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08-20-2010, 08:59 PM   #1
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Humming Birds
Lens: QTII 1.4-5.6 70-210MM Camera: K-x Photo Location: Backyard 

My mom has a ton of trumpet vines and during this time of year, we get lots of humming birds.

I'm new to DSLR photography and I'm looking for some opinions and constructive criticism. A bit of editing (contrast and brightness) was done because I'm not always happy with how the color comes out when I use these lenses... they're not my favorite, but they're the biggest zoom I've got, so I use them. Both were also cropped down quite a bit.

Please let me know what you think, thanks!

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08-20-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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In the second one, you contrast is ok but it looks like you've missed the focus a little bit. Could also be that it's 2:30am and I'm just plain tired. I see some purple fringing where the branches meet the bright background of the sky. That's a common problem that I find quite often, a slight adjustment in white balance can take care of.

With the first one, I think it needs more contrast to separate the bird from the almost same color background. If I may.. It's not perfect by any stretch, I could do much more with an original PEF or DNG file but to illustrate a little bit..

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08-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #3
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Successful hummingbird shots require sharpness, a frame-filling long lens, a moderate depth of field, a non-distracting background, and a lens that has minimal optical defects that can distract.

What I like about your first shot is that the bird form looks interesting. It also fills up the frame just enough. Unfortunately it is simply not in focus. Then the leaf obscures part of the bird. Then the background is very distracting. The overall image is also quite flat and could use some more contrast and pop. The color balance is also off, it is too green-blue.

The second one also have an interesting POV. But the lighting is too weak, especially against a light background, plus the leaf is sharper than the bird. The background is way too distracting, the mixture of white and greenish forms gets me a tad nervous. Do you see how the bird gets lost in the background? The better shots have discernable separation between the subject and the background. You want to make it easy on your viewers' eyes. That also means not too many stray branches, leaves, buds etc. Sometimes they have to be cloned out. The bird is also too small within the frame.

Ultimately luck plays a significant part in great bird shots. But that's nothing new to photography.


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