Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nuthatch Image Comparison - New vs Old - Another Fresh Look

Nikon D750, Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 460mm, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 400 
This post will look at an image already processed and posted in Dec and what I did to it after another look today.  I have liked it for the sharpness and detail provided but the busy background has bothered me from the start.  Now, of course, if you go back and read that post you'll note that most of the images there were taken during heavy cloud cover and/or fog conditions.  As such, I did not do a lot of tweaking because I was trying to make a point for the performance of the 200-500mm lens I had just acquired.  Now, after some time has passed, I saw this image again and wondered what improvements I could make.

Nikon D750, Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 460mm, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 400 

I started by resetting the image to default settings in Lightroom and then applied the flat camera calibration filter.  Next, I increased Exposure Compensation quite a bit, tweaked the Tone Curve some, added some Vibrance and a touch of Contrast.  Sharpening was left at default but I moved the Masking slider to 29.  After these steps I cropped it and used the Adjustment Brush to add sharpening and a little clarity to the bird and then painted the background with a reduction in adjustments to exposure, contrast, and sharpness.  In other words, I moved the sliders for these parameters to the left to reduce their effect.  

I certainly am more pleased with the reworked image at the top than the original.  Wonder what I'll think about it after a couple more months?  Will I still be pleased with it or want to make more adjustments?  Time will tell. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Looking Over Images Again With a Fresh Eye

Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e + TC-14II, 1/640, f/5.6, ISO 250

Here it is, Saturday morning, and I'm pretty much house-bound today because I'm on-call with my place of employment and because the phone could ring at any time with someone needing my help I need to stay close to the computer with an internet connection.  If I could do that in the woods or lakeside I'd be out of here with camera in hand. : )  Maybe.  It is dark and gray again today.  As it is, I'm looking over images shot recently, deleting some and tweaking some and the thing that really stands out is how dark and gray the images have been overall since November.  I've posted the image below before in this article and it was even more dark and gray there which was a reflection of when I shot it.  So, I tweaked it a little more this morning by adding some exposure compensation in Lightroom which helps it not look as gloomy but it's still quite gray...and still gloomy.  Certainly in stark contrast to the image above that was shot this last July in early morning light.  I'm anxiously awaiting times like that again.

Nikon D750, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 480mm, 1/640, f/5.6, ISO 500


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Killing Time

Nikon D750, Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 @ 480mm, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 900

It's Sunday.  It's cold.  It's snowing.  It's overcast.  Here's a photo of a backyard visiter.  Just killing time.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fun and Festive

This past Christmas we had our children and their families here at the house for the holiday.  This little gathering included three granddaughters aged 1, 2, and 3 that Mindy wanted to impress with fun, festive decorations around the house, not the least of which would include the dining room just inside and left of the front door.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Birds in Action

Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e PF, 1/2000, f/4, ISO 125
I've been venturing out to Lake Erie at times this fall and winter season mainly for the gulls and other birds to be found there. One of the reasons I went searching for them is because they are usually flying around and don't mind coming in close and I was after action shots as opposed to perching birds.  Not only is it enjoyable to photograph birds in action action but they offer good practice for keeping the subject in the viewfinder during fast, erratic action which comes in useful for wildlife photography in general.  And then there's the hovering, fishing, and synchronized flying, all of which make for nice action photos.  Also, I find birds to be very photogenic in general.

Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e PF, 1/4000, f/4, ISO 180 
Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e PF, 1/2500, f/4.5, ISO 110
Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e PF + TC14II @ 420mm, 1/1600, f/8, ISO 320
Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e PF, 1/2500, f/4, ISO 100

Monday, January 4, 2016


Nikon D750, Nikon 300mm f/4e PF, 1/3200, f/4, ISO 100
Yesterday I was going through the archives and deleted about a thousand photos and in doing so came across this bald eagle I photographed back in November.  Though I have posted a few shots from then in an earlier post this was not one of them but, along with those, I like this one a lot.  Here's why: 
         It's an action shot
         The sun was fairly low in the sky and lit the bird nicely
         There's a catch-light in the eye
         Full wing extension with curved and separated wing tips
         Fills the frame
Could it be improved on?  Sure.  Though the blue sky is nice a little something in the background would be nice, too.  Also would like to see the bird carrying something whether a meal or nesting material, for instance.  No complaints, though.  Just observation.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Rant: Consider Output Size for Online Viewing

Nikon D750, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 + TC14II @ 700mm, 1/800, f/8, ISO 6400
How can we help the look of our photos when the subject is not perfectly in focus or is even somewhat blurry due to camera shake or subject motion?  I have found that I like some photos I've taken as long as they're not viewed too large.  Keep them small and they look okay but viewed large they may end up in the trash.  What's more, my tolerance for a soft or blurred image is a moving target and it goes both ways.  In other words, what I would not have tolerated yesterday may be okay today or what I tolerated yesterday is trash-bound today.  Not sure what that says about me as a photographer but that may be a subject for another day.