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Another newbie trying to learn

This is a discussion on Another newbie trying to learn within the Introduce yourself here forums, part of the General category; Hi, I'm Trevor and have started to take some wildlife photo's with my family. Our current gear is a Canon ...

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    Default Another newbie trying to learn

    Hi, I'm Trevor and have started to take some wildlife photo's with my family.
    Our current gear is a Canon T5I, the 18-55mm kit lens, Canon 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III USM and my new favourite a Canon 400mm 1:5.6 L.

    We don't intend on this being anymore than a hobby but I may as well learn as much as I can.
    Below are a few of our shot.

    https://flic.kr/p/uWt4Mn
    https://flic.kr/p/tmSucE
    https://flic.kr/p/tYQeXB

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    First off Zomsnipe, welcome to the forum.

    I just looked at your three images, those are great!!!

    One rule to remember when shooting with those long lenses, make sure your speed is greater than your focal length (I'm not saying you didn't do it here, I didn't look at the EXIF file). This means if you are using that 400mm lens at full length, your shutter speed needs to be 1/400 sec or faster.

    I am only viewing you images on my phone, but from what I can see, they look sharp.

    You have come to the right place, this is a great place to learn.
    Last edited by theantiquetiger; 06-24-2015 at 05:42 AM.
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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    Now that I have viewed them at home on my big screen, here are a few things I see:

    #1 - It appears you cropped this photo quite a bit (due to the size of the original). This is OK, I have to do it myself sometimes, but the more you crop, the greater the noise gets, and it appears you did too much noise reduction. This causes the image to have a very soft, almost painting like effect and you lose a lot of the sharpness.

    #2 - Much better, not as cropped. I would have cloned or cropped out the dark area at the bottom right. As for the bird, I would have used a tool brush and increased the exposure a little on the head. One thing to remember when shooting people and animals, a sharp eye is the key to everything.

    #3 - best of the bunch but you missed the front duckling, its out of focus (I am sure you know that). You needed to close back on the f/stop and increase the ISO

    I noticed all three shots where taken at f/5.6. Do you understand that the smaller f/stop number (larger opening) decreases the width of the focal plane? In order to keep the same speed for the third image above and get all three ducks in focus, you should have stepped down the f/stop 2 or 3 stops and increased the ISO 2 or 3 stops. This would have broadened the focal plane, the speed would still be the same, and you still would have gotten the same exposure.

    Its best not to use a lens to it's maximum/minimum extremes (words I still have yet to live by). You will lose sharpness at these settings. Your 400mm f/5.6 shouldn't be used any lower than 7.1 or so. These lenses work best at the middle of the road.
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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    WElcome to the forum ZS!
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    Welcome to the forum, ZombieSniper. It looks like you are off to a great start. These images are excellent.
    “If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” – Jay Maisel
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    Quote Originally Posted by theantiquetiger View Post
    Now that I have viewed them at home on my big screen, here are a few things I see:

    #1 - It appears you cropped this photo quite a bit (due to the size of the original). This is OK, I have to do it myself sometimes, but the more you crop, the greater the noise gets, and it appears you did too much noise reduction. This causes the image to have a very soft, almost painting like effect and you lose a lot of the sharpness.

    #2 - Much better, not as cropped. I would have cloned or cropped out the dark area at the bottom right. As for the bird, I would have used a tool brush and increased the exposure a little on the head. One thing to remember when shooting people and animals, a sharp eye is the key to everything.

    #3 - best of the bunch but you missed the front duckling, its out of focus (I am sure you know that). You needed to close back on the f/stop and increase the ISO

    I noticed all three shots where taken at f/5.6. Do you understand that the smaller f/stop number (larger opening) decreases the width of the focal plane? In order to keep the same speed for the third image above and get all three ducks in focus, you should have stepped down the f/stop 2 or 3 stops and increased the ISO 2 or 3 stops. This would have broadened the focal plane, the speed would still be the same, and you still would have gotten the same exposure.

    Its best not to use a lens to it's maximum/minimum extremes (words I still have yet to live by). You will lose sharpness at these settings. Your 400mm f/5.6 shouldn't be used any lower than 7.1 or so. These lenses work best at the middle of the road.
    Good points to take in, thanks. For the f stop these were taken with my 40mm f5.6 so I have a limitation there. I'll try and bump the ISO a bit.

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