Bird Photography - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Bird Photography
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Bird Photography

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  1. Bird Photography

  2. Bird Photography • Why Bird Photography? • Ethics of Bird Photography • What Makes a Good Bird Photo? • Equipment Considerations • Techniques • References

  3. 1. Why Bird Photography? • creation of fine art images for display, publication or sales • documentation/ record for rarities • study of plumage and behavior • other personal reasons (for example, memories of birding trips) …

  4. 2. Ethics of Bird Photography • Birds and its habitat are more important than photo • don't stress birds by getting too close • don't distribute the nests • don't create a path for predators to follow to a nest • other good common sense be observed …

  5. 3. What Makes a Good Bird Photo? • basically it’s the one that meets the needs of the photographer • attention to the basic qualities of the photograph: proper technique and good composition • Technical factors: exposure, sharpness, accurate color, details • Aesthetic Factors: lighting, composition, background, decisive moment, artistic feel consideration, habitat & surrounding • the photographer's technical and artistic abilities

  6. 4. Equipment Considerations Inappropriate equipment can limit the results ... • 35mm SLR format for superb optical quality and portability • Auto focus, motor drive, TTL exposure modes • Choice of digital and/or film SLR • Camera Support

  7. 4.1 Equipment Considerations(cont’d) • choice of lenses: focal length, max aperture, min focusing distance, converter/extension tubes compatibility • 400/5.6 AF lens - good choice for portability and hand held flight shots. Highly usable with 1.4x to make an usable 560/8 lens in good light • 300/2.8 AF lens - for versatility (works well with 1.4x or 2x converters) and portability • 500/4 or 600/4 AF lens – lens of choice for bird photography • avoid mirror lens

  8. 4.2 Equipment Considerations(cont’d) Camera support: • rigid tripod eg Gitzo 1325CF, 1548CF • Wimberley Head – gimbal type • quick release system for mounting lens to tripod head – use of "Arca-Swiss" style plates

  9. 4.3 Equipment Considerations(cont’d) Other Accessories: • Tele converters - 1.4x and 2x • Extension tubes - 12mm, 25mm • Electronic TTL Flash Unit • Better Beamer flash extender

  10. Techniques • Long lens technique • Shooting Film - choices • Shooting Digital - DSLR • Getting Close • Exposure • Lighting • Composition • Decisive Moment and Timing

  11. Long Lens Techniques • Use a sturdy tripod whenever possible. Tighten all controls knobs • Ensure tripod can handle the weight of your camera, lens, tripod head and other accessories with plenty of margin. • Wimberley Head is preferred to Ball Head • Use your arms, hands and face as vibration dampening • Use Image Stabilization (IS) or Vibration Reduction (VR) if available • Use faster film, MLU + self timer + cable release

  12. Film Choice • Slide Film[Fuji Provia 100F] • original & first generation images for sharpness, contrast and colors • a reference for printing • pushability by 1 to 2 EV stops (E-6) • Print Film [Fuji Superia 200, 400, REALA, NPH] - retain max retrievable highlight and shadow detail • wider exposure latitude +/- 3 EV stops • widely available and processing (C-41)

  13. Shooting Digital - DSLR • RAW Format • Photoshop CS [version 8] • Curves & Levels • Image Sharpening Filter • Web Presentation

  14. DSLR Shooting Format - RAW • RAW format provides a "digital negative" • Retain the maximum amount of data in your images • Use Software to convert RAW files e.g. Adobe Photoshop CS, File Viewer Utility, Capture One etc. • On to Photoshop for final processing

  15. Photoshop CS • Powerful and flexible • Work in 16 bit TIFF image • Run NeatImage for noise removal if necessary • Perform levels & curve adjustments to maximize the tonal range • Add sharpening as needed using the unsharp mask, USM, filter

  16. Levels Adjustment

  17. Curves Adjustment

  18. Summary on Level/Curve Adjustments • Use Levels before Curve to clip off the flat parts of the histogram. • If you intend to use Curves for tonal control, don't shift the gray point (gamma) in Levels: you will unnecessarily lose information. • Use an S curve to increase contrast in the midtones. • Push up the midpoint of an S curve to brighten an underexposed picture, while nailing down the shadows with a control point to the left. • Pull down the midpoint of an S curve to darken an overexposed picture, while nailing down the highlights with a control point to the right.

  19. Image Sharpening Filter • Selective sharpening • Make use of magic wand for part selection and only apply sharpening to it • Leave the background alone • Avoid the formation of halos at interfaces with high contrast • Use 100-150(A)/0.6-1.0(R)/2-6(T) for most images

  20. For Web Presentation • Downsize using the Bicubic algorithm to a size of 600 or 640 pixels on the longest size at 72dpi • Change the color space to sRGB (Image -> Mode -> Convert to Profile) at this point if you've been working in AdobeRGB • For print, upsize to the target size at 300dpi

  21. Further Reading – (I) • Adobe Photoshop 7.0/CS by Martin Evening • Real WorldPhotoshop 7 by David Blatner & Bruce Fraser • The Complete Reference Photoshop 7 by Greenberg [McGraw Hill]

  22. Further Reading – (II) • Art Morris - The Art of Bird Photography, Amphoto • John Shaw - Nature Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques, Amphoto • Outdoor Photographer magazine • NatureScapes.net