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Yada, yada, yada!
Lens: Pentax HD DA55-300 (non-PLM) at 190mm Camera: Pentax K-3 Photo Location: Kielder Birds of Prey Centre, Northumberland, England ISO: 4000 Shutter Speed: 1/125s Aperture: F7.1 
Posted By: BigMackCam, 06-14-2019, 09:51 AM

Taken a couple of days ago on a very overcast and dull day, at Kielder Birds of Prey Centre.

After several attempts, I managed to catch this handsome and rather chatty fellow in a suitable pose. The HD DA55-300 was stopped down to f/7.1 as a compromise between resolution vs light gathering, and shutter speed of 1/125s was about as low as I could go due to the bird's frequent minor head movements. Alas, in the available light, TAv gave me an ISO of 4,000 - hardly ideal for the subject matter, but a little colour noise reduction and a few other tweaks in post were enough to smarten things up and produce a usable image. Processed in Darktable.

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Last edited by BigMackCam; 06-14-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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06-14-2019, 02:03 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I like that, great expression...looks like he means business.
06-14-2019, 02:29 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Talk about "in your face." Fantastic photo, Mike!

Jer
06-14-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I like that, great expression...looks like he means business.
QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Talk about "in your face." Fantastic photo, Mike!
Thank you, Les, and thank you, Jer. Much appreciated

The funny thing is, he was talking to me. Or rather, answering me. I was talking to each of the birds as I walked around the Centre, just as I talk to my cat. Saying nice, complimentary things about them. Most looked at me briefly, a few ignored me completely, but this fella was different... Maybe one out of three times I spoke to him, as I stopped talking, he answered with this wide-mouthed expression and a really faint but sweet noise. I guess he can't help that he looks tough, but I think he's a bit of a softy

06-14-2019, 06:03 PM - 1 Like   #5
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What a truly awesome photograph of a magnificent creature. Wonderful gear combination and thanks so much for posting.

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06-15-2019, 03:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
What a truly awesome photograph of a magnificent creature. Wonderful gear combination and thanks so much for posting.
Thank you sincerely, Tony, for those lovely comments. Greatly appreciated.

I agree that he's a magnificent creature... it was a privilege to take his photo The birds at this centre are kept very well. They fly free each day and have every opportunity to leave if they wanted, but none of them do. They're well fed, and very comfortable

Regarding gear... I realise I'm often guilty of repeating how the old Samsung GX-10 (Pentax K10D) is my favourite camera, but here was a situation where a more recent camera was essential. The GX-10 is fine up to ISO 400 (even 800 at a push), but it simply wouldn't have been capable of taking this shot. The K-3's high ISO capability, coupled with suitable raw development, were ample to get a usable result at reasonable reproduction sizes...

Thansk again
06-16-2019, 11:38 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Perfect timing and the K3 handled the ISO4000 surprisingly good!
Thanks for posting this shot!
06-16-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
Perfect timing and the K3 handled the ISO4000 surprisingly good!
Thanks for posting this shot!
Thank you for the nice feedback - I appreciate it

Everyone has their individual tolerance for image noise, but I have no hesitation in shooting as high as ISO 6400 on the K-3, sometimes considerably higher depending on the subject and circumstances. Shooting raw and developing in a tool with good colour noise reduction capabilities is essential. I tend not to worry too much about luminance noise these days unless it's really intrusive, in which case I might add some very gentle noise reduction for that too, but only if I can retain the detail.

There's clearly some luminance noise visible in this image in the areas either side of the bird. It could certainly be reduced with some selective application of luminance noise reduction, but I don't find the grain objectionable...


Last edited by BigMackCam; 06-16-2019 at 01:37 PM.
06-18-2019, 06:07 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Taken a couple of days ago on a very overcast and dull day, at Kielder Birds of Prey Centre.

After several attempts, I managed to catch this handsome and rather chatty fellow in a suitable pose. The HD DA55-300 was stopped down to f/7.1 as a compromise between resolution vs light gathering, and shutter speed of 1/125s was about as low as I could go due to the bird's frequent minor head movements. Alas, in the available light, TAv gave me an ISO of 4,000 - hardly ideal for the subject matter, but a little colour noise reduction and a few other tweaks in post were enough to smarten things up and produce a usable image. Processed in Darktable.
Superb capture, Mike!! Wonderful processing! That bird looks a bit annoyed!!
06-22-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Larrymc Quote
Superb capture, Mike!! Wonderful processing! That bird looks a bit annoyed!!
Many thanks, Larry - much appreciated

He was just talkative, I think. Or maybe not keen on having his photo taken, which is something we'd have in common
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