Richard Matheny  

Worms Please by Richard Matheny

June 2022 - Worms Please

June 2022 - Richard Matheny


About the Image(s)

Titled this "Worms Please" It's another shot from my backyard setup. A Male Eastern Bluebird feeding a newly fledged chick. These guys are begging for food at all times and now that they can fly, they will follow mom or dad to the perch I have provided and beg from there.. Works out real good for the camera guy.
Again shot with the Nikon D500 and the 300PF prime lens. This perch is a little farther back than the others so some cropping was in order. Settings were 1/1500 sec at F4 and ISO of 1250. I darkened the background using the subject selection tool inverted and ran the image through Topaz DeNoise. I also used the LR subject selection tool to apply some lighter exposure on the birds..

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

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Hey Richard, Wonderful pose on those birds. Looks as if your back yard setup is working well for you. To me the original looks pretty noisy. Must have been very low light. In the processed image the birds look over-sharpened and a bit oversaturated. I know everybody likes to shoot birds at high shutter speeds, but lowering to 1/1000 to get the ISO down (less noise) might have been an option. I don't know. It's still an appealing image.   Posted: 06/03/2022 20:26:03

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Well it looks like your outdoor studio is quite popular. If you get enough clients maybe you can raise your rates and then purchase new camera gear. :-)

Your crop certainly works and you have a nice image. Like Michael I noticed the noise in the original. You clearly tried to reduce this in the processing but then you introduced a second problem ( lack of sharpness) which you then addresses separately. The result is quite "crunchy" looking birds. You have to be very selective in sharpening so that it does not get over done. With birds sitting on a branch you can easily get the shutter down to 1/1000 and that would allow for bringing down the ISO where the source of you problem exists.

I would also offer a second option. Try going to Home Depot and getting a high wattage DAYLIGHT lightblub. Then get one of those cheap worklight bulb holder, the one with the small metal hood. Then take the light and clamp it to a tree branch. If need be use an extension cord. Leave the lamp on and turn it off by unplugging it. The light will not have to be real close to the perch but it will add a bit of fill light that will help light the scene.e birds are

If that branch the birds are sitting on was placed there by you, try adjusting it to give it a bit of diagonal. It will add a bit of dynamics to the scene and be a better composition.

Just my nit picking 2 cents worth. Keep working on those studio shots.

  Posted: 06/04/2022 09:28:58

Frank St-Pierre   Frank St-Pierre
Training those birds to pose like that can't have been easy. I like the crop, and rotating branch to horizontal. Gorgeous colors in those bluebirds and the open beak.

As mentioned by others, some technical issues detract from a perfect pic. You mentioned Denoise last in your processing steps, so I'm not sure if that's the actual sequence, but if/when I use Denoise AI it's at the very beginning (the 1st step) of processing, and this based on Topaz's own recommendation, at least for stand alone modules which is what I use (not plugin versions). Also, just an FYI, the sharpening tool in Denoise is inferior to the stand alone Topaz Sharpen module.

Regarding noise, are you processing from raw files, or jpg? I don't have the D500 but since it was on my shortlist for an APS-C format (before I bought the Fuji) I seem to remember the D500's sensor, like my Fuji's sensor, has 2 ISO-invariant ranges (processing from RAW obviously, not from jpg). If that's true (about the D500), and assuming you process from raw files, then ISO may not be your main problem. I think Walter's suggestion about adding an extension light is brilliant (no pun intended).   Posted: 06/11/2022 15:28:41

Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Group 48)
Great capture. Well done   Posted: 06/18/2022 13:11:08

David Kepley   David Kepley
What a great moment! You got the parent bird feeding the baby! As others have mentioned, the noise issue was probably your biggest hurdle. The edited version is till a little noisy. And and Larry mentioned it introduced an over sharpness issue. Love to join you at your outdoor studio!!   Posted: 06/23/2022 14:00:59