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Swans

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JohnC
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« on: June 24, 2009, 11:33:12 pm »

Took a couple of swan photos today at Slimbridge but will return tomorrow to try and better them. I don't know if it matters with swans but two have their feet 'cut off'  and the reason is that I wanted the eye sharp so  I put the AF point on that..dunno really.







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jgs001
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 09:05:33 am »

Hmmm.. No clapping smiley... Wink Superb shots John. Loads of feather details and well frozen motion. Was the swan in 1 standing still ? It's hard to tell without the feet, maybe portrait would have fitted it all in ? However, I bet you didn't get long Wink. I think that's the one where seeing the feet would have helped, the other is, IMO, fine as is.
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John
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JohnC
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 10:55:45 am »

Thanks,John..not too bad then. lol.

Yes, portrait would have been better in a couple ,I'll bear that in mind for next time. Actually, thinking about it, I did try to frame in portrait but the wings were so wide they wouldn't fit within the portrait frame but I'll bear it in mind for next time and get a shot before they spread them too wide.

I went to the kingfisher hide too to try ,for the last time ,the taped 1.4 X. It;'s not functioning properly, wouldn't even get on a pigeon sitting on a dead tree branch.ie. no other foliage to detract friom the focusing-it hunted and hunted so I've abandoned that idea. The man next to me had a 1.4 X on a 500mm prime(Canonn-5000-5500 !) and the KF was still too far away to get a really decent close shot- about 60 metres so he's looking for a hide where they are much nearer..
Here's two more which I wasn't going to post. In the first one I had the exposure plus 1 full stop as recommended for white subjects but it loses the feather detail and IMO somewhat over exposed. I think one third-two thirds is better. I shoot two thirds under all the time with weather and landscape. and birds. I must remember to post the settings but you have that fast access to the exif so I'll leave it this time. Photographing at places like Slimbridge is frowned upon by the purists but people need somewhere to practice without having to spend a lot of time seeking out ponds and lakes etc. in the countryside. Infact next to the KF hide was a cuckoo yesterday. It made three appearances but I didn't see it, a couple of other watchers did, though. I wonder what the swan in the second photo was so interested in ?  lol.



Looks over exposed on the back thus losing feather detail. 1 stop over..1/500 sec. f7.1 ISO 320 235mm.Centre weighted (CW)




1/800 f7.1 ISO 320 235 mm. CW. Could have been a bit sharper I think-looks soft around the head-that's the AF point not  being on the eye area I would think.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 11:00:36 am by JohnC » Report Spam   Logged
jgs001
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 11:13:37 am »

Love the post in the first of that second pair... Shame the dynamic range was so wide... Same with the pose on the second one. Why is there a recommendation to go exposure plus a stop for white subjects ? (not heard that before and just wondering on the logic..., not that I'm an expert by a very long way  Smiley). I can't help on the TC... I have a 2x, but have tape over all the contacts... (I use it with my telescope as the only lens I have it'll work with is the nifty fifty, and if I want 100mm I've got more flexibility with my 55-250 anyway).
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John
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JohnC
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 02:21:53 pm »

It seems that cameras treat white as grey and you have compensate for it. Here's a n explanation using snow as an example. Infact it states that as you  increase it you can start to lose detail and blow it out which I think has happened with the top swan photo.

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/User-Guide/995/EXPOSURE/EV-compensation.html
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brianb
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 02:59:18 pm »

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It seems that cameras treat white as grey and you have compensate for it. Here's a n explanation using snow as an example. Infact it states that as you  increase it you can start to lose detail and blow it out
It's all a lot easier than it was when meters were external, or TTL but averaging over the whole frame. These days you can use spot metering, meter off the lightest part that you want to retain detail in and underexpose by about 1.5 stops from that. Note that, if using averaging metering, you need to overexpose by a couple of stops else snow goes mid grey & detail in shadows/faces disappears into the shadows.

Alternatively use an external light meter with an incident light cone fitted. This allows you to work without compensation but obviously only in manual mode. There is a real knack to using these and it does take some learning, but IMO it's the best way, except for distant landscapes (when the light that you get from the scene is not the same as the light you're metering) and unless the light is changing rapidly (because the manual way of working does take time to react). I got good enough at doing this that I rarely had to bracket exposures when working this way, using transparency film which has about as much (little) latitude as digital; 99% were acceptably exposed straight from the meter.

These fancy TTL matrix meters are all well & good, but they don't know which are the important bits of the picture & the choice that they make when something has to give is not always the same choice you'd make.
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jgs001
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 03:47:25 pm »

Ah, gotcha, thanks for the explanation guys.
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John
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 04:01:05 pm »

I agree with John, super shots!, I love the first one best of all, fantastic detail. Well done John  Smiley
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JohnC
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 06:25:06 pm »

After posting I went on to read that I should, as you say Brian, have used Spot metering and not Centre-weighted as I did,then I can go my two thirds under. I'll try that 1.5 too,Brian.

The first photo of this last post was metered at 1 over and using centre-weighted and the swan's back is IMO over exposed.

I didn't get back there today but no probs.  next week will do.  It was very dull here this morning but also I'm still a bit tired from my 2.30.am to bed trip to see the NLC's which i didn't see. I don't know how you guys cope with this middle- of - the- night stuff all the time.I wasn't functioning  properly, even today but I am a morning person not a night person. Good job as I'll be up at 4.30-5.00am for the impending storms in the morning.
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 10:15:22 pm »

Best of luck John with the storms...I'm quite jealous  Smiley, could be an action packed morning-afternoon. Stay safe out there.
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brianb
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 10:18:54 pm »

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I don't know how you guys cope with this middle- of - the- night stuff all the time.
& I always had difficulty staying awake between 1pm & 5pm.
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JohnMurphy
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2009, 12:48:16 am »

Awww - lovely shots.
They look like Bewick's Swans, I've never been lucky enough to even see these guys let alone catch them on camera.
Well done.
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Clear Skies,
John Murphy
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JohnC
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2009, 12:46:36 pm »

Thanks,John, not sure if they are Whoopers or Bewicks tbh-  they are very similar,they definitely aren't mute swans, they have orange beaks. I'll ask when I go next time. I image googled both and couldn't see a difference.
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