Jason Stewart  

African Jacana by Jason Stewart

March 2020 - African Jacana

March 2020 - Jason Stewart


About the Image(s)

This is an image of an African Jacana bird taken while laying flat on a boat on the Chobe river in Botswana. They have their large feet to hop along the lillies and are often seen picking at the open flowers. That's the iconic shot to get and I have one but like this one better.
It was canon 1DXii with a sigma 150-600.
1/2500sec f10 600mm with 2000 iso

9 comments posted

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Beautiful Bird Jason. I love it that you got the action of their ability to walk on the Lilly Pads. I have never been to Africa but I have seen them in Costa Rica and we have birds here in the states that are structured the same. Our Common Moorhen and the Purple Gallinule are very similar to the Jacana in body structure and habits. I really do like that you caught him on that Lily Pad. Good work.
  Posted: 03/03/2020 18:42:33

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
It is really good to see that you continued the low angle shooting this month. Getting down to eye level really helps with the dynamics of the image. You even managed to get a catch light in the eye. This is well done. You also did well by jacking up the shutter speed which really helps with the sharpness as can be seen in the sharpness of the back wing. I would be interested in knowing what focus system you used. Were you using single point only or did you work with a dynamic grouping. I'm asking because the tips of the front wing are blurred and I'm trying to figure out why.

I also noticed that you tried a bit of surgery in removing that flower in the lower right foreground. Removing it was a great idea (I looked at the original) but you left a couple of tell tale signs. One shows on the front edge of the lily pad and there is another in the water at the top of the lily pad. Note the black stick does not match up and there is an issue with the water. What software did you use? If Photoshop--what tools ?

It might be my monitor, but maybe you could open some of the shadows on the dark underside of the wing.

I do like the tension in the photo with the raised wigs.
  Posted: 03/05/2020 18:52:56
Jason Stewart   Jason Stewart
I noticed that the tips of the wings were blurred as well and was thinking it was my shutter speed. I was using the single point focus, so that could have been it? To take the stem out I was using photo shop with the healing brush tool.   Posted: 03/06/2020 18:52:06
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Single point should not matter for sharpness, unless that point was more towards the back half of the bird. But with an f10 there should e more DOF. I am perplexed.

Try the clone tool to fix the lily pad. The you could carefully patch the front edge of the lily pad and keep the edge line perfect. Aline with the cross hairs that appear when you click the Alt or option key.   Posted: 03/10/2020 07:44:40
Jason Stewart   Jason Stewart
sorry for the late post, I work in the ER and things are a bit busy right now. Thanks for the tip. I will definitely try this At times when i try to clone the edges get fuzzy on me and appear to "smear".   Posted: 03/19/2020 06:49:46
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Be safe. You are a valued member around here.   Posted: 03/19/2020 07:33:34

Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Very nice capture of this bird in motion. I see you are shooting with a Sigma 150-600. I found when I had mine, after 500mm, the image was never sharp and the bokah was worse. That being said, Jason. It is a nice image.

I really like the motion of the bird and the way the wings are swept back. The top of the back wing is blurred and you do mention it could be our Tv, but you were shooting at 1/2500 sec, which is pretty fast with an ISO of 2000, so you seem to right on the money here. F-Stop may be another avenue to explore. Even at f/10, it could be this and wonder if you opened it up 1-2 stops, you may have been able to really match Tv with ISO and gotten a faster shot.

There is a lot of fuzziness to the entire bird as well. Any utilization of the Radial button to just isolate the bird and make your adjustments there?   Posted: 03/09/2020 22:15:26

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
I like the uplifted wing pose of this beautiful and unusual bird. Everything's good, but I actually like the original frame with no crop, giving the bird a little more room. Also, I like the idea of lightening up those shadows a little, if possible.   Posted: 03/13/2020 15:42:49
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I am from the school of giving critters room to breathe. Many of the PSA like the tighter crops. This gets to be a personal choice. The only trouble with a wider crop on this image is the white and yellow flower at the bottom. Getting rid of those would solve the problem.   Posted: 03/14/2020 08:45:26


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