remember the inverse wildlife rule. No matter how long a lens you get the wildlife always moves a proportionally further distance away from you to make you want an even longer lens ;)
     
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  9. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Where do you guys see ISO 12800, the shot was taken at ISO 1280, or did I miss something?
     
  10. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ignore my rambling, just saw the attached files :BangHead::BangHead:
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Its in the attached files, second image, where the OP shows the settings they've used direct from the camera (they've just left one 0 off the end of their written ISO value
     
  12. PJM

    PJM TPF Noob!

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    One day yes. But I'd like to learn more before making that expenditure.
    Thanks.
    Pete
     

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