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      12-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
M_Six
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Out at the Lake

I went out to the local reservoir today to see if I could find some eagles fishing. No such luck. I saw one bald eagle cruise by, but he was so far away that the center focus point covered him completely. Alas. But I was able to sidle up to a Great Blue Heron. Not the most animated character I've ever seen. I saw him grab one small fish, but otherwise he just sort of stood around and did some preening for the 2 hours I was there. I was hoping to catch him in flight, but he was in no mood to leave, I guess.











I was pretty happy with the AF on the 5D MKIII with the 400 5.6 and 1.4x TC III combo. This is a hefty crop of some ducks taking flight and they came out pretty sharp.



Caught a Ring Billed Gull flyby, too.



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      12-28-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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Nice light on the GBH and the mallard pair flight shot is a tough one. Well done.
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      12-28-2013, 10:53 PM   #3
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Thanks, Dave. The lighting on the GBH was textbook. The sun was behind me and the GBH was in front. Couldn't have asked for better. That mallard shot is a serious crop (there was another male way back in trail) and it's still sharp. Very impressive AF on the 5D MkIII.
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      12-28-2013, 10:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Thanks, Dave. The lighting on the GBH was textbook. The sun was behind me and the GBH was in front. Couldn't have asked for better. That mallard shot is a serious crop (there was another male way back in trail) and it's still sharp. Very impressive AF on the 5D MkIII.
That AF system is serious good. If only it'd handle a 2.0x TC, it'd be perfect.

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      12-29-2013, 12:01 AM   #5
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That AF system is serious good. If only it'd handle a 2.0x TC, it'd be perfect.

Dave
When you use your 2x TC on the 500, you're at f8, right? So do you just use center AF point? The choice is pretty limited at f8.
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      12-29-2013, 03:20 AM   #6
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Nice high SS ;-)
At least it wasn't snowing or raining. Good day and all the GBH's I see are pretty lazy.
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      12-29-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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When you use your 2x TC on the 500, you're at f8, right? So do you just use center AF point? The choice is pretty limited at f8.
You get single-point and single-point expanded. That's not really a problem. The problem is that, even with a good pre-focus, it might take a second to lock onto a flying bird. With the 1D X, it only takes .1-sec. You'll still miss some with the 1D X, but not nearly so many.

The buck and coyote shots that I posted yesterday were both with the 500mm and 2.0x, so it's still very useful for everything except birds in flight. For most people, the 5D3 will do everything that you need.

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      12-29-2013, 12:03 PM   #8
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I tried the single point expanded on the GBH yesterday and it would hunt a lot. Or just plain miss the focus. I went back to single point and found it quicker and more accurate. Still, I have a good amount of OOF shots using single point expanded. I think I was using it here, though, and this one isn't bad considering it's a 100% crop. I believe this is a Common Goldeneye male.

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      12-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Nice high SS ;-)
At least it wasn't snowing or raining. Good day and all the GBH's I see are pretty lazy.
Yep, the great light I had yesterday allowed a nice high SS. I started out at 1/1250 and probably lost some shots to motion blur because of it. Once I bumped it up to 1/1600 it worked better. I think that'll be my new default if the light permits.
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      12-29-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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I like your processing, but, if it were mine, I'd add a little more contrast to the GBH ones, including Micro Contrast (I think they call it Clarity in LR). I'm talking a minor adjustment here, to try to emphasize the wide range of grey on these birds.
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      12-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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Done. I adjusted the last GBH image a bit. You're right, it does look better with more detail.
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      12-29-2013, 07:22 PM   #12
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Done. I adjusted the last GBH image a bit. You're right, it does look better with more detail.
Yes, well done.

For feathers and fur, I find that working with Contrast and Micro Contrast can really pop an image just a little more. I set Shadow and Highlight levels first, then adjust Contrast and Micro-Contrast next (that'll darken) and, lastly, I look at the overall level (usually making no adjustment).

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      12-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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I used Photoshop CC's new RAW filter and added in a bit of clarity. Then I duped the layer, desaturated the new layer, changed the blend mode to soft light, then added an inverted layer mask. Then I used a soft brush at 33% opacity to paint in the heavier contrast. That way the whole image wasn't affected, just the gray plumage areas.

I'm glad I sprang for the 1.4x TC III, though. I don't think the Kenko TC would have delivered that crisp detail. I should probably run a side by side test one of these days.
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      01-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #14
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Nice photos.
I call for Heron Dynasty.
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      01-02-2014, 11:30 AM   #15
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You have a great eye for framing an image. Loving your tight crops and subject placement but I feel that even with your TC there is still room for a slightly larger aperture. Also whats with the Auto ISO??!
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