Ed O’Rourke  

Happy Gaggle  by Ed O’Rourke

March 2023 - Happy Gaggle

March 2023 - Ed O’Rourke


About the Image(s)

Back to the Skagit River Delta and the Snow Geese. This is as close as I could get to the geese without getting up over my ankles in mud and for two reason: 1) if I got any closer they would have flown away; 2) with all that mud on my feet my wife wouldn't have let me back in her car. I did want to see how much of a close up I could get so I gave it a try. To isolate the birds with their heads up I had to crop down quite a bit, which limits how much I can enlarge the image. The day was very overcast so no harsh lighting to deal with.

I took the shot with my Canon R; RF100-500mm lens at 500mm; aperture f18; shutter speed at 1/100; ISO 640. I wanted a lower ISO because I knew that I'd be cropping so I wanted as little noise as possible.

8 comments posted

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I think something is missing with the crop. On my screen the geese seem a little soft, this could be because of how much you had to crop in. I know you wanted a close-up but IMO it loses some context with the close in crop. I hope you don't mind I adjusted the crop used a clone tool to take out some of the geese and ran it through Topaz AI. The background seems to add more context.   Posted: 03/02/2023 13:14:45
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Ed O’Rourke   Ed O’Rourke

Thanks Darcy. I like your crop better than mine.   Posted: 03/04/2023 09:50:24

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Ed, IMO, this image suffers from motion blur. I struggled with the same issue, and went to Tom Bol Photography for help. Tom told me, especially with a long lens, SS should be fast...no less than 1/1500. He had me reduce my aperture and increase ISO, accordingly. To solve your ISO/Noise issue, test drive Topaz products...DeNoise, and Sharpener. If you are a NIK guy, you can get relief from that package, too. And Darcy's crop is better...clearer!   Posted: 03/04/2023 12:24:22

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I have to agree with Paul the Topaz package is worth it. I use it especially when using my long lens.
  Posted: 03/04/2023 15:21:45

Neil Bellenie
Hi Ed, I like these goose pictures of yours. They are interesting creatures.

I agree with Paul that there is motion blur. The rule of thumb I use is SS should be faster than 1/focal length (IE 1/500th sec in this example). An aperture of f/8 would have kept you in the same ball park for ISO and given good depth of focus.

It is interesting to see how the additional background in Darcy's crop adds to the composition.   Posted: 03/04/2023 15:31:39

Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
Hi, Ed, it was entirely by accident that I ended up reading folks' comments before posting my own, but this has simplified the task for me. First, I hadn't specifically noticed the motion blur, as I generally don't expect the greatest of sharpness in these small files, esp. when cropped in as in tyhis case. Now, I don't "do" wilkdlife photography of any sort, so I'm really not qualified to speak on the subject (though I have sat through many a contest judging; my local club has a very strong bird photography contingent). I find that, without context, a wildlife image fails to generate lasting interest unless the subject is truly unusual or doing something engaging. I like Darcy's crop and clone; I tried one of my own, a bit wider, but I think her image works better. I also flipped the image horizontally; I'm told that wildlife images "read" better left to right.

Oned other thing, the birds seem a bit overexposed, so I pulled them down a bit.

And I use the Topaz suite a *lot*. Modestly, though. It's easy to produce some really ugly artifacts, "hallucinations" I've seen them called by one author.   Posted: 03/04/2023 16:51:04
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Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Mark, this photo is excellent   Posted: 03/05/2023 10:43:22

Dawn Gulino
Reading through the comments, I don't have much more to add here. I really like the crop that Darcy did, however I think I'd clone a bit more on the right and left to add a bit more balance.   Posted: 03/06/2023 16:57:30


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