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A Little Excitement
Posted By: 8540tomg, 11-22-2009, 02:05 PM

A beautiful day here in Waterloo. Took the M 400/5.6 out for a spin and I was shooting some sparrows when:

K 10D M 400/5.6







...... when this guy dropped in for an unsuccessful sparrow snack. No images of course as the action was over in seconds but it was pretty exciting for the sparrows and myself. OK, it was a lot more exciting for the sparrows. It is a Sharp Shinned Hawk I think but you ornithology guys can correct me if I'm wrong. The hawk missed and crash landed about 6 feet from my position. He flew off and I managed this crappy image before he moved on.




Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 11-22-2009 at 07:52 PM. Reason: typo
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11-23-2009, 09:29 PM   #16
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Well, I have a bunch of screen shots, etc. ready to go, including the incremental images - save, then save again... Makes your head spin trying to remember which stage you're at...

Perhaps I should do an article, or shall I post it all here? What about the finished products only and I post a link to the article here at PF...? I may have to wait until tomorrow to post, since I must be up early.

Regards,
Marc

11-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #17
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Great shots, especially #1. I'll have to dig the old 400 out and go do some sparrow hunting. Thanks for the show and the story.
11-24-2009, 06:30 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Jason,

A tip for what its worth. I found I had a lot better luck with the M400/5.6 when I began shooting in the early morning or later afternoon. One would think that brighter light would help this relatively slow f 5.6 lens but that is not the case. The bright noonday sun seems to bring out the CA and PF issues in this optic. Maybe it is poor technique on my part but I had more frequent winners at those times of the day.
Tom, thanks for the tips.
Most of the time I shoot during the mid to late afternoon. On some occasions I have shot with the M400 in the afternoon when the lighting was very harsh, and I did really have to watch out for CA and flare. Lots of flare

Anyway, I doubt it is your 'poor technique' Once again, I like your shots.
Now I gotta stop sleeping in and try the big lens in the morning!
11-24-2009, 10:46 AM   #19
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Thanks Dave,

Sparrows are as common as dirt but a real challenge to capture with a manual focus lens as you know so well.

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 11-24-2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: typo
11-24-2009, 11:59 AM   #20
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Me Wow Too! Incredibly sharp on the 1st two, looks like a little movement on the 3rd. I haven't been close to getting anything nearly that sharp.
11-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Those sparrows are great, Tom!
Thanks Dave.

Much appreciated.

Tom G
11-26-2009, 12:04 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Well, I have a bunch of screen shots, etc. ready to go, including the incremental images - save, then save again... Makes your head spin trying to remember which stage you're at...

Perhaps I should do an article, or shall I post it all here? What about the finished products only and I post a link to the article here at PF...? I may have to wait until tomorrow to post, since I must be up early.

Regards,
Marc
Tom? Let me know...

11-26-2009, 12:13 PM   #23
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Post it here Marc, We're all waiting to see what you came up with.

It's a beautiful shot Tom. Next time put an AF lens on a second body for the Hawk shots so you can grab him quickly as well.
11-26-2009, 12:43 PM   #24
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Here's the process

Image Exposure Correction:

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Photoshop expert! This is just the norm for what I'd do, since more than often than not, I'm photographing subjects in shaded areas.

Original Image:


Load into Photoshop, go to Image --> Adjustments --> Levels. Made the following adjustments on the slider as shown below:



Of note, the Input Levels on the Whites (right side) are never pushed too far over to the left. Depending on the image brightness, dark areas, etc. then I would keep it a bit to the right of the beginning of the right side of the Histogram. It's very image dependent and hopefully this will better explain the above choices made.

This is the resultant image from the Levels adjustment:


Now I go to Image--> Adjustments -->Exposure, since I only wish to brighten the lighter colors of the image a bit more. Here are the adjustments made:


The rationale for the Exposure and Gamma should be self-explanatory as indicated above this screen shot - let me know if that's not the case? BTW, the Offset is simply slid slightly to the left of a zero value to ensure the blacks on the subject DO NOT turn a very dark grey - this keeps the blacks correctly exposed, but you cannot move it too far over, since it will quickly overwhelm the image brightness. In other words, a light hand is necessary here when using Offset. I am intentionally being careful on not increasing the Exposure/Levels too much, since there are specular highlights on the feet and a few feather edges.

Here is the resultant image after the Levels then Exposure changes:


Noise Reduction:
In my mind, this is more than enough to say "I'm stopping here". However, there is a very fine background noise grain and I went one step further - I ran Dfine 2.0 on the image. Here it is loaded, pre-NR:


Post NR after measuring and reducing noise automatically. You can profile the image specific to the camera and EXIF then save it as a profile to be used later on:


As you can see above, it's very, very subtle, not heavy-handed at all.

Final Image:


I did no sharpening whatsoever. I can cover this aspect if you wish, but that's not my intent - the main issue is exposure and the image is fine as is but the sharpening is going to be pretty light in this instance, since Tom did a great job on the DOF and to me it's a tweak, not a requirement or an improvement, given the existing image size. Of note, the basic gentle sharpening will only increase the definition of the chest/head/body feathers, not the definition of the wing tip feathers.

Second image:

Just the Levels and Exposure screen shots since all explanations, etc. were already covered with the first image. Note the histogram (mid-tone spikes). This means paying attention to the brightness of those mid-tones as you make adjustments:



Exposure:


Final image:


Glad to answer any questions you might have, although I might be out and about for a while.

Regards,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 11-26-2009 at 12:53 PM.
11-26-2009, 08:06 PM   #25
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Looks good Marc. Amazing how you managed to turn the bird around in the final version. That's incredible PP work there!
11-27-2009, 02:46 PM   #26
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Thanks for your time and effort with this Marc.

Clearly, I have much to learn about Photoshop. I'm sure a lot of forum members found this as instructive as I did.

Tom
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