Today's Walk

jeffashman

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Instead of going out on the trail near the house today, I drove over to the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, which is a small nature preserve use by the University of North Texas, and local school districts for teaching kids about nature and wildlife. In addition to the Cottonmouth, I got these critters as well.

1 Downy Woodpecker
mar26202202b by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

2 (Overblown) White Ibis (a first for me)
mar26202203 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

3 Pond Slider
mar26202204 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

4 Chironomus (Not sure of species)
mar26202205 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

5 Our friend the Cotton mouth in full body
mar26202206 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

6 An Armadillo, a little too up close... but I like the crop, and I love the texture of its shell.
mar26202207 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

7 Armadillo face (a tad out of focus or too much movement)
mar26202208 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr

8 And a Tiger Beetle, I think. It was green when I first saw it, and when I move to get a shot, it changed to blue.
mar26202209 by Jeff Ashman, on Flickr
 

K9Kirk

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Nice, interesting set and good variety, Jeff. Also, congrats on you first white ibis and it's not blown real bad I don't think. Still looks pretty good. I take shots that have blinkies in a small area but they're still usable. I wouldn't worry about it, especially if you aren't entering it into a contest. Oh, and nice to see an armadillo, brings back memories of Texas.
 

MitchP

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Nice shots! How often do you see Cottonmouths? Aren't they deadly?
 
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jeffashman

jeffashman

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Nice, interesting set and good variety, Jeff. Also, congrats on you first white ibis and it's not blown real bad I don't think. Still looks pretty good. I take shots that have blinkies in a small area but they're still usable. I wouldn't worry about it, especially if you aren't entering it into a contest. Oh, and nice to see an armadillo, brings back memories of Texas.
Thank you! I almost missed the Ibis, because it was high up in the canopy, and I was on a narrow boardwalk crossing a marsh; didn't want to fall in. I heard a croak behind me, and looked up, and there it was. It's Armadillo season, so I should see more before the undergrowth fills in.
Nice shots! How often do you see Cottonmouths? Aren't they deadly?
Thanks! This is the first one I've seen up close. Yes, their toxin attacks the red blood cells and is very deadly, especially the young, because they can't control their dosage, so to speak, so you get all they have. All I was wearing were trainers, well, and pants and a shirt, so I'm probably going to need to invest in some boots to protect the lower calves and feet if I'm going to go into snake areas more often.
Very good set.....
Thanks!
Very nice set.
Thank you!
Nice set.
Thanks!
 

zulu42

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Nice set, Jeff. Great shooting.

Can I ask your setup? I remember you got the Sigma sport. And I read you have a teleconverter, right? You're using both on a FF Canon?

I'm asking because I've been watching the way your lens is rendering, especially the OOF areas, and you have some interesting things going on. In shot 3 the OOF is pleasing, shot 4 has a smooth OOF transition (without specular highlights), Shot 6 and especially 8 have a unique kind of severe bokeh I wonder if the TC is involved.
 
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jeffashman

jeffashman

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Nice set, Jeff. Great shooting.

Can I ask your setup? I remember you got the Sigma sport. And I read you have a teleconverter, right? You're using both on a FF Canon?

I'm asking because I've been watching the way your lens is rendering, especially the OOF areas, and you have some interesting things going on. In shot 3 the OOF is pleasing, shot 4 has a smooth OOF transition (without specular highlights), Shot 6 and especially 8 have a unique kind of severe bokeh I wonder if the TC is involved.
Thank you! I have two lenses I use, one is a Tamron 18-400mm (no teleconverter) and a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary, which I use with a Canon 90D. I have a 1.4x Sigma TC, but I rarely use it, mostly because I forget I have it. All shots in this set were shot with f/6.3 1/1600 and Auto-ISO of 320. #3 is the Sigma at 600mm. #4 was the Tamron at 400mm, #6 is the Sigma at 562mm, and #8 is the Sigma at 600mm (at minimum range of 8.5ft). The artifacts in #8 are probably due to the PP, which included 4x magnification in Gigapixel AI. Of the two lenses, I think the Tamron does a better job with bokeh. I normally use the following work flow: Adobe Bridge->Topaz DeNoise AI->Topaz Sharpen AI->Topaz Gigapixel AI->Adobe LR->Adobe PSE. I find this workflow produces the best results for me, and if I don't like something that one of the programs (usually LR or PSE), I'll roll that change back. With Gigapixel, I rarely magnify the image, and really just use it for cropping the image, because it does a good job of retaining the original quality. I'm not sure why the Auto-ISO is exactly 320 on every image, regardless of lighting conditions, but I noticed this morning that my camera was set to B instead of M, and so that may be why. Hope somewhere in there your questions were answered. :D
 

zulu42

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Thanks for the rundown.

The Tamron 18-400 is surprisingly sharp.

The 150-600 is like my Tamron. It can have nice smooth bokeh or jittery ugly bokeh in different situations. It's not just about shooting wide open. I love my Tamron bokeh at f/8, close to MFD, and the BG 3-5 feet behind the subject. Its more about the camera-to-subject and subject-to-BG distance and the different ways the lens renders. If there's enough light, stopping down my lens can improve the bokeh and that is counter-intuitive to some.

Something I would suggest is to apply sharpening to only the in focus subject. The distracting OOF I notice in a few of your images may be partly due to global sharpening.
 
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jeffashman

jeffashman

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Thanks for the rundown.

The Tamron 18-400 is surprisingly sharp.

The 150-600 is like my Tamron. It can have nice smooth bokeh or jittery ugly bokeh in different situations. It's not just about shooting wide open. I love my Tamron bokeh at f/8, close to MFD, and the BG 3-5 feet behind the subject. Its more about the camera-to-subject and subject-to-BG distance and the different ways the lens renders. If there's enough light, stopping down my lens can improve the bokeh and that is counter-intuitive to some.

Something I would suggest is to apply sharpening to only the in focus subject. The distracting OOF I notice in a few of your images may be partly due to global sharpening.
Thanks! I'll have to figure out how to only sharpen the subject. I don't use PS, although I have Luminar AI/Luminar Neo, which have that feature. Not sure if I can do targeted sharpening with Topaz Sharpen AI.
 

Winona

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Nice images. Geez, haven’t seen an armadillo in years. Don’t want to see a cottonmouth…..
 
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jeffashman

jeffashman

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I didn't know there were such beautiful animals out there, I'll have to try and take some pictures there.
It's a nice area to walk and get wildlife shots. There is a campground out there as well. They do have an entry fee of $5 to help fund maintenance. Howdy and welcome!
 

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