Jeffrey Pawlan  

Birds Flying by Jeffrey Pawlan

September 2020 - Birds Flying

About the Image(s)

Birds flying in morning fog over a still pond. Their reflections mirror the birds.

Camera: Nikon D850
lens: Nikon 180-400 TC1.4 f/4 with the TC engaged
1/3000sec f/11 550mm ISO 1400
adjusted and edited in camera raw and PS

10 comments posted

Sarita Yeola   Sarita Yeola
The reflections of the birds are nice but I would have preferred if the birds at the top were completely in the frame. I think it would have been a better picture if it was completely symmetrical.   Posted: 09/09/2020 21:41:36
Stanley Selkow   Stanley Selkow
(Group 97)
Actually, I don't think it can be symmetrical. The picture is not symmetric around the horizon. It would be symmetric if the birds were all the same distance from the camera or if the sun were directly over head.   Posted: 09/10/2020 15:07:10

Jeffrey Pawlan   Jeffrey Pawlan
Thank you both Sarita and Stanley.

Stanley is correct. The picture is not symmetric. The sun was definitely not overhead as this was early in the morning. I think it was around 7am.

However, I will work on this photo some more and attempt to remove birds that are cut off at the edges of the photo. I am very busy so it might take me a few weeks.

  Posted: 09/10/2020 15:53:48

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
I think the question of symmetry is analyzed as follows:
1. The light path from the birds in the air to the camera--let us call that the "front" view.
2. The light path from the birds to the water surface to the camera--let us call that the "reflected" view--is a peek at the underside of the birds, because the water surface is below the birds.
3. You can see, counting from the left, that birds 3,4, and 5 are almost overlapping in the "front" view, but separated in the "reflected" view.
4. It is the different optical paths that create different views of the birds.
5. You can see this by looking in a mirror and holding up you hand--an extreme case--where you see different sides of you hand in the "front" and "reflected" views.
6. Hence, there is no symmetry in this kind of shot.
7. A landscape across a lake, for another example, with autumn trees reflected in the lake, is fairly symmetric because the two light paths are not very different.
8. This is how I see the matter. Does it make sense?   Posted: 09/13/2020 15:41:28
Jeffrey Pawlan   Jeffrey Pawlan
Dear Stephen,
What you wrote is correct. I am glad to hear from another engineer or physicist. I was an electronic engineer for 50 years and since most of my later work was at microwave or millimeter wave frequencies, optical ray tracing was important.
  Posted: 09/13/2020 21:19:38
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Hi Jeffrey,
My father was a physicist, and did some work in early semiconductors, when the devices were still visible to the naked eye. He settled into teaching at Albany State University in New York. I studied math. It's fun to go at a question like this.   Posted: 09/13/2020 23:29:54

Sherry Icardi   Sherry Icardi
Rather amazed at the. depth of the conversation. There are clearly some who view photography as an art form and some that view it as a scientist/engineer/mathematician. I spent me career in a Medical Laboratory and when the discussion is about Clinical laboratory science I put on that hat.

But with this image I tend to agree with Sarita and it is not about math or physics but rather about the distraction of having partial birds in the image. I do a lot of birds and will almost always try to NOT cut off part of a bird, even if it means cloning or photoshopping it out. I don't want to speak for her, but that is what I personally find distracting. and I agree that some people would not find it unpleasant , so it is up to the photographer to make that call.

If it were my image I would try to minimize the partial birds. It doesn't matter if there are extra bird reflection since I would intuitively know that there was indeed a huge flock of birds coming in or leaving as the case may be. The reflections are great, you might even consider just using the reflections as the image.....just some thoughts!   Posted: 09/24/2020 11:57:59

David Henderson   David Henderson
Hi Jeffrey
I like the sharpness and depth of field of the image, but to me the whole image is just to busy, there is nothing to fix your eyes on as many things are happening at once. Maybe you could pick just one bird and it's reflection and crop to it.   Posted: 09/25/2020 03:07:28

Jeffrey Pawlan   Jeffrey Pawlan
replies to Sherry and also David:
Sherry, I have been working very hard on high priority projects with repairs on my house and equipment. I wrote that I will edit the original and remove the cut-off birds as soon as I can and send you the new image to replace the one on this group.

David, this was my attempt to mimic Japanese brush art. I liked the large amount of activity. That was my artistic choice. I have a different photo I took the same day that I can put on this group next month. It will satisfy your preference.
  Posted: 09/25/2020 10:11:33

Jeffrey Pawlan   Jeffrey Pawlan
I sent a newly edited version of my photo to Sherry to post in place of the original one. This new version has the partial birds removed. I hope that she will have time to post it this week.
  Posted: 09/27/2020 17:16:08


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