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How would you have shot this?
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Oct 11, 2018 03:22:18   #
swartfort
 
Please don't start off by telling me I don't understand the exposure triangle or know nothing about photography. I am not necessarily looking for a book recommendation, but rather specific thoughts on how you would set your camera for this particular type of shot. If you have examples of similar shots, please feel free to share them along with how you shot it. Thank you in advance for your kind help!!

Once again, I tried to set up a wildlife shoot. I was in "golden hour" on a partly cloudy evening, I had scouted a spot where there are significant chances to catch various birds and some animal life. I placed myself with my back to the sun and the wind to my face.

My equipment: D3400, Nikon AF-S 70-300 4.5-5.6 VR ED G
Camera Settings: Spot meter, single point focus, Manual with auto ISO

A bit more information: As I was waiting, I found some interesting "fauna" and was playing with my aperture and shutter speed (hence ISO). The aperture was set at 13 when I saw the approaching bird, I spun up the shutter speed (maybe not enough), neglected the aperture, and began to focus and shoot....

Attached is a result. 1st is SOOC, second is with some edit. My questions:

1) The bright white bird is blown out. Should Exposure compensation have been
used differently?

2) Would altering the aperture have given me more "crisp" results? or is it just that
the shutter speed was still a tad low?

3) How would you have set your camera to be "ready" for this short moment
that happens fast and then is gone?

4) Is my G.A.S. for a longer lens a symptom or a cure?
.
.
1/1600, f13, ISO 6400 exp. comp -1 55 yds, 300 mm
1/1600, f13, ISO 6400 exp. comp -1  55 yds, 300 mm...
(Download)
Edited. Please feel free to try to better this!!!
Edited. Please feel free to try to better this!!!...
(Download)

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Oct 11, 2018 03:45:58   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
From a small amount of bird, and action, photography I have done.

#1 Fill the frame with the subject - if this means using a longer lens then so be it. (I have used lenses up to 500mm (real) on a 1.6 crop body)
#2 Shoot raw - this will give you more options when PPing.
#3 If the bird is blown out than reduce your exposure (I haven't used a Nikon so I don't know how compensation works for those bodies.)
#4 I would be shooting around f8 as it will give you anough DOF and allow you to use a lower ISO
#5 A shutter speed of 1/1600 to 1/2000 should be fast enough to stop the action for a large bird such as this.
#6 I'm not so sure the golden hour has enough light to get you good action pics for these guys.

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Oct 11, 2018 05:59:22   #
Crinckles
 
I would have no used the auto ISO for starters . I would have set the iso at 1000 -1250 app 7 or 8 and shutter about 800 -1000 . Because the bird is just cruising .. not much movement . A 100-400 lens would also help :) happy birding

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Oct 11, 2018 06:08:29   #
Delderby (a regular here)
 
swartfort wrote:
Please don't start off by telling me I don't understand the exposure triangle or know nothing about photography. I am not necessarily looking for a book recommendation, but rather specific thoughts on how you would set your camera for this particular type of shot. If you have examples of similar shots, please feel free to share them along with how you shot it. Thank you in advance for your kind help!!

Once again, I tried to set up a wildlife shoot. I was in "golden hour" on a partly cloudy evening, I had scouted a spot where there are significant chances to catch various birds and some animal life. I placed myself with my back to the sun and the wind to my face.

My equipment: D3400, Nikon AF-S 70-300 4.5-5.6 VR ED G
Camera Settings: Spot meter, single point focus, Manual with auto ISO

A bit more information: As I was waiting, I found some interesting "fauna" and was playing with my aperture and shutter speed (hence ISO). The aperture was set at 13 when I saw the approaching bird, I spun up the shutter speed (maybe not enough), neglected the aperture, and began to focus and shoot....
Attached is a result. 1st is SOOC, second is with some edit. My questions:
1) The bright white bird is blown out. Should Exposure compensation have been
used differently?
2) Would altering the aperture have given me more "crisp" results? or is it just that
the shutter speed was still a tad low?
3) How would you have set your camera to be "ready" for this short moment
that happens fast and then is gone?
4) Is my G.A.S. for a longer lens a symptom or a cure?.
Please don't start off by telling me I don't under... (show quote)


Well I would have deleted this pic in camera. You might have done better with bracketing. You're on a hiding to nothing with this pic - max reach, high iso, harsh cropping, blown high lights, f-stop too small, wrong lens, unprepared, no tripod? wrong time of day. 1/1600 shutter speed was ok to stop action but not for f-stop at f8 . Back to the drawing board!

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Oct 11, 2018 06:29:21   #
ELNikkor (a regular here)
 
Stick with the equipment you have, it is plenty long enough. No matter how long a lens you get, there will always be shots which are out of reach. Just wait for a closer bird. Panning and shooting at 1/1000, f8, ISO 400 would get you better resolution/dynamic range, and still be sharp/ right exposure.

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Oct 11, 2018 06:38:28   #
djtravels
 
With ISO set auto you've lost control of exposure compensation, for sure. You no longer have control of "the exposure triangle". I would have started with the aperture you wanted, and ISO to approximate the shutter speed you desire. Take a couple of shots with exposure comp set at zero. Then set your desired settings into manual mode and have a rip.
I have shot indoor night scenes where I want a cabaret style of picture....dance subject. Always end up in manual mode.
djt

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Oct 11, 2018 08:05:50   #
swartfort
 
Delderby wrote:
Well I would have deleted this pic in camera. You might have done better with bracketing. You're on a hiding to nothing with this pic - max reach, high iso, harsh cropping, blown high lights, f-stop too small, wrong lens, unprepared, no tripod? wrong time of day. 1/1600 shutter speed was ok to stop action but not for f-stop at f8 . Back to the drawing board!


Thank you for your constructive criticism. I will heed your advice. Also thank you for posting some of your similar work. Very helpful.

| Reply
Oct 11, 2018 08:45:31   #
srt101fan (a regular here)
 
swartfort wrote:
Please don't start off by telling me I don't understand the exposure triangle or know nothing about photography. I am not necessarily looking for a book recommendation, but rather specific thoughts on how you would set your camera for this particular type of shot. If you have examples of similar shots, please feel free to share them along with how you shot it. Thank you in advance for your kind help!!

Once again, I tried to set up a wildlife shoot. I was in "golden hour" on a partly cloudy evening, I had scouted a spot where there are significant chances to catch various birds and some animal life. I placed myself with my back to the sun and the wind to my face.

My equipment: D3400, Nikon AF-S 70-300 4.5-5.6 VR ED G
Camera Settings: Spot meter, single point focus, Manual with auto ISO

A bit more information: As I was waiting, I found some interesting "fauna" and was playing with my aperture and shutter speed (hence ISO). The aperture was set at 13 when I saw the approaching bird, I spun up the shutter speed (maybe not enough), neglected the aperture, and began to focus and shoot....

Attached is a result. 1st is SOOC, second is with some edit. My questions:

1) The bright white bird is blown out. Should Exposure compensation have been
used differently?

2) Would altering the aperture have given me more "crisp" results? or is it just that
the shutter speed was still a tad low?

3) How would you have set your camera to be "ready" for this short moment
that happens fast and then is gone?

4) Is my G.A.S. for a longer lens a symptom or a cure?
.
.
Please don't start off by telling me I don't under... (show quote)


Building on what djtravel said.

You said you were shooting in M and Auto ISO and then increased the shutter speed when you saw the bird. You mentioned exposure compensation (EC), but did you actually enter a value for that? If you just changed shutter speed and didn't enter a value for EC, the camera would just change the ISO to maintain your original exposure.

Another issue may be your use of spot metering. Maybe your target was too small to keep the "spot" on the bird.

| Reply
Oct 11, 2018 09:30:47   #
swartfort
 
srt101fan wrote:
If you just changed shutter speed and didn't enter a value for EC, the camera would just change the ISO to maintain your original exposure.

Another issue may be your use of spot metering. Maybe your target was too small to keep the "spot" on the bird.


Thank you. This is good food for learning. I was expecting a lighter bird against a light(ish) background (sky and/or water), so I had the EC set at -1 to try to compensate for that. I need to figure out if I can leave that setting, or if in auto ISO that is being "compensated out" via the camera's calculation.

As for spot metering, as I understand it, that is the proper setting for a subject that may be moving from various background lighting (water to sky to dark bank). But, I shall go back to the manual and find these answers. Great thoughts, thank you

It appears that auto ISO might not be doing me as many favors here as I thought.

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Oct 11, 2018 09:36:56   #
swartfort
 
djtravels wrote:
With ISO set auto you've lost control of exposure compensation, for sure. You no longer have control of "the exposure triangle". djt


Great thoughts... I will try your advice next time out. May I ask, could I shoot a "test frame" in maybe "sport" mode, see the results and start my test settings (aperture and shutter speed)from that information? Adjust the shutter speed to where I think it needs to be, then look at the aperture for DOF, and then set my ISO via in camera meter to get me where I want to be? Would that be at all helpful? Does this pattern make sense?

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Oct 11, 2018 09:39:40   #
Delderby (a regular here)
 
swartfort wrote:
Thank you for your constructive criticism. I will heed your advice. Also thank you for posting some of your similar work. Very helpful.


The real problem was the position/distance of the bird. Hope I have helped you to a speedy way forward. I think you'll get it right next time out.

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Oct 11, 2018 09:56:44   #
swartfort
 
Ok.... this has been fun to take advice and then look up info from various sources. I read the education piece from NIKON regarding auto ISO. It did not mention how EC worked relative to this feature. Manual was confusing, so I didn't spend a lot of time there. Then I punched "auto ISO" into the search engine, and found a video by Steve Perry (my hero for introducing me to BBF). Very good info and even covered how EC was/is used with auto ISO.

I think I had the wrong settings in auto ISO. Combine that with the wrong aperture and the distance to subject, I think I have some information to work with on my next outing.

Any other thoughts are welcome. Thanks to all

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Oct 11, 2018 10:34:57   #
srt101fan (a regular here)
 
swartfort wrote:
Ok.... this has been fun to take advice and then look up info from various sources. I read the education piece from NIKON regarding auto ISO. It did not mention how EC worked relative to this feature. Manual was confusing, so I didn't spend a lot of time there. Then I punched "auto ISO" into the search engine, and found a video by Steve Perry (my hero for introducing me to BBF). Very good info and even covered how EC was/is used with auto ISO.

I think I had the wrong settings in auto ISO. Combine that with the wrong aperture and the distance to subject, I think I have some information to work with on my next outing.

Any other thoughts are welcome. Thanks to all
Ok.... this has been fun to take advice and then l... (show quote)


I was going to suggest Steve Perry's video but I see you already found it! He is a great source of information.

I find myself using M+Auto ISO just about all the time. The only time it gets tricky for me is in moving from lower light levels to much brighter scenes. In those situations, if you're not careful, you might end up with the ISO pegged at the lower end resulting in an overexposed image. I should add that I have not done much bird photography!

Regarding spot metering, it is difficult to use. You should find out what size your camera's "spot" actually is. That might help you in the use of spot metering. If, in the case of your posted image, your "spot" picked up part of the darker background you might have gotten a different reading than you thought you did. And, if the "spot" only covered the white of the bird, -1 EC might not have been enough to prevent blown highlights.

Keep shooting and having fun!

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Oct 11, 2018 10:47:21   #
djtravels
 
swartfort wrote:
Great thoughts... I will try your advice next time out. May I ask, could I shoot a "test frame" in maybe "sport" mode, see the results and start my test settings (aperture and shutter speed)from that information? Adjust the shutter speed to where I think it needs to be, then look at the aperture for DOF, and then set my ISO via in camera meter to get me where I want to be? Would that be at all helpful? Does this pattern make sense?


I shoot a Canon, so the terminology will be different, but I think you're on the right track with that approach. Good shooting. djt

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Oct 11, 2018 10:47:54   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
swartfort wrote:
Any other thoughts are welcome.
Regarding your opening question whether aperture would affect "crispness" -- given that your moving subject fills less than 5% of the frame, I think focus was the primary issue (I don't see any sharpness in any part of the image).

To be prepared for possible here-then-gone moments, with a dslr I put my settings at about f/8, 1/500 sec and auto ISO. But that is with the understanding that something might be better than nothing. With distant flying birds "coming out of nowhere," it's usually not

Pic below was with a bridge camera at equiv 1200 mm, into my third year of photographing this eagle nest. I learned from experience to focus on the nest rather than try to catch incoming parents, and to use HQ burst mode: fastest possible shutter speed for the conditions, in this case was 1/1000 in good light - meaning no exposure compensation to deal with.

It sounds like you've picked up some great tips. Just be realistic about your camera limits, especially if in challenging light. All the best!


(Download)

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