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Photo Analysis
BIF Newbie
(?)
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Sep 3, 2016 23:23:37   #
joelaoxford
 
I'm new at the BIF deal. This was taken using Nikon D7200 with Sigma 150-600, @ 600mm. Shutter Priority: 1/1600 @ F6.3 @ ISO 900. I'm just looking for some honest feedback & some pointers. The head is just not as clear as the rest of the bird. I guess I could/should lower the ISO, but How slow could I go with the shutter speed & still get a decent shot? Would that have had any effect on the head, anyway?

Thanks in advance.


 
Sep 4, 2016 00:09:32   #
photoshack
 
Why not upload the full file so we can examine it? Use the attach file and check the box to allow downloading. Can't tell much from the tiny image. Also, is this cropped? Plenty of good nature shooters could help...
Sep 4, 2016 02:35:49   #
Hoss
 
joelaoxford wrote:
I'm new at the BIF deal. This was taken using Nikon D7200 with Sigma 150-600, @ 600mm. Shutter Priority: 1/1600 @ F6.3 @ ISO 900. I'm just looking for some honest feedback & some pointers. The head is just not as clear as the rest of the bird. I guess I could/should lower the ISO, but How slow could I go with the shutter speed & still get a decent shot? Would that have had any effect on the head, anyway?

You should be able to hand hold that to 1/600 of a sec. So I would recommend not changing your iso but your f stop to at least f 8 or f11
Wit your lens at 600 your dof is fairly shallow!!! As in any wildlife you want the eyes to be crystal clear. It looks like your focus point was at the front edge of the closest wing. Just my take on it!
I hope this helps you! If you want I have a few shots of eagles on here you are welcome to Check them out!
Mike

Thanks in advance.
I'm new at the BIF deal. This was taken using Nik... (show quote)
Sep 4, 2016 06:30:24   #
kubota king
 
I have taken a lot of wild bird photos like this . If you want more of the parts in focus , you need to change the F stop to a higher number to increase the dept of field and get more parts in focus . I would of taken this photo using F 11 with my canon . You can use different subjects that are some what like in dept and try different F stops to get the most in focus of the whole subject to find your best F stops to use for different shots . Hope this helps ,Tommy
Sep 4, 2016 06:49:25   #
djtravels
 
I'd go one step further than KK suggested. Shoot in Manual, set aperture to desired DOF, shutter 1/500 or higher. Leave the ISO in AUTO. Just a thought. I haven't tried BIF in a while, and not at 600mm. Good luck
Sep 4, 2016 08:54:13   #
DaveO (a regular here)
 
I'd say that you did quite well. While good advice has been expressed, I am of the opinion that the increase to your ISO to achieve a smaller aperture and still keep an appropriate shutter speed is questionable. Do the math on the ISO,or better yet,try it. Keep shooting!
 
Sep 4, 2016 09:06:03   #
granbob
 
Sometimes the deficiencies in our pictures are just a matter of the location of the BIF relative to our location and the techniques/settings may be fine.
Keep trying and learning.
Sep 4, 2016 10:35:58   #
Hoss
 
joelaoxford wrote:
I'm new at the BIF deal. This was taken using Nikon D7200 with Sigma 150-600, @ 600mm. Shutter Priority: 1/1600 @ F6.3 @ ISO 900. I'm just looking for some honest feedback & some pointers. The head is just not as clear as the rest of the bird. I guess I could/should lower the ISO, but How slow could I go with the shutter speed & still get a decent shot? Would that have had any effect on
the head, anyway?

I failed to mention in my earlier reply that the location of the bird is good! You always want to have the subject that is in motion moving
thru the frame! If it were on the left side it would look like it was about to fall out of the picture!!!
Mike

Thanks in advance.
I'm new at the BIF deal. This was taken using Nik... (show quote)
Sep 4, 2016 11:31:40   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Joe, that's a great start. I love the reflection of the wintip in the water. I realize that's a lucky moment, but it is a good catch regardless.
--Bob


joelaoxford wrote:
I'm new at the BIF deal. This was taken using Nikon D7200 with Sigma 150-600, @ 600mm. Shutter Priority: 1/1600 @ F6.3 @ ISO 900. I'm just looking for some honest feedback & some pointers. The head is just not as clear as the rest of the bird. I guess I could/should lower the ISO, but How slow could I go with the shutter speed & still get a decent shot? Would that have had any effect on the head, anyway?

Thanks in advance.
Sep 4, 2016 13:11:25   #
kpmac (a regular here)
 
I shoot BIF quite a bit. Some of it is just luck but mostly it's persistence. I find that not shooting at full zoom makes my photos sharper - say 390mm as opposed to available 500. (Shot with a crop sensor). It depends on the shooting conditions as to what iso and f/stop I use but I try to stay at 1/800 or above for freezing action. Also, it is easier to frame your subject at lower zoom levels. Above all, keep shooting! Just my humble opinions, I am far from a pro but I do love experimenting.
Sep 4, 2016 14:43:09   #
Madman (a regular here)
 
I am curious about your focus settings. It appears that the center of your photo is the most accurately focused, making me think that perhaps you were using a centered single spot. For birds in flight, you may find that using 9 or 21 spot gives better results. Go back to single spot when shooting a bird in a tree surrounded by branches or leaves.
 
Sep 4, 2016 17:30:16   #
joelaoxford
 
Thanks to all for the advice & encouragement. I will ttry the manual approach with auto ISO, higher f-stop and less zoom. Additionally, I will try different focus settings. Thanks again!

Joe
Sep 5, 2016 04:12:16   #
Apaflo (a regular here)
 
joelaoxford wrote:
This was taken using Nikon D7200 with Sigma 150-600, @ 600mm. Shutter Priority: 1/1600 @ F6.3 @ ISO 900.

Post the image using "Store Original" to include full Exif data. That will take much of the guess work out of this.

Some are talking about DOF, but run that through the ringer and it just doesn't wash. The field of view looks to be about 4 feet across on that, if the bird is about 20" long. If so, with a focal length of 600mm the distance was 100 feet (minimum). That would also give a minimum DOF of 2 feet. Which is to say that if you manage, using Auto Focus, to focus on any part of that bird all of it will be reasonably sharp.

The two things you want to change are the f/6.3 aperture, which should be stopped down to f/7.1 or f/8, and the focal length should be backed off to 550mm at most, and maybe 500mm. Both changes will provide sharper images.

There is no need to stay at ISO 900. Your D7200 has a 6.5 stop useful dynamic range at an ISO of 2135, and even if you aren't great with post processing that should be a useful maximum. It does mean that you necessarily must hit the exposure exactly correct.

So if you stop the aperture down 1/2 a stop and up the ISO by a full stop, you could then also use a half stop faster shutter speed to help a little with freezing the motion of the bird. I actually doubt that motion blur is cause of the bird's head not being sharp though. But without an image larger than the thumbnail we have it isn't really possible to know.
Sep 5, 2016 08:52:04   #
joelaoxford
 
Here is the original. It is jpg, not RAW, so I do not know if this will provide the info you are looking for. Thank you again for all the advice...


(Download)
Sep 5, 2016 10:58:53   #
Apaflo (a regular here)
 
joelaoxford wrote:
Here is the original. It is jpg, not RAW, so I do not know if this will provide the info you are looking for. Thank you again for all the advice...

That is indeed very informative! I estimated the field of view to be at a minimum about 4 feet across, which would give a focus distance no closer than 100 feet with about 2 feet of DOF minimum. In fact the focus distance is 174 feet, and the DOF is just about at 6 feet. So while I suggested a DOF at a minimum of 2 feet meant there couldn't be a problem with too little DOF... it in fact is three times that and clearly DOF is not a problem!

Another thing you might want to think about, which will blow a few minds no doubt, is just exactly what the camera actually focused on! It used the C6 AF Point, which is dead center in the screen. That is right at the reflection of the wing below the bird in the water! That means it is between the two wing tips.

Other odd things of interest are that you should turn Active D-Lighting off, and at high shutter speeds, above 1/500, disable VR. Also I see no benefit to shooting in 1.3X mode, as you get only 15 MP. Shoot in 24x16 mode and use a good editor to resize the image as needed.

You really don't want to use Auto ISO with any other form of automatic exposure control. In this case you'd have been best to use Manual Exposure mode with AutoISO enabled. Set ISO to 100 and set the upper limit to whatever you feel is as high as you can go, but to at least ISO 2400 and probably better to at least 3200. Then set shutter speed at perhaps 1/1600 if that is fast enough, and aperture to f/7.1 or f/8.
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Photo Analysis
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