Skip to main content

Photographing Birds is Still Very Hard

Hawkish Attitude

Taken yesterday, these are the culls from day two of the Great Hawk Photo Safari. Unlike Monday, Tuesday was a bit overcast and a bit darker because of it. That, along with the desire to close the 50-200mm + EC-14 down about a half stop to f/5.6 forced me to shoot at ISO 200 (base on the E-1 is ISO 100).

The top photo was taken wide open at f/4.9 with me as close as I could get to fill as much of the frame as possible. But I still had to crop more than I would have liked. Since I was shooting against the sky, I decided to process the raw file in black and white with Silver Efex Pro 2, and to process the hawk and just let the sky to go white and loose all the detail. The effect I was after was a pen-and-ink like drawing on Bristol board.

The problem with this photo is that the extreme manipulation of contrast inadvertently enhances the E-3 sensor's tendency towards banding in areas that have the same luminance and toning, such as the parking lot light the hawk was at rest on in the lower part of the photo. If I had processed this normally then the photo the banding would not be noticeable, but then the photo would not have been nearly as dramatic. When I have more time I need to pull this into Photoshop and work a bit more in that area to reduce or eliminate the banding effects with Photoshop's tools.

The Hawk Pair

This image was taken before the image at the top, and shows both of the hawks together. I like this one because the poses of both hawks shows their back on the left (and the red coloring on the wing shoulder) as well as the front. The wind was breezy, so the left hawk's lower feathers were being fluffed out a bit.

You Lookin' at ME?

I came up on this mottled duck before I found the hawks. It spotted me before I spotted it, and kept looking at me over it's shoulder with that expression as if to ask "what are you up to with that camera?" I was able to grab a few photos before he decided to swim off.

I'm still in the mode where I'll photograph wild birds where-ever I can, but now I'm wanting to try the even harder photography of birds in flight. I think it's slowly sinking what I need to do, not the least of which is to keep the camera up and if you have to, "spray and pray." I'm not to the point yet where I can always know the "decisive moment" to trip the shutter. I guess I've gotta cheat a little.

Edit

If you want to see what has me excited/annoyed/inspired, then check out this Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nedbagno/

Comments

  1. That first one is really good, and I don't know if I would change anything in it. Even if the banding is really obvious when looking at a bigger version, maybe one day people will say: "Oh look, it's a photo, not a drawing!"

    And yes, you're right about Ned...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…