Judith Lesnaw  

Untitled by Judith Lesnaw

November 2020 - Untitled

About the Image(s)

A few weeks ago I was trying out different camera setting in an ongoing attempt to catch something, a bird, a butterfly, a witch, anything in flight. There were many birds at the feeders in my yard, but none were taking off or landing. Then I saw a little finch clinging to a twig and looking pensively off into the distance - or future. A shaft of light found its way through the trees to illuminate him. I photographed him through my sunroom window with a Canon 80 D, and Tamron 16-300mm lens fitted with a circular polarizer and set to 300 mm. The camera was hand held and the settings were: 1/1000 sec at f 6.3, ISO 2000.

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

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
My first impression as I look at the image is that the bird and branch are somehow suspended in space. With a black or dark background the image has no boundary. This is where putting a stroke or light frame around the image tells the viewer where the image ends and anchors the elements. There is nice light on the bird and also a nice catch light in the eye. I think you captured his contemplative state. It would be nice to see the original.   Posted: 11/07/2020 21:23:03
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Pamela, thank you so much for your feedback. In fact the look of suspension and contemplation is just what I was aiming for as it represented the way I felt with the pandemic and election looming over my life. I will look for and post the original.   Posted: 11/08/2020 09:45:30
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Here is the original:   Posted: 11/08/2020 10:40:16
Comment Image

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Nicely done with the isolation of the bird and branch from the background. It looks great at the resolution on my screen but when I clicked to look at it larger, there seems to be a loss of detail and the white's look like they are over exposed. They are such a small portion of the image I don't think it is a big deal. I only mention it in case you can bring out some detail from the original in those areas. It's possible that shooting through the window may have resulted in the loss of detail. Again, not a deal breaker as normal viewing distance would be fine.   Posted: 11/08/2020 09:10:59
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Thanks so much Mike. I enlarged the image and I see what you mean. The window has much to do with the problem--it is not as clean as it should be. I am trying to get a visual log of birds that visit my feeders here in Wilmington. Now that the bugs are going undercover I will try shooting with the window open. I could also go outside, but the birds are not as likely to come. I am working on a bird blind for the yard as part of my backyard safari project. Meanwhile, can you suggest how I might go about improving those areas of the image in post processing?   Posted: 11/08/2020 09:40:54
Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
You're very welcome. If it's the white's you are referring to, I'd pull the exposure back just to see if there is some detail in those areas. If so, return the exposure to where it was and selectly reduce the highlights by whatever tools you have at your disposal in the areas in question. It wouldn't work for this image, but if the areas are totally blown out, you can clone in some detail from other bright areas that aren't blown out. If you use PS, change the blend mode to luminosity to avoid adding a color cast to the area you are working on. There are some other methods as well but it all comes down to either bringing out what's there or cloning in from somewhere else.   Posted: 11/08/2020 10:23:36

LC Boros   LC Boros
I again agree with Mike's first comment: the focus is fuzzy when at full res. It might be the window (I shoot through a window daily and have to keep it clean regularly,) but that's a huge range for a lens and I don't know much about Tamron lenses so I went and looked them up at DPReview: their consensus is that at max range fuzziness ensues.

Also since you're already shooting through a window, pay attention to which what glass it is (coatings and thickness esp) and what direction it faces: I've found that since my windows point due north I can eschew a polarizer and thus not affect my shooting speeds adversely.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/tamron-16-300mm-f-3-5-6-3-di-ii-vc-pzd-macro/4   Posted: 11/09/2020 23:02:12

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
I have come to know that I need a tripod any time I shoot birds. My hands are not steady no matter how fast my shutter speed. I like the palette, finding it soothing. The branch would work if you cloned it to end at the bottom of the image. Then the viewer would know there is more but off the screen. I like the light on the bird.   Posted: 11/11/2020 08:52:07

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
I have found that shooting through a window is more difficult than it would seem. I note that you did this hand held, so I am guessing you used auto focus. My experience is that to get a sharp image through glass it is usually necessasry to use manual focus, and often a polarizer helps. I sometimes use a deer hunter chair blind to capture backyard birds. Very comfortable and has a cup holder for my coffee when it is cold. Mike has given you some good suggestions, so there is nothing for me to add there.   Posted: 11/11/2020 11:54:16

Ally Green   Ally Green
He does look deep in thought..nice to have a moment like that! Love the light shaft capturing the details on the feathers enhancing their colour. To me a tad soft below the neck area but that maybe shooting through the window. I am amazed there is no lens flare as i find it difficult to shoot through glass. Anyway not a deal breaker for me and i do like the suspension of the bird on the branch...   Posted: 11/17/2020 12:35:46