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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Eagle looking at me

    Eagle looking at me

    I am new to Nikonites, hence much appreciate your patience and help!
    My interest is to get feedback to improve my pictures and establish an interesting and inspiring conversation.

    This picture was taken of an eagle looking at me with a D7500, ISO500, 550mm (Sigma 150...600), f6.3, 1/500.
    While it is an ok picture I am wondering what you would have done to improve it. Composition, post-processing...



    Eagle looking at me-screen-shot-2018-04-09-8.06.42-pm.jpg

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        • Center of Interest

          • Color Balance

            • Composition

              • Lighting

                • Print Presentation

                  • Story Telling

                    • Style

                      • Subject Matter

                        • Technical excellence

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                            • Impact

                              • Creativity

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                          • #2
                            Senior Member
                            singlerosa's Avatar

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            Welcome to Nikonites. I'll go first with the bad news. I don't see anything sharp in the photo. Maybe it was a windy day and your shutter speed is too slow. Or, shooting wide open with the Sigma isn't a good idea??? Perhaps your shooting mode needs correction. Anyway the picture is soft, especially the eagle's face. When shooting anything that has eyes, the eyes should be in focus and sharp. Do you shoot RAW? How do you hold your camera?

                            Things in post that could help - clarity/sharpen, reduction in highlights on eagles crown, slight boost in shadows, crop out some of the trees. There are plenty of YouTube videos on bird photography that can help you sharpen your skills. Keep shooting and good luck.
                            Thanks/Like arnim Thanks/liked this post

                            Jim Singler - D750 & D7200; 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 24-120 VRII, 70-200 2.8 VRII, 70-300 VR, 200-500 VR, 50 1.4D, 85 1.8G, Tokina 100 2.8; 3 SB-800s, SB-500

                          • #3
                            Senior Member
                            Horoscope Fish's Avatar

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            I agree with Jim and I'll bet dollars to donuts the problem is that the shutter speed (1/500) was to slow for the 550mm focal length. I also think the shot needs cropping to bring stronger emphasis to the subject.
                            Thanks/Like arnim Thanks/liked this post
                            ~ Paul
                            Primary Kit :: D850, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art,
                            Godox Flashes & Triggers, Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
                            ● ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ๑۩۩๑ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ●

                          • #4
                            Junior Member

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            Hi Jim, Horoscope Fish,

                            thank you for such a candor and useful feedback and welcoming to Nikonites. Indeed I had not put enough attention on how I am holding the camera/lens. Yes I do use raw. If there is one (or two) specific video you can recommend the better, there is so much out there...

                            my intent is to post one picture a week, hope that is ok (or be glad to receive any other guidelines)

                            much appreciated


                          • #5
                            Super Mod
                            Marilynne's Avatar

                            Re: Eagle looking at me


                            If you plan on posting weekly you can create your own thread in the Project 52 forum. Here's the link.

                            That way you can see how you progress.

                          • #6
                            Senior Member
                            Bikerbrent's Avatar

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.
                            We look forward to seeing more posts and samples of your work.

                            The previous replies pretty well cover my suggestions.
                            Brent: Poway, CA
                            D7200, D200, F100
                            Tokina 12-24mm
                            Nikon 18-200mm
                            Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
                            Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
                            Sigma 150-600mm
                            Nikon 50 AF f1.8
                            Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
                            Nikon SB800

                          • #7
                            Senior Member

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            Eagle looking at me
                            I'd crop something like this:

                            Eagle looking at me-screen-shot-2018-04-09-8.06.42-pm.jpg

                            If the bird is looking left or right, I like him looking into the frame. In other words, if your bird is looking to your right, place him in the left 1/3 of the frame.

                            I have the sigma lens. I usually shoot it in manual mode with auto iso. I lock in at 1/1250 second. I get reliably sharp shots at that shutter speed and I lock in f8 for good sharpness too. I avoid 6.3, wide open. Sometimes I will go to f7.1 if the light is poor. I have the dock station. Recently I tweaked some things and find I'm getting a pretty good keep rate at 1/800 shutter speed. I set fast autofocus and aggressive OS and tuned autofocus at the longest distance.

                            I just found this link that shows what I was trying to say with composition.
                            The Rule Of Thirds for Bird Photography - Nature Photography Simplified

                            For sharpness, practice. Find a distant sign or set up a soda can. Practice taking shots with a steady hold. Zoom in and judge by how well you can read the fine print. Find your best shutter speed and find your sharpest aperture. Use single point focus so you know exactly what the camera is focusing on. As a second step, try to make note if your lens is focusing precisely on your subject. It might be front or back focusing. This is best done at f6.3. If you don't have the dock, you can also tweak this in the camera.
                            Thanks/Like hark, singlerosa Thanks/liked this post
                            I must have a really good camera.

                          • #8
                            Junior Member

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            Hi Nick,

                            many thanks for your great feedback. Since I have used Affinity Photo to edit my raw file and was surprised how much I could improve on sharpness and contrast.
                            Thanks/Like nickt Thanks/liked this post

                          • #9
                            Senior Member

                            Re: Eagle looking at me

                            Eagle looking at me sideways...

                            Eagle looking at me-j54_4206-edit-copy.jpg

                            Nice shot.
                            (formerly backdoorhippie)

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