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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:04 am 
Hi,
After reading bunch of forums and reviews I decided to give a try to Canon EF-70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM. A lot of people were saying to get the "L" series that is 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM L for better colors and sharpness.

Anyways, I would really appreciate if you can tell me how I did? and what do I need to do to improve. "I am a Newbiee"

I have over 1000 pics that I took today from Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago. I am posting some and will post some later.

One thing that I had a lot of problem was with Shutter Priority, I Know it takes experience and trial and error to get the right pic, but I was getting them too dark and had a lot of problems. It was sunny and little cloudy so I tried everything. I even set my ISO to max but still. Most of these pics are with ISO at 800.

The Gear I have is Canon 450D (XSI) and Lens was 70-300f/4.5-5.6 IS USM..." Let me know if I should keep this or try others"
Thanks plz comment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:04 am 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:05 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:26 am 
Hello SyedRizvi,
You got some pretty good shots in there :)
I'll let the experts advise on your camera settings.
You did pretty good anyhow.
Have a nice day,
Rizwan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:12 pm 
frs69 wrote:
Hello SyedRizvi,
You got some pretty good shots in there :)
I'll let the experts advise on your camera settings.
You did pretty good anyhow.
Have a nice day,
Rizwan.


Thanks Rizwan. I appreciate that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:11 am 
The pics are awesome, dude! Really surprised you call yourself a newbie!
The sharpness and colours you mentioned about the lens are more useful for hard-core professionals. We cannot make out the difference perhaps even at full size!
The Canon L series stands for Luxury and is dead expensive! You seem to be getting there!
Keep up the good work!
A small hint for bird photography is to use low speed burst and have at least half a dozen pics per burst. Then you stand a better chance to get unique poses.....
Hope this helps.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:27 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Wales
Hello

I like tyhe pictures - no really I do but as you asked for critique I will try my best.

Some of the photo's look as though there may be a few burnt out highlights which is sometimes unavoidable but you can help your self with this.

This, I hope, is help and not criticism.

If you are post processing these it may be that by lightning the photo's you have made the lighter areas appear burned out - if this is correct you could try using the shadows/highlights option in Photoshop (if you have it) (elements or full version) which is an easy option (other photo editing programs have similar opitions or so I believe. There are other options within photoshop but they can be more complex.

If it is not post processing and it is the camera's exposure settings then this is easy to work around - here's how I do it

1. check your histogram and adjust exposure accordingly. (alter the cameras exposure value (ev) setting - see 3 below.

2. if yor camera has an option when you view your pictures to highlight bright and dark areas swith this mode on - it is useful especially when used with the histogram. It flashes a warning colour over bright or dark areas in the photo.

3. you could adjust your cameras exposure value decreasing it by whatever amount produces a correct exposure. (I use a Pentax K10 and cannot help with how to do this on your camera - sorry)

4. if you are shooting jpegs try using raw - it can be amazing just how much info can be recovered when processing raw files - I use adobe camera raw and you can recover some highlights and shadows that you could not with a jpeg - I believe this is due to the 'lossy' compression used in the jpeg format which discards information - if you have not tried this then you should - raw files are far better.

And probably the best bit of advice I can offer is practice - nothing else works :o)

Oh yeah, almost forgot - your photo's are great and in my experience some of the ones you will like most won't always be the most technically correct ones but ones that capture a moment or an expression etc - at the end of the day if your photo's make you happy nothing else really matters - that's my opinion - it may be wrong but it is still my opinion.


Cheers

_________________
K10D + optimistic idiocy

My pic's - http://www.flickr.com/photos/10126769@N05/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1450
Location: Gold Coast Australia
Hi SyedRizvi,

Nice set and loved the colours, looking at the Exif I think your speeds are to low, guess it must have been poor lighting as the ISO is quite high on some.

There was one Exif at 1/15sec with focal length of 300mm, unless you used a tripod or have an extremely steady hand I don’t think you will get a shot without camera shake at this focal length. For this shot I would have used a speed around 1/350 or 1/400

Suggest you have a look at Wolfsong’s great postings in this section and look at the Exifs of his shots.

Hope this helps and keep up the good work.

Cheers

_________________
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:14 pm 
wow man, those pics are awesome. You're a natural wildlife photographer dude.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:18 pm 
4xxxx wrote:
Hi SyedRizvi,

Nice set and loved the colours, looking at the Exif I think your speeds are to low, guess it must have been poor lighting as the ISO is quite high on some.

There was one Exif at 1/15sec with focal length of 300mm, unless you used a tripod or have an extremely steady hand I don’t think you will get a shot without camera shake at this focal length. For this shot I would have used a speed around 1/350 or 1/400

Suggest you have a look at Wolfsong’s great postings in this section and look at the Exifs of his shots.

Hope this helps and keep up the good work.

Cheers


All the pictures are hand held.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:19 pm 
firedragon958 wrote:
wow man, those pics are awesome. You're a natural wildlife photographer dude.


Thanks for the great compliment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:56 pm 
Hi, good attempt at some wildlife pics.

I will be pretty frank with you.First off, some of your shots are good.

Now lets get to whats not so good:
--- Many of your shots are ruined by some unwanted elements. Ex: Your lion shots- the focus is good and you are capturing the animal in some good poses BUT they are spoiled by those branches. They completely distract you from the main focus and make for an unbalanced and hence ordinary looking photo. Go through each of your photos and see if you can find what those unwanted distracting elements are. It will be an useful exercise which will make you conscious about what you are doing so thet you wont repeat the same again.

-- The same can be seen with other photos- I am guessing you were shooting through some leaves or plants and so you have many out-of-focus objects right in front of your animal. The result does not make for a good image. So make sure you have a clean shot of the animal and that there is nothing in the way.

-- Also, try not to get the cages and the fences in the picture. Get really close to the fence and then zoom into the animal. This should help with the removing the cage from your image.

-- Try shooting with manual mode or aperture priority mode. This helps you control the depth of field. Using a shallow DOF will help isolate the animal from background-- same as you would do with a portrait. Unless you have a really interesting background, try to throw it out of focus by using a wide open aperture. This will also help raise shutter speeds.

-- Composition is also very important. I know that animals are unpredictable and move around a lot, but you just have to wait, and wait, and wait , and wait. And when you just get tired of waiting, wait some more. If you have patience, you will get some incredible shots which will be well worth it. So develop patience if you want to shoot animals.
Your composition of the lion photo could have been improved if you had just walked a bit to your right to remove those branches from your picture.
--Try to apply the rule of thirds when composing your picture. You dont have to always do it, but it will make your picture more interesting in many cases.

-- Try to isolate your animal if possible. Isolated subjects have more impact than one in a group. This is also not always; there are definitely times when a herd can be more interesting than a single animal.
So, the trick is to learn what to leave out. If one of the animals is doing something interesting and one near it is not, try concentrating only on the interesting one, as the other one will just distract from the main subject.

-- With regards to exposure and other details, you will get hang of it once you practice more. if a photo does not look the way you wanted it, instead of just deleting it, you should go take a look at the image data and see what settings they were taken at. This will teach you a lot about how the settings are affecting your pictures.

-- Try different angles- go down low- one your knees or even on the ground if you can. Everyone sees the animals standing up so your images will have more appeal if they present a different perspective. Getting on eye level with your animals will add more impact to your picture.

So, just keep practicing. Go multiple times to the zoo and spend more time with each animal and be patient and try different compositions and different times of day. You will begin taking better pictures .

Cheers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:48 am 
Thank you. Very good advices


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