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Aug 8, 2018 02:50:36   #
Shootist
 
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best observation I can make about them is that some are good but very few (if any) are outstanding. While technique in both taking the shot and PP are always going to be a work in progress for me, I am wondering if I am at the point where my ability is being hampered by my equipment. I am considering trading in my Sigma 150-600 mm f 5-6.3C for a Nikon 200-500 f5.6. Attached is an image typical for what I consider my best efforts in shots and PP. Your opinion please, am I just having a GAS attack or would a better lens up my game?

Image shot with Nikon D7100 and Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3C. Focal length 600mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 200. PP with PhotoNinja with final touchup in GIMP and cropped to 2027x1351pix size.

Sorry, I was using a Nikon D7100 vs the D750, my bad!
Mountain Bluebird Waiting for a Meal
Mountain Bluebird Waiting for a Meal...
(Download)

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 03:06:46   #
rpavich (a regular here)
 
Nope. It's always about getting better as a photographer and not getting more gear.

You are having a G.A.S. attack.

Shoot more, spend less.

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Aug 8, 2018 03:08:55   #
Shootist
 
Thanks, gotta love your approach. Looking forward to hearing from others too.
rpavich wrote:
Nope. It's always about getting better as a photographer and not getting more gear.

You are having a G.A.S. attack.

Shoot more, spend less.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 03:48:47   #
Stephan G (a regular here)
 
rpavich wrote:
Nope. It's always about getting better as a photographer and not getting more gear.

You are having a G.A.S. attack.

Shoot more, spend less.


I second the motion.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 05:30:40   #
broncomaniac
 
I like the image. Nice detail and bokeh. I have several photo albums and they chronicle my progress as a new amateur photographer. You, like me, will improve as time goes by. My equipment is basic but adequate. I've reached a point where I'm happy with a higher percentage of my shots. Try not to overcook your captures, not that I think you have.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 06:27:43   #
lamiaceae (a regular here)
 
Shootist wrote:
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best observation I can make about them is that some are good but very few (if any) are outstanding. While technique in both taking the shot and PP are always going to be a work in progress for me, I am wondering if I am at the point where my ability is being hampered by my equipment. I am considering trading in my Sigma 150-600 mm f 5-6.3C for a Nikon 200-500 f5.6. Attached is an image typical for what I consider my best efforts in shots and PP. Your opinion please, am I just having a GAS attack or would a better lens up my game?

Image shot with Nikon D7100 and Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3C. Focal length 600mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 200. PP with PhotoNinja with final touchup in GIMP and cropped to 2027x1351pix size.

Sorry, I was using a Nikon D7100 vs the D750, my bad!
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best ... (show quote)


That is a really good image and one to be proud of. I don't see anything wrong with your technique or equipment based on that image. Oh, looking back a second time I did notice one thing. Had the light been from a different or better angle you might have caught the birds's pupil or catch-light of it's eye. It is certainly much much better than any of my attempts at bird photography. I'm more of a flower photographer. I don't really have the lens(es) for such a shot or to really even get seriously in to bird photography with my current longest lens being a slow 100-300mm zoom. I'm not familiar using the PP programs you did, so I guess they are fine for you. I use Ps CS6, ACR and a few Topaz Plug-Ins. I'm not sure what you consider outstanding? I have certainly seen much more interesting compositions but that is usually because the bird is doing something interesting or unusual or the positions of twigs and the like in the scene. That is pretty much out of your control. There is a large element of "accidental" to wildlife photography. I had an instructor who is a professional wildlife photographer and knowing the animal's natural history and habits can increase or better your good image captures. Also how often to you expect to get an outstanding image? I seriously find that I only get one or two images per year that I might consider really good or outstanding that I am totally happy with. And even at that I'm mightily picky and usually can later think of things I might have tried differently. I've studied so many photographs and paintings by other artists that I'm nearly obsessed with composition and printed image quality that I rarely please myself. Hell, I can even find a few "faults" in a few Edward Weston or Ansel Adams images, very few mind you! So, yes, you are probably having a GAS Attack that needs to be ignored. Shoot more if necessary. Even as a non-Nikon photographer myself I know the line well enough to know that yes, you could be using better suited equipment, I won't even say as I am sure you know which camera and lens models I'm referring too. But do you need better anything? No. But perhaps self control. Go out and photograph more birds!...

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 06:40:36   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
You could study UHH user Steve Perry:
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/user-profile?usernum=60547

Note the link to his personal website is listed.

What make Steve's shots memorable for me are his use of light and the animal behaviors and their locations:
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-525793-3.html#8931023
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-517166-1.html#8771106

I imagine that sharp at 100% is only going to hold even another techno-freak's attention for just so long. Then it will be about the WOW factor!

One thing UHH's thumbnails are good for is to think about whether your shot, among hundreds of birds posted daily, is worth the time to open into download view. IMO it is if one wants to examine pixels and pp technique, or if one has never seen that species of bird. But it is not if one is looking for unique and inspiring.

Your photo #4 in this thread
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-540891-1.html
made me click download, and study and go wow!

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 06:49:19   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
Bird looks great zoomed in.
(Seems like a GAS attack.)

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 06:51:54   #
capmike
 
What you omitted from your question was the distance of the subject. The first image was at a distance of 25’, the second at 100 yards. Both with a D 850 and 300mm PF lens, with a 1.4 tele. It all depends on what satisfies your minds eye as the image you wish to obtain. Me, I want to see the individual feathers around the sparkle in the eye. Better equipment will yield a better image, if that is what you want.


(Download)


(Download)

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 08:21:14   #
SonyA580
 
Had the light been from a different or better angle you might have caught the birds's pupil or catch-light of it's eye.

Actually, if you look carefully, there are catch-lights in the bird's eye that can be brought out in Photoshop.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 10:33:18   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for your input.
Stephan G wrote:
I second the motion.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 10:40:09   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for your input. Actually, I do feel that the image is "overcooked". It took this much processing to get close to the level of detail I wanted. My perception is that I am having to over process is the main reason for my request for opinions (but welcome any other comments).
broncomaniac wrote:
I like the image. Nice detail and bokeh. I have several photo albums and they chronicle my progress as a new amateur photographer. You, like me, will improve as time goes by. My equipment is basic but adequate. I've reached a point where I'm happy with a higher percentage of my shots. Try not to overcook your captures, not that I think you have.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 10:43:10   #
PixelStan77 (a regular here)
 
Shootist wrote:
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best observation I can make about them is that some are good but very few (if any) are outstanding. While technique in both taking the shot and PP are always going to be a work in progress for me, I am wondering if I am at the point where my ability is being hampered by my equipment. I am considering trading in my Sigma 150-600 mm f 5-6.3C for a Nikon 200-500 f5.6. Attached is an image typical for what I consider my best efforts in shots and PP. Your opinion please, am I just having a GAS attack or would a better lens up my game?

Image shot with Nikon D7100 and Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3C. Focal length 600mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 200. PP with PhotoNinja with final touchup in GIMP and cropped to 2027x1351pix size.

Sorry, I was using a Nikon D7100 vs the D750, my bad!
Going back over bird shots I have taken, the best ... (show quote)
Let the GAS attack pass. Super sharp capture in Download.

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 10:44:39   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for the time you obviously put into your reply. I have considered much of what you wrote and will certainly think over all of it.
lamiaceae wrote:
That is a really good image and one to be proud of. I don't see anything wrong with your technique or equipment based on that image. Oh, looking back a second time I did notice one thing. Had the light been from a different or better angle you might have caught the birds's pupil or catch-light of it's eye. It is certainly much much better than any of my attempts at bird photography. I'm more of a flower photographer. I don't really have the lens(es) for such a shot or to really even get seriously in to bird photography with my current longest lens being a slow 100-300mm zoom. I'm not familiar using the PP programs you did, so I guess they are fine for you. I use Ps CS6, ACR and a few Topaz Plug-Ins. I'm not sure what you consider outstanding? I have certainly seen much more interesting compositions but that is usually because the bird is doing something interesting or unusual or the positions of twigs and the like in the scene. That is pretty much out of your control. There is a large element of "accidental" to wildlife photography. I had an instructor who is a professional wildlife photographer and knowing the animal's natural history and habits can increase or better your good image captures. Also how often to you expect to get an outstanding image? I seriously find that I only get one or two images per year that I might consider really good or outstanding that I am totally happy with. And even at that I'm mightily picky and usually can later think of things I might have tried differently. I've studied so many photographs and paintings by other artists that I'm nearly obsessed with composition and printed image quality that I rarely please myself. Hell, I can even find a few "faults" in a few Edward Weston or Ansel Adams images, very few mind you! So, yes, you are probably having a GAS Attack that needs to be ignored. Shoot more if necessary. Even as a non-Nikon photographer myself I know the line well enough to know that yes, you could be using better suited equipment, I won't even say as I am sure you know which camera and lens models I'm referring too. But do you need better anything? No. But perhaps self control. Go out and photograph more birds!...
That is a really good image and one to be proud of... (show quote)

| Reply
Aug 8, 2018 10:56:38   #
Shootist
 
Thanks, Linda. Your reply's are always worth considering.
Linda From Maine wrote:
You could study UHH user Steve Perry:
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/user-profile?usernum=60547

Note the link to his personal website is listed.

What make Steve's shots memorable for me are his use of light and the animal behaviors and their locations:
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-525793-3.html#8931023
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-517166-1.html#8771106

I imagine that sharp at 100% is only going to hold even another techno-freak's attention for just so long. Then it will be about the WOW factor!

One thing UHH's thumbnails are good for is to think about whether your shot, among hundreds of birds posted daily, is worth the time to open into download view. IMO it is if one wants to examine pixels and pp technique, or if one has never seen that species of bird. But it is not if one is looking for unique and inspiring.

Your photo #4 in this thread
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-540891-1.html
made me click download, and study and go wow!
You could study UHH user Steve Perry: br https://w... (show quote)

| Reply
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