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Strictly For The Birds

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tony,

Wonderful shots!

B463819D-193A-47E5-A2D6-3FF4543F06B4.jpeg

Snowy egret seems like a wise strict French investigating judge,LOL!

Very impressive and learned fellow!

Explain how you achieved this perfect lighting and clean bg!

Asher
 

Tony Britton

Active member
Tony,

Wonderful shots!

Snowy egret seems like a wise strict French investigating judge,LOL!

Very impressive and learned fellow!

Explain how you achieved this perfect lighting and clean bg!

Asher
Hi Asher,

Glad you like these photos. This Snowy Egret held this pose for several seconds, which was really unexpected and quite fortunate. As we've discussed, the use of "side-lighting" is what motivates me the most in my photography. The black backgrounds you see in my images requires the area especially behind the subject to be fairly dark to begin with. I start decreasing the overall brightness in the scene until the foreground and background begin to darken. Plenty of sunlight still remains on the subject. Depending on which mode I'm shooting in, I make adjustments to either aperture, shutter speed, or exposure compensation until I like what I see. Now I have a good "foundation" image to work with during post-processing.

I use Photoshop Elements 12. During post-processing I first select a one-click AUTO LEVELS or AUTO CONTRAST depending on which looks best. Then under "ADJUST LIGHTING" I simply decrease the "LEVELS" until all hints of the information around the subject goes completely black. The subject still remains in "good light" while everything else in the frame is now black. This results in the type of image you see here.

Tony
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Astounding and fabulous to the nth. My wife was simple frozen and mesmerized by the image I commented on!

She has extensive experience as an art museum docent!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I am stunned that these pictures are taken with a “Bridge” camera. But it turns out the Sony R10M3 is in a class of its own in AF and quality of resulting image. It appears that the success might be due to putting your 20MP where it counts: on the subject!

I also discovered that one can screw on a high quality Canon macro filter or even two of them to extend the capability to macro!

Asher
 

Tony Britton

Active member
I am stunned that these pictures are taken with a “Bridge” camera. But it turns out the Sony R10M3 is in a class of its own in AF and quality of resulting image. It appears that the success might be due to putting your 20MP where it counts: on the subject!

I also discovered that one can screw on a high quality Canon macro filter or even two of them to extend the capability to macro!

Asher
Hi Asher,

So glad you like this set. Yes, putting the megapixels where it counts is exactly correct! What's especially fun about this particular set is that the only image taken with my Sony R10M3 is the Double-crested Cormorant. The Black-crowned Night Heron and Great Blue Heron were taken with my 12MP Canon SX50 superzoom camera.

The previous set of Snowy Egret photos I posted were all taken with my Sony R10M3. I enjoy both of these fixed-lens cameras, especially their ease of use and zoom capabilities. I also use the very basic Photoshop Elements 12 to post-process my photos. A relatively inexpensive combination of tools that brings me great satisfaction and joy.

Tony
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tony read this: with the Canon 500D closeup lens attached to the filter thread on the front of the Sony R10M3/4 one gets to have a pretty damn good macro setup!

There’s also enough intervening distance to use an appropriate macro/ring flash!

Asher
 

Tony Britton

Active member
Tony read this: with the Canon 500D closeup lens attached to the filter thread on the front of the Sony R10M3/4 one gets to have a pretty damn good macro setup!

There’s also enough intervening distance to use an appropriate macro/ring flash!

Asher
Hi Asher,

Thanks so much for the information. Very interesting, indeed!

Best,
Tony
 

Tony Britton

Active member
A few more favorites!

Wood Duck Sony DSC-RX10M3


Black-crowned Night Heron Nikon COOLPIX P610


Snowy Egret Sony DSC-RX10M3


Green Heron
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS


Double-crested Cormorant
Nikon COOLPIX P610
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tony,

With all this experience and success, perhaps you could add your insights into these bridge cameras and what you find so useful about them!

I started a thread here. I am hoping we will get a better idea if the value in these amazingly efficient self contained cameras!

Asher
 

Tony Britton

Active member
Tony,

With all this experience and success, perhaps you could add your insights into these bridge cameras and what you find so useful about them!

I started a thread here. I am hoping we will get a better idea if the value in these amazingly efficient self contained cameras!

Asher
Hi Asher,

I wish I could provide a profound response, but a fixed-lens camera is the only type of camera I’ve ever owned. I’ve nothing to compare them to. Therefore, their utility is something I’ve never considered. I’ve been using digital superzoom / bridge cameras since 2002. I’m currently using the Sony DSC-RX10 M3, which has 20 megapixels and a 35mm equivalent focal length of 600mm. My Canon SX50HS has 12 megapixels and a 35mm equivalent focal length of 1200mm. I continue to use them simply because they provide everything I require and desire in my photography.

My desire is to capture portrait style images with a strong emphasis on lighting. Especially side-lighting. I’m attracted to a style and expression of photography that favors the darker end of the exposure spectrum. A dramatic pose of a bird in interesting light, for example. My cameras are well-suited for this. I’m quite happy with the results so I’ve never been too motivated to try a different camera system. I don’t use the massive zoom capabilities of my cameras to bring “distant subjects closer.” Instead, I “fill the frame” with nearby subjects. Along with establishing a position of close proximity to my subjects, whenever possible I allocate the majority of the available pixels to the subject, not the environment in which I find it. In this way, I’m always pleased with the amount of detail I’m able to obtain.

I’m certainly aware that a more sophisticated camera system would offer improved image quality (IQ) by means of providing higher resolution, lower noise, greater low-light performance, etc. I doubt that it would improve upon the emotional quality (EQ) I strive for in my photography. EQ isn’t hardware dependent. The most anyone could hope for in their photography, regardless of the camera system, is to be happy with their results. I’ve got that covered.

I don’t have a desire to print massive, wall size images, preferring a smaller group of three images that share a common theme. So, these cameras also satisfy this preference. While I admire “birds-in-flight” photographs, I simply prefer close-up portraits. I’ve included a couple of BIF examples, demonstrating that my Sony is capable of producing little to no wingtip blur issues when photographing hummingbirds in flight. A reasonable test for any camera system!

Thank you for your interest and support of my photography!

Best,

Tony

Anna's Hummingbirds


 
The details of that Red-shouldered Hawk are A-W-E-S-O-M-E
I love shots like this and it's perfectly executed!
The "catch-of-the-day" post is great as well. Some of them could make it in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
 

Tony Britton

Active member
The details of that Red-shouldered Hawk are A-W-E-S-O-M-E
I love shots like this and it's perfectly executed!
The "catch-of-the-day" post is great as well. Some of them could make it in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
Thanks very much, Martin. I appreciate your comments and I'm glad you like the photos!

Tony
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Very much so!

I never cease to be enthralled by them! So beautiful and so much effort put into curing up with nectar to power their wings so they can eat insects!

Asher
 
So fun! Love hummingbirds. Have you taken any where the head is in focus but that you see the movement of the wings? I'd love to see some if you do
 

Tony Britton

Active member
So fun! Love hummingbirds. Have you taken any where the head is in focus but that you see the movement of the wings? I'd love to see some if you do
Hi Maggie,

I haven't attempted that effect but I know what you're talking about. The result can be quite striking. I'll have an opportunity this weekend and I'll give it a go!

Meanwhile, I've been experimenting with including a blurred foreground in the composition, which adds a nice effect to an image, in my opinion. Also, I've been searching for opportunities to include foreground, middleground, and background content wherein all three appear within a relatively shallow space. Not sure if I'm effectively explaining exactly what I mean but the last photo with a hummingbird perched on a branch is what I'm striving for. It will lend a dreamlike quality to the image once I get it just right!

Tony

Blurred Foreground
DSC01518.JPG


Blurred Foreground
DSC02694 - Copy_edited-1.jpg


Close proximity foreground, middleground, background image content
DSC02665 - Copytb2021.jpg
 
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