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Can't get feathers
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Jan 17, 2022 15:57:26   #
alemorkam Loc: Central Florida
 
Shooting many shots of bald eagles landing and taking off. Having a difficult time getting the feathers focused. Shooting in Manual, usually about 2500-3200, F-6-F11, auto Iso. Cant get sharp feathers. Also shooting group focus on Nikon D-500. thanks. tips, suggestions? Just an amateur trying to learn.


(Download)



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Jan 17, 2022 16:31:34   #
Dave327 Loc: Duluth, GA. USA
 
Single point focus on the birds eye/head and minimum F-11.

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Jan 17, 2022 16:34:07   #
joecichjr Loc: Chicago S. Suburbs, Illinois, USA
 
alemorkam wrote:
Shooting many shots of bald eagles landing and taking off. Having a difficult time getting the feathers focused. Shooting in Manual, usually about 2500-3200, F-6-F11, auto Iso. Cant get sharp feathers. Also shooting group focus on Nikon D-500. thanks. tips, suggestions? Just an amateur trying to learn.


Beautiful. They probably are moving faster than you think...

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Jan 17, 2022 17:03:17   #
mdougc Loc: Sarver, PA
 
Lightroom and Topaz Denoise helps me a lot in that kind of shot.

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Jan 17, 2022 17:16:10   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
Spot meter on bird.

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Jan 17, 2022 17:43:41   #
UTMike Loc: South Jordan, UT
 
Here is a quick run through Topaz Denoise and Sharpen. You did not post a download and the jpeg has focus blur, but you can see what these programs can do.


(Download)

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Jan 17, 2022 18:12:03   #
David Martin Loc: Cary, NC
 
IDguy wrote:
Spot meter on bird.

Bald eagles can be tough. If you spot meter, make sure to do so on the white head feathers.
Alternatively, matrix meter for the scene, but also deliberately under expose to avoid blowing out the highlights in the white feathers, as occurred in your first photo.
Then in post-processing, bring up the shadows and dark tones in the brown feathers.
Set your focus point on the eye, as others have recommended.

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Jan 17, 2022 18:14:39   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
David Martin wrote:
Bald eagles can be tough. If you spot meter, make sure to do so on the white head feathers.
Alternatively, matrix meter for the scene, but also deliberately under expose to avoid blowing out the highlights in the white feathers, as occurred in your first photo.
Then in post-processing, bring up the shadows and dark tones in the brown feathers.
Set your focus point on the eye, as others have recommended.


If you can spot that small then up EV 1 or so.

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Jan 17, 2022 18:21:42   #
UTMike Loc: South Jordan, UT
 
I could download the first one and got more detail.


(Download)

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Jan 17, 2022 18:29:02   #
Thomas902 Loc: Washington DC
 
"... Just an amateur trying to learn..." The age old reply to an emerging musician's query on how to make to Carnegie Hall NYC... "Practice... endless practice..." the adage holds true in many skills which require superb mind/eye/hand coordination.

That said, it appears that 1/2,500 sec, f/10, ISO 1000 should have eliminated motion blur on such a large bird in a virtual stall... i.e. very little motion...

Thinking possibly focus issues? When was the last time you calibrated you kit i.e. (D500 w/ Tamron SP AF 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC USD)? and at the FL of 180mm which you used on this capture? Until then you're guessing alemorkam, maybe work smarter, k?.

Would suggest you master focus and acuity on static i.e. stationary subjects first, albeit only after you've calibrated you kit, k? btw you're so very fortunate to be in a warm locale... it's bone chilling cold up the East Coast right now...

Wishing you all the best on your epic journey alemorkam

Cheers!

AF 70-210mm f4-5.6D Nikkor at f-5.3 w/ FL of 190mm on a D7200 (about the same FL as your capture alemorkam)
AF 70-210mm f4-5.6D  Nikkor at f-5.3 w/ FL of 190m...
(Download)

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Jan 17, 2022 19:32:01   #
alemorkam Loc: Central Florida
 
Thank you.

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Jan 17, 2022 21:08:55   #
robertjerl Loc: Corona, California
 
alemorkam wrote:
Shooting many shots of bald eagles landing and taking off. Having a difficult time getting the feathers focused. Shooting in Manual, usually about 2500-3200, F-6-F11, auto Iso. Cant get sharp feathers. Also shooting group focus on Nikon D-500. thanks. tips, suggestions? Just an amateur trying to learn.


Your main problem is you are shooting up at a bird with blue sky and light from the sun coming from above so the side towards your camera is shadowed and dark. Not enough light to get definition on the feathers. It also affects the AF.

For this very reason many use a powerful flash with a "Better Beamer" or similar to be a "fill flash".

It takes a pretty powerful flash and the flash extender needs to aligned to put the light on the main subject. I use fill flash for my small birds in my yard which is on the south side of the house and on a north facing slope so the low angle sunlight this time of year produces back lighting.

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Jan 18, 2022 08:59:18   #
alemorkam Loc: Central Florida
 
Thank you.

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Jan 18, 2022 15:41:30   #
R.G. Loc: Scotland
 
Have you set your camera to allow shutter release only when focus lock is achieved? And how cropped are the images you posted? Cropping doesn't just zoom in on the detail (or lack of it), it also zooms in on the noise, softness etc.

This type of scene has a high dynamic range where the whites are close to being blown (or possibly partially blown) and the shadows are very dark. Changing the metering mode isn't going to change that. In fact most alternatives would make things worse. Short of getting a better camera with more dynamic range, your only other option is to improve your PP skills. Even then you'll find that lifting the shadows brings out noise that you may not have realised is there, turning up the contrast will aggravate any over-exposed highlights and sharpening will also aggravate noise. Making selections will allow you to optimise the different areas of the shots, and in addition, learning how to keep the sharpening away from the noise will allow you to use more sharpening (which is badly needed in the shots you've posted).

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Jan 18, 2022 16:17:20   #
joecichjr Loc: Chicago S. Suburbs, Illinois, USA
 
UTMike wrote:
Here is a quick run through Topaz Denoise and Sharpen. You did not post a download and the jpeg has focus blur, but you can see what these programs can do.


An amazingly beautiful BIF

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