Laura Lee Bartholomew  

Preening Flamingo by Laura Lee Bartholomew

March 2020 - Preening Flamingo

About the Image(s)

I am really trying to branch out and learn new areas of photography other than landscape. I'm good at landscape, but I am not good at any other area or photography. I am trying to do street photography and animals (is there a difference?). This is an image that I took at the LA Zoo with my new Nikon Z7. I was using a Tamron 18-400 f/3.5-6.3 lens that I just bought (not sure I like it).I am so confused about camera and lens settings for moving subjects (landscapes don't move even when the sky keeps changing). ISO was 500, shutter 1/1000 sec. at f/4.5.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
12 comments posted

Donna Paul   Donna Paul
I like this image the color is so beautiful, his eyes are sharp and the detail in the feather is good. I like how his head almost has a glow to it. The background is not distraction. I like how the neck is separated from the body. I don't know what to say to help you improve with this photo. I am learning also. Maybe one thing that my eye is pulled to that you may or may not want to change is the little bit of pink on the rocks in the bottom right. What do you think about doing something with the line on the neck from the shadow? I feel one thing that does help everyone is when we put up the before pics with the one we want CC on.   Posted: 03/02/2020 18:45:07
Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
I didn't notice that pink spot on the bottom right. I agree that it is kind of a distraction. Please explain what you mean by doing something with the line from the shadow.   Posted: 03/02/2020 18:55:41

Donna Paul   Donna Paul
If you look at the neck and about even with the black part of the beak over on the neck they is a line of shadow that is parallel with the beak. I did not know if you wanted that left or if you might want to blend it by dodging it or some other way of blending. I just didn't know if it should be so hard or not? Maybe you like it the way it is and if so then it works if you did not see it and now you do you can decide how you like it best.   Posted: 03/02/2020 21:05:39

Jim Horn   Jim Horn
Laura, this photo is very well done. You have great Bokeh to blur out the background, bringing more attention to the sharp detail of the flamingo. Regarding the dark like that Donna saw, I think that is a natural way that feathers part and I wouldn't change that. In Photoshop, I used the burn tool (shadow selection) and darkened the background. There is an orange round area on the neck. I tried to use blend techniques to paint over it but preferred what I did using the clone tool to overwrite that spot. Let me know what your think. Dr. Jim   Posted: 03/03/2020 09:44:55
Comment Image
Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
Oh my gosh, your are right. I did not notice that strange circle on the neck. I wish I had seen your comment before I submitted the image in the March S4C competition.   Posted: 03/12/2020 20:12:14

Sam Fernando   Sam Fernando

Very nice photo. Good details of the bird. The head and the eyes are very clear. Good lighting. The dark background adds to the strength of the photo. Well done!   Posted: 03/12/2020 06:49:02
Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
Thank you for your kind remarks. I do admit that anything good about this image was totally a mistake since I did not know what I was doing. Ha, ha, ha....beginner's luck, I guess.   Posted: 03/12/2020 20:09:51

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Hi Laura. I'm just visiting from Groups 36 & 67. In that I'm located in south Florida when I was looking over this month thumbnails I was instantly taken by your flamingo. There is a great deal to like about this image. Few photographers actually use light and you were skilled enough to catch some interesting highlights on the neck and some of the back feathers. This really makes the image come more alive. You have an interesting unifying curve leading from the bottom right,moving to the underside of the bird, up the neck and ending with the beak. This line holds the image together and leads the eye. Of course the image is sharp,there are no overexposed areas and you included the all important eye. I'd say you did pretty well with a wild life image

Your write up mentions two issues. One you say you are not certain you like your lens. I would love to know why? It seems to have captured a pretty good image and it has good contrast and sharpness. Would you care to explain your issues with the lens?

I am a nature and wildlife photographer and find that there is a great deal of difference with these areas and street photography. If you have questions about any of these areas I would be happy to try and provide some guidance. Please feel free to ask. I'd love to see some of your landscapes.

BTW--if you are interesting in street photograph try looking at images from Henri Cartier-Bresson,   Posted: 03/12/2020 14:45:20
Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
Thank you so much for your encouraging and thoughtful comments. You made my day!

So far I have only used the lens that one time. I love the extended range from 18-400mm without changing lenses. Since I had no idea what settings to use, I did auto ISO. Most of the images seem very noisy and unclear. It seems like the ISO was too high. The flamingo was a lucky mistake. Maybe if I knew better what settings to use, I might be happier with the lens. I'm not good at quick focusing, and because the lens is not native to the Z7, I had to use the adapter which slowed down the auto focus.

You can see some of my landscapes on this group by viewing previous rounds. A lot of my images are on 500px. If you google Laura Lee Bartholomew, you will get hits to my 500px account. However, many of those images were processed several years ago. My processing skills have improved and I would probably process them differently.

I would love some guidance on nature and wildlife photography. Is there a way to communicate without it being through this forum?
  Posted: 03/12/2020 20:08:40
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Lucky mistakes still count!!
First, didn't I read some where that you used a Nikon D800 at one point?? I have shot the D800, but currently use the D810 and D850. I say this because the Z7 has a record of slow and spotty auto focus with any lens. So the issue is probably the camera not you!! Keep Smiling!! You say images were noisy but this one was shot at ISO 500---that should not be noisy. Check and find out exactly what the ISO actually was so we can get to a starting point.

Did you use single point focus or one of the dynamic groups?
For a stationary subject you can use single point, for moving subjects try one of the dynamic groups like 9 or 21.

You can practice using an empty coke bottle. Attach a string to the coke bottle and hang it from a tree limb. make the bottle swing in a wide arc left to right. Back up take the camera and try to focus on the coke bottle. Practice makes perfect. Let me know how it works.

If you ask questions, you can get answers in the Discussion Groups. Post some of your results. I'll look forward to seeing them.   Posted: 03/12/2020 20:51:03

Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
Thanks you again for taking enough interest in my work to post a reply. I really do appreciate it.   Posted: 03/15/2020 17:37:06

Sue Gordon   Sue Gordon
Great job, especially since you say you are a beginner. I like the simple adjustments that Jim did, just enhancing an already good image. Love the light.   Posted: 03/25/2020 19:39:25