Willet and flying Terns, c/c appreciated


Been spending a lot of time on here!
May 9, 2012
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hi guys,
don't post many photos but am anxious for some feed back and help on these. With the Willet on a log, I would like to tone down that sky,but not sure how on PSE 111.
Those Terns fly like bats out of hell and are realllly hard to capture!! Did my best.
I am using BB focusing. These were done toward sunset and my ISO is pretty high because of that.

Willet on Rocks_edited-1.jpg

Tern flying (1280x848).jpg

Tern flying 2.jpg

Tern flying 3 (1280x848).jpg

Thanks all,
Hi Nancy,

I think you did great on the Terns, #5 especially. Watch your crops (#3 flying out of the frame). #2 is also a very nice shot, but I would crop all of the oof area on the bottom.
Unfortunately, I have not used Elements in a while, but maybe a slight vignette around #1 would help.
These look pretty darned good to me, and I agree with everything Jaca said. I think I would crop the 1st to 4X5 portrait.
Those terns can be hard to keep up with!
Nancy, you did quite well on these. The last tern shot and the second willet shot are very good. My only nit is in the first willet shot. You have sliced the bird in half with the "horizon" between the grass and the sky, something I try to avoid as it tends to be a distracting element in the image. As far as toning down the sky, I can't remember enough of my PSE tools, but in Photoshop, I would select it and then lighten it up a bit. HTH.

Thanks WesternGuy. I hadn't realized that point before, will keep that in mind!
Java, I didn't crop #3, he was just getting away from me in that frame.....again :)
I agree with the others; some of these are pretty nice!

#1. As mentioned by others, a crop would help this one--I did this one just as an example. I also adjusted the curves very slightly--I don't see that the sky really NEEDS much in the way of "toning down."
I did also clone out the tiny bit of log and the brightly lit weed to the right of it--that's the area circled in red in my version.
(Sorry, this is a quick job on a jpeg, just to give some idea!)

2. LOVE this shot! Very nice perspective on it and good focus. Like Jaca, the first thing that grabbed me was the OOF foreground. I'd crop to eliminate that.

3 and 4. I'd bin these. Not that they are BAD, but they are "misses." And with birds, you have to just accept that you're going to have a lot of "almost" shots and be willing to bin the ones that don't make it. Generally, when the bird is flying OUT of the right side of the frame, it's a miss. #3 is closer but I'd still bin it; a second or two earlier and the bird would have been facing the camera just perfectly--but again, I know, you can't always get the focus and actuate the shutter at the precise right time with these guys! Another thing to watch in #3 is that you've got the bird almost dead center in the frame; if I were going to keep this, I'd at least crop it so the bird was closer to the third line on the left side of the photo.

5. This one is also quite nice. You've got an interesting "pose" and good focus. I'd crop it so the bird is in the upper right portion of the frame.

When I shoot birds, I basically try to treat them like portrait photography in a lot of ways--especially portrait photography with kids, where you can't give them a lot of direction. Watch for good poses, interesting action, "emotion" from the birds. Look around at your overall scene when you first arrive, so you have an idea of what to try to get in the composition and what to try to avoid (there's several places I go where if I shoot one direction, I get birds over water; if I shoot another direction, I get birds with cars in the background, and another direction lends to birds with a giant stone building in the background).
Also, pay attention to the birds you want to get photos of. Spend a while just watching them. You'll start to learn their behavior and be better able to anticipate what they are ABOUT to do, and therefore better able to capture those critical moments of action, instead of constantly trying to "react" to a pose or action shot and missing it by 1/1000 second.
All good advice Sharon. You talk like I had some control in these shots :1398:
I was having a heck of a time just following them!!
But will take your advice for next time, thanks!

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