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11-13-2018, 02:11 PM   #1
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Portrait of a Doe
Lens: SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm MF Camera: K-1 II Photo Location: Fort Collins, Co ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/350s Aperture: F5.6 

Hello all!

Total photog-newbie here (though I've admired photography for a while). Took the plunge and purchased a K-1 II a couple weeks ago. As a long-time outdoor enthusiast and birder, I'm primarily interested in nature and wildlife photography (including macro).

Thanks to all you forum members for the helpful reviews, how-tos and tips that have helped me tremendously!

I've been out about a dozen times so far. I had ordered the SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm MF used on Amazon for $70, so I decided to try it out.

This was at 210mm and f5.6 IIRC. It was well into sunset on a cold, cloudy evening at the CSU Environmental Center in Fort Collins, CO. This sweet yearling Whitetail doe held real still for me while I fumbled with my settings and snapped a handful. I think this was my best of the lot.

I increased contrast some and vibrance just a little (in Lightroom) to make up for the cloudiness and failing light.

I'd love your feedback on anything you think would be helpful! Thanks for looking

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11-13-2018, 02:32 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums. That is a nice pic to start with. Wildlife is always hard and even more difficult when you have to deal with manual focusing. But it is very satisfying when you get it right. Whether AF or MF, I always find that taking as many images as I can increases my chances of getting a "keeper". Hope to see more of your work.
11-17-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
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It's beautiful picture. Perhaps it would be nice to remove destructive branches around the deer to separate it better from the background.
11-18-2018, 06:16 PM   #4
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I think it is a wonderful image. Maybe just a little too much negative space at the top. i think if you cropped it from the top a little it would make a big difference. You are definitely on the right track.

11-18-2018, 07:59 PM   #5
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Welcome to PF Bryan. What a fine start.

I shoot wildlife myself, and my first instinct is to use the longest focal length available, and still crop some more afterwards! Good to see a different approach, getting the doe in her environment. The EXIF says that you used 70mm. If that's right you must have deliberately composed the image to give the context, rather than zooming in.

I like the way she is framed by the trees, and the colours in the image harmonize well, giving a sense of camouflage.

I'm inclined to agree that you could crop the top of the image a bit - perhaps by changing the aspect ratio to 4:3. Don't feel inhibited by the 3:2 default - changing the ratio often produces a more interesting image.

The dead branches behind her back are a slight distraction, but it would require some careful PP work to remove them. You can see them as another frame around the doe.

Thanks for sharing. Look forward to seeing more.

Sooner or later you'll want a longer lens for wildlife - but that's another conversation, and the subject of many threads.

Last edited by Des; 11-18-2018 at 08:06 PM.
11-21-2018, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #6
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G'day Bryan,

Beginners luck?

Des has been mislead by the EXIF, 70mm was the focal length set for shake reduction. You need to remember to set it closer to the focal length you are using when using manual focus lenses.

A few points: (but remember, what you think is what is the most important thing)

I think the framing would have been better if you took a couple of steps to the right BUT only after you got the shots you did. It would have helped to separate her from that 'stuff' beside her head.
But sometimes you just can't get to the 'best' spot.

The curved branch grabs my attention too much, it has to go.

While the others are right about the space above her head, cropping the foreground will bring her closer and make her more prominent.

A couple of rough and ready edits:
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