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Bad pic. What did I do wrong?
I took a series of shot of this bald eagel and his salmon on a recent canoe trip I just got back from, I was using a 20D and EF7-200 2.8 IS lens..

I checked what P mode wanted to use for a shutter speed and cranked up the ISO till I got at least a 1/400 speed yet, almost all of them blurred. I'm wondering if I could get some thoughts on what it is I did wrong or could possibly have done better, here is the exif data and picture. Thanks~~!.

File Name_MG_0782.JPGCamera ModelCanon EOS 20DShooting Date/Time9/6/2007 12:31:59 PMShooting ModeProgram AETv( Shutter Speed )1/400Av( Aperture Value )4.0Metering ModeEvaluative MeteringExposure Compensation+1/3ISO Speed200Lens70.0 - 200.0 mmFocal Length200.0 mmImage Size3504x2336Image QualityFineFlashOffWhite Balance ModeAutoAF ModeAI Focus AF.

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Comments (17)

Need faster shutter speed. While it was enough to freeze camera, it couldn't freeze a moving target. If you were panning with the bird, it might be good enough though..

ISO 400 @ 1/800 should have been better..

Exposure compensation could have been lower, due to the blown tail. Perhaps -1/3? That's a tough one to fix on the fly though. That would have reduced the shutter speed as well...

Comment #1

First, the fact that you caught this image is great. It's a great subject and you were in the right place at the right time..

For birds on the fly, I'd recommend at least 1/1250s and ideally 1/1600s shutter speeds. The former will freeze the body of the bird while give a bit of motion blur to the wings (to suggest a bird in flight) while the latter would freeze the bird altogether. Hummingbirds are a bit different since they beat their wings so fast..

It appears as though you may have focused on the rock just before the eagle. With an aperture of f/4 and 200mm focal length, that may be enough to push the bird slightly OOF. If you were using multiple AF points, try switching to just one AF point (perhaps the center one) to ensure your subject is in focus..

When birding I always use ISO400 and rarely anything less. Try keeping the ISO at 400 to keep the shutter speeds up..

Shoot in RAW and you can fix the highlight issues later, if not blown completely.Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #2

I'm trying to learn, so please don't be ofended, but is this what came out of the camera?.

Tried to have a look at the exif, but almost nothing left..

Tom..

Comment #3

Thanks very much to both of you, I had no idea I should be using quite so fast a shutter speed for this subject matter. I should also mention that I was seated in a canoe and on fairly choppy water at the time I took the series of shots so, I'm not sure how much (or not at all) my own motion could have been a problem. As well I was using the center AF point and I had the back star button set as my focus trigger to keep it separate from the half press shutter set..

I really appreciate the advice to keep myself set to ISO 400 at all times when I could find myself birding, I should have considered that long ago but coming out of an old G series camera I was always too concerned with grain and noise. I took some pictures of killer whales passing by my canoe at close range and did not have any troubles with blurring at 1/500th despite the fact that they were moving pretty fast, I suppose that is a different situation though..

Thanks again~!..

Comment #4

I did some on the fly sharpening, contrast and saturation before uploading from my laptop a few days ago. I cropped the picture pretty heavily too but none of the quick post process work I did on it changes the evidence of the problem I'm trying to solve, which is the fact that most of my eagle shots blurred. And no worries, no offense taken at all...

Comment #5

AMonster wrote:.

I did some on the fly sharpening, contrast and saturation beforeuploading from my laptop a few days ago. I cropped the picturepretty heavily too but none of the quick post process work I did onit changes the evidence of the problem I'm trying to solve, which isthe fact that most of my eagle shots blurred. And no worries, nooffense taken at all..

It looks over sharpened which I think makes the subject almost look cut and past onto the background. Is your crop more than 100%? Sometimes you're better off at 80% with margional focus. It won't be the close-up you wanted but with the right crop can be a decent picture. Do you have a copy as it was straight from the camera?.

You certainly were at the right place at the right time......Dennis..

Comment #6

Heavily cropped..

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It was early morning with little light, and that's what I got handheld w/ 100-400..

He was a lot closer when I noticed him. I attempted to shoot him in flight, but I had my camera in mirror-lockup mode. I almost cried...

Comment #7

1/400 is barely adequate for that focal length on that camera when you are working hard to hodl the camera steady..

Add in sitting in a canoe, and it's a miracle the phto turned out this well..

All in all, it's not anawful photograph..

BAK..

Comment #8

The fish, the bird's head, and it's legs are in focus, so the forward motion was not your problem. The wings were beating too fast for your camera, and the tail may have moved as well. Since a faster shutter speed would both stop the wings and lessen the overexposure of the tail, that is what you might wish to change. Your bobbing boat did not contribute to any problems, though..

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Comment #9

5D DjD wrote:.

It looks over sharpened which I think makes the subject almost lookcut and past onto the background. Is your crop more than 100%?Sometimes you're better off at 80% with margional focus. It won't bethe close-up you wanted but with the right crop can be a decentpicture. Do you have a copy as it was straight from the camera?.

You certainly were at the right place at the right time......Dennis.

I do have a copy of the original however it seems to me to be very hazy for what ever reason and not very usable at all... heres the link.

Http://ripplewake.ca/img/temp/_MG_0782.JPG..

Comment #10

I don't profess to be great at this but I like to play around. Used some fade correction, a slight curves adjustment, a little fill flash and Unsharp Mask. First 2 are about a 53% crop off the orig... You can get much better results by creating another layer and treeting the subject and background to different processing. Imagine the 3rd pic's background with the subject from the 1st pic..

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And on this one I did the same as above but resized instead of cropping and played with some digital noise removal for a more artsy effect.

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Being in a canoe and having a moving target creats a big handicap....

...Dennis..

Comment #11

Maybe someone that really knows how to do this will give it a try......Dennis..

Comment #12

I very much enjoyed the rather artsy results you achieved on the third shot, but all three are much better after your PP work. Could I ask what tool you used to get rid of the washed out foggy look of the original?.

Bravo..!..

Comment #13

Most likely someone has beat me to it..

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Regards,Wing..

Comment #14

AMonster wrote:.

I very much enjoyed the rather artsy results you achieved on thethird shot, but all three are much better after your PP work. CouldI ask what tool you used to get rid of the washed out foggy look ofthe original?.

Bravo..!.

Thanks, Can't afford the good stuff, so I'm using PSP10. Color-Fade Correction and Curves took care of the washed out look but darkened it up so then applied some Fill Flash to bring out the detail from the darker image....Dennis..

Comment #15

I really like the second render you did as well... I can see soooo much more detail in the tail feathers, but still haze over the entire pic..

Thanks for the demo!..

Comment #16

Clint Sanders wrote:.

Exposure compensation could have been lower, due to the blown tail.Perhaps -1/3? That's a tough one to fix on the fly though. That wouldhave reduced the shutter speed as well..

Actually, negative exposure compensation increases the shutter speed, assuming aperture stays the same. You get a darker exposure by letting less light hit the sensor, that would be accomplished by either a smaller aperture or faster shutter speed. When shooting birds I usually use Aperture priority to ensure that I'm getting the depth of field I want, and -0.7 exposure compensation, since a lot of the birds I shoot are mostly white, plus it helps keep the shutter speed high enough. If I'm shooting fast birds in continuous flight I'll usually use manual, 1/1600 of a second, and f/5.6, and use whichever ISO gets me the right exposure. 1/400 really isn't enough for even relatively slow moving birds like herons...

Comment #17

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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