Very First Time Birding, please CC?

pthrift

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I received my Sigma 150-500 on Tuesday and have been chomping at the bit to get out and try it.

I've never even have thought about taking bird photos before (and bought the lens more for zoo stuff) but I thought I'd try a blind hand here.

The ducks on the riverbank in town are docile because people feed them so I could get really really close without making them nervous.

Anyway, here is my attempt. please CC--I'd be curious to how to get better.

Mallard by patrick.thrift, on Flickr


Female Mallard by patrick.thrift, on Flickr
 

ceeboy14

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I might be tempted to go a little deeper in DoF as on the bottom shot, it is just staring to go oof at the tail. Good bokeh and the lens seems to have decent clarity.
 

JacaRanda

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Hi Patrick,

I think you did fine on both. #2 looks a bit underexposed. #1 you may consider your background (not always easy to do with wildlife). The mallard right behind the subject mallard could be considered a distraction along with the oof female in the right of the frame.

Both shots look sharp to me and you did well in getting the shots at eye level.

I hope you get addicted to wildlife photography :) you have the lens for it.
 
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pthrift

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I might be tempted to go a little deeper in DoF as on the bottom shot, it is just staring to go oof at the tail. Good bokeh and the lens seems to have decent clarity.
Ok. I think I was using shutter priority on the first shot but switched to manual by the second. Reviews say f8 is where its at for this lens so that was where I set it to.

As to clarity I probably also need to work with my tripod skills too.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4; probably while slacking off at work
 
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pthrift

pthrift

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Hi Patrick,

I think you did fine on both. #2 looks a bit underexposed. #1 you may consider your background (not always easy to do with wildlife). The mallard right behind the subject mallard could be considered a distraction along with the oof female in the right of the frame.

Both shots look sharp to me and you did well in getting the shots at eye level.

I hope you get addicted to wildlife photography :) you have the lens for it.

Thank you. I probably could have done better with the background; the ducks were pretty well stationary and allowed me to move around (slowly but freely) so I could have done a less busy background. Negligence on my part being too focused on subject.

I also thought the ducks in background were distracting but the one in the foreground looked sharp so I thought that was the best image to share. I didn't take too many shots out there- maybe 15 total.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4; probably while slacking off at work
 

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Nice set. You might crop the first one a little and add some exposure to the second one. On here its a lot about subject matter. If these were eagles or ospreys you would get more feedback.

$duck.JPG

$duck2-2.JPG
 
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pthrift

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Nice set. You might crop the first one a little and add some exposure to the second one. On here its a lot about subject matter. If these were eagles or ospreys you would get more feedback.

View attachment 83657

View attachment 83658
Thanks for the advice.

As to exposure that was my choice in post, but looking back now I'm not sure why I choose to make it darker. I think I was concerned over the background being so washed out on the top

As to eagles & ospreys- I've noticed. Unfortunately I don't habe them around in abundance like I do mallards and Canadian geese. Work with what ya have, right?

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4; probably while slacking off at work
 
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SCraig

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Ok. I think I was using shutter priority on the first shot but switched to manual by the second. Reviews say f8 is where its at for this lens so that was where I set it to.
Don't trust reviews, trust depth of field. Decide how much you need to be in focus, and then choose the aperture that will accomplish that with the focal length and camera.

The online calculator Here is a good place to start. With a D7000 at f/8 and 500mm at 10' focal distance (I guessed at that) your depth of field is only 0.02' (about 1/4 inch) in front of and behind the point of focus. At 20' focal distance it changes to about 7/8" each side of the point of focus. After a while you will get where you can make quick judgement calls but until then there are apps for smart phones that will calculate it for you.

Good start. Much better than mine.
 
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pthrift

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Ok. I think I was using shutter priority on the first shot but switched to manual by the second. Reviews say f8 is where its at for this lens so that was where I set it to.
Don't trust reviews, trust depth of field. Decide how much you need to be in focus, and then choose the aperture that will accomplish that with the focal length and camera.

The online calculator Here is a good place to start. With a D7000 at f/8 and 500mm at 10' focal distance (I guessed at that) your depth of field is only 0.02' (about 1/4 inch) in front of and behind the point of focus. At 20' focal distance it changes to about 7/8" each side of the point of focus. After a while you will get where you can make quick judgement calls but until then there are apps for smart phones that will calculate it for you.

Good start. Much better than mine.
I honestly didnt even consider this, but I will next time. I'll see what I can dig up for a dof calculator for my android phone (*suggestions welcome) and go from there.

Thanks for the compliment as to quality of shot

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4; probably while slacking off at work
 

SCraig

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I honestly didnt even consider this, but I will next time. I'll see what I can dig up for a dof calculator for my android phone (*suggestions welcome) and go from there.

Thanks for the compliment as to quality of shot

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4; probably while slacking off at work
I think I have This One on my phone. I don't use it much and left my phone at the office so I'm not certain, but the math is pretty straightforward so just pick one that's free and easy to use and you should be fine.
 

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Very nice! Only thing I noticed is, in both, the subject(s) are centered both vertically and horizontally. consider the rule of Thirds.
 
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pthrift

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Very nice! Only thing I noticed is, in both, the subject(s) are centered both vertically and horizontally. consider the rule of Thirds.
I was using a 2 second shutter delay to minimize camera shake, and ducks aren't stationary. That was purposely done to get the whole bird in the picture even if they shifted.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4; probably while slacking off at work
 

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Nice shots!! Looking forward to seeing your other birding shots going forward!!
 

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