First wildlife pictures

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by Focus, May 11, 2008.

  1. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Portugal seems to be flooded with birds: I hear them everywhere, but I can't
    see them!
    So I found some other wildlife that might be interesting for you:

    http://photos-of-portugal.com/Wildlife/

    Comments welcome.
    (Please be gentle: they are my first wildlife attempt ;-)
     
    Focus, May 11, 2008
    #1
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  2. Focus

    tony cooper Guest

    I think you have to decide if you are photographing an animal or a
    nature scene. If you are presenting a picture of the animal, then
    crop to animal. The backgrounds in most of the shots don't add to the
    image. There are some shots where the background does contribute, but
    some that need cropping.
     
    tony cooper, May 11, 2008
    #2
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  3. Focus

    Bob G Guest

    Completely disagree. I went to the web site expecing to find run-of-
    the-mill, boring, done-a-million-times-before, pictures of wildlife
    and instead found some very appealing photographs, more like
    abstractions that work very well than like straight shots of "pretty"
    scenes. The backgrounds form an integral part of the harmony. This
    photographer has a distinct way of seeing and I would like to
    encourage him in his work.
     
    Bob G, May 11, 2008
    #3
  4. Focus

    C J Campbell Guest

    A good start -- I think I see what you are trying to do here, so I have
    a few comments.

    First of all, toss anything that has a blurry head or eyes. We all get
    those pictures; few of us show them. That particularly means head or
    eyes obscured by brush, trees, or whatever. Remember, in wildlife
    photography you are likely to take hundreds of shots, but only one will
    be THE shot.

    You will notice that deer have this maddening habit of standing with
    their bodies in the shade and their heads in sunlight. So you either
    get a low contrast picture with over-exposed heads and under-exposed
    bodies, or you get something where you can't see part of the animal at
    all. Small wonder that people want to shoot them with real weapons
    instead of cameras! I think they are deliberately mocking us.

    Well, I expose for the highlights if I have to, but understand, these
    will not be your best shots. They sure are not mine. Generally, if you
    have enough patience, the animal will either move fully into sun or all
    the way into the shade, but he will stay there for only a few seconds.
    Have the camera set to motor drive and when you have him where you want
    him, let 'er rip.

    You are doing good at getting close enough for environmental shots like
    these. You will eventually want to get closer for portraiture, but have
    patience with that. Get the technique down with the environmental shots
    first.

    A good way to practice is to use the Moose Peterson teddy bear training
    tool: get three teddy bears: a white bear, a brown bear, and a black
    bear. Then photograph them together (preferably using a 200mm lens and,
    say a 70mm lens) in all kinds of light against dark, light and neutral
    backgrounds, lit from the front, with back lighting, and with light
    overhead. Bracket your exposures in 1/3 stop increments to a full stop
    both up and down. Keep careful notes on which exposure is which. Then
    compare the results. This will calibrate your eye and your camera to
    get the exposure you want in almost any kind of lighting.

    One thing you will learn is that the background, if it is dark, will
    often drop out entirely if the animal is properly exposed. Great if you
    are trying to get rid of a distracting tangle of brush behind a jack
    rabbit. Terrible if you are trying to show the animal's environment.
    Things to remember when you are trying to express your artistic vision.
     
    C J Campbell, May 11, 2008
    #4
  5. Focus

    tony cooper Guest

    I agree that you should disagree. Critique of photos works best when
    several comments are offered, and when opposing opinions are
    presented. The photographer can sift through the comments and decide
    which views make the most sense to him.
     
    tony cooper, May 11, 2008
    #5
  6. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Thanks Bob.
    The intention was to show the real "wild" life, not just an animal that
    could be sitting in the zoo.
    They were taken in a sanctuary that used to be the hunting grounds for the
    Portuguese kings. We walked for miles until we finally found this place.
    There's something magical about seeing eye to eye with wild animals without
    gates or anything else between you and them.
     
    Focus, May 11, 2008
    #6
  7. Focus

    tony cooper Guest

    You sound a bit defensive here. When you ask for a critique, then be
    prepared for a critique. I don't make comments like "those are crap
    photos" like I see in the Rita/Annika threads. If I make a comment,
    it's in response to a post that asks for a critique and the comment
    will offer a reason of why I'm making it.

    A photograph is a composition. If the background doesn't add to the
    composition, then crop. If the background is part and parcel to the
    composition, then don't crop. Leaving it in where it should be
    cropped doesn't make it any more "real". It just makes it more
    "busy". Never cropping because you don't want the animal to look like
    it was in a zoo ignores that the animal - in whatever setting - can be
    the focus of a good composition.
     
    tony cooper, May 11, 2008
    #7
  8. Focus

    Focus Guest

    I'm afraid there is no easy way of saying: I disagree with you.
    What I see a lot here, like Bob wrote, is pictures of a bird on a tree or
    something like that. In this case I thought the area was beautiful and the
    combination nice enough to leave them as is. Some pictures even have almost
    "hidden" animals in them. I like that. Of all the pictures I really don't
    feel like changing anything.
    Almost none of the pictures I make in general, get cropped. in fact, I think
    if you're cropping a lot, you didn't get the composition right the first
    time. Or in other words: your photography is not good.
    When I was shooting film, years ago, this wasn't even an option. When I won
    a second price in a national photo contest by Kodak, I didn't do any
    cropping on that picture ;-)
    Rembrandt's Nightwatch is not my favorite painting, nor is the Mona Lisa.
    Just because something is popular, doesn't mean I have to like it. I like to
    get of the beaten track and make my own way.
    And finally: who decides if a composition is good or not? Mondriaan made
    "good" compositions, but I wouldn't even want them on my bathroom wall...
     
    Focus, May 11, 2008
    #8
  9. Focus

    tony cooper Guest

    OK. You've made your point. You aren't interested in the opinion of
    others unless they support your efforts. I suggest you borrow Helen
    from Annika. She'll tell you how breathtakingly beautiful they are
    and how they brought tears to her eyes.
     
    tony cooper, May 11, 2008
    #9
  10. I agree that getting right in-camera and not cropping is what separates the
    true photographer from the hacks that severely crop and overprocess an
    image. The bottom line is whatever you do with your image is only limited
    by your creativity and the message you are trying to convey. You are the
    only one that knows the scene and what you are trying to portray, so asking
    for critique in a newsgroup forum is like asking the Iraqi people what they
    think about President Bush. That said; go with what makes you happy.




    Rita
    --
    Stamping out Internet stupidity one idiot at a time. Never empower the
    idiot, embrace it and stimulate it. For more details go to the Usenet
    Stimulus Project page.

    http://ritaberk.myhosting247.com
     
    Rita Berkowitz, May 11, 2008
    #10
  11. LOL! That's a good point, but that sock is already worn out at the heel and
    is heavily stained with bodily fluids.




    Rita
    --
    Stamping out Internet stupidity one idiot at a time. Never empower the
    idiot, embrace it and stimulate it. For more details go to the Usenet
    Stimulus Project page.

    http://ritaberk.myhosting247.com
     
    Rita Berkowitz, May 11, 2008
    #11
  12. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Thanks for your lengthy reply, CJ.
    I'll comment in your post to keep it a little easy to read.

    In these cases, the blur is caused by some tree or twig in front of the
    animal and I did that on purpose.
    It might be much more rewarding too: I tastes both animals and they are
    great! ;-)
    I don't see that much shade. Could it be a problem with the monitor?
    Gamma maybe?
    Unless others agree.
    I haven't decided yet what I like more: portrait or this "landscape" way.
    I'm 100% sure you're right, but I don't have the patience to do all that.
    I'll just learn "on the fly" ;-)
    I had a feeling the camera was not very consistent with light measuring and
    color.
    Strangely enough, nobody seems to see that. Some pictures the grass looks
    more green, others more blue. Some pictures are light, others dark. This was
    a big problem with the trees (other post) and also when I made pictures on a
    ship on the river in Lisbon. Two shots of the same scene in rapid
    succession, gave two very different shades of light.
    Although the 40D is very sharp for a 10 MP camera, I decided to exchange it
    in favor of the Sony A350. After looking at the JPG's of the 40D, I
    understood there are no in camera JPG's that I like at all. The better
    consistency in light, the tiltable screen and a few other things made me go
    back.
    For now that's it, because the people at the store where I exchanged the
    camera's, don't like me anymore ;-) LOL!
    No wonder: I wouldn't want a lot of customers like me either....

    Thanks again, CJ!
     
    Focus, May 11, 2008
    #12
  13. Focus

    Frank ess Guest

    Focus wrote:
    [ ... ]
    [ ... ]

    I liked the pictures. They are like the views you get from riding a
    monorail through the Wild Animal Park. It was nice to see all the
    colors and the animals against the background.

    The pictures are not particularly good in a "photographic" sense.
    Documentary-wise, they are a good trigger for someone who was there
    and can add context and "feeling" from memory. Of all the photos,
    there are two I might go back at and look at again. Throw away all
    others. OK, maybe all but three.

    If I were a curator or a publisher, none of them make the grade. If I
    were a brochure-maker, maybe a couple. If I were a close relative of
    the photographer and we were in his living room looking at a slide
    show, I'd tolerate them once. When he tried to waylay me into seeing
    them again, I'd get a phone call and have to leave.

    Nice pictures, but busy and not grabbers. Good practice. Practice.
    Practice.
     
    Frank ess, May 11, 2008
    #13
  14. Lol............................
     
    Dicasa Photography, May 11, 2008
    #14
  15. Focus

    Focus Guest

    LOL: you crack me up, as usual.
    BTW: I ditched the Canon in favor of the Sony...
    Some very frustrating light measuring issues and consistency colors.
    But they're all just tools, just like a wrench for a mechanic.
     
    Focus, May 11, 2008
    #15
  16. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Just to be a little funny: I'm guessing you're not any of the above, right?
    So how would you possibly know, what you would do, if you were what you are
    not?
    Something like:
    "If I was a doctor, I'd remove his apendix." ;-)
    Absolutely true. I try to learn everyday.
    Thanks!
     
    Focus, May 11, 2008
    #16
  17. Focus

    Allen Guest

    Many people (perhaps a majority) consider Henri Cartier-Bresson to have
    been a great photographer. He was noted as a non-cropper, turning out
    thousands of images in perfect 24X36 proportions, just as they came from
    his Leica. In the 1960s there was a fad picked up by many photographers
    of printing images slightly smaller than the paper, showing the film
    frame lines. Some were very good, some were horrible; it all depended on
    the photographer. Personally, I would hate to be limited to such
    nonsense as the Golden Ratio, Aristotle's idea of the perfect proportion
    for pictures. Have you ever heard of Edward Hicks? He was a 19th century
    American painter who turned out many pictures titled The Peaceful
    Kingdom, all of which showed animals in relation to their environment;
    in all those pictures the animals were a small part of the picture
    area-wise but obviously the most important part. To each his own.
    Allen
     
    Allen, May 11, 2008
    #17
  18. Focus

    Frank ess Guest

    A /little/ funny? Even less than that.

    As a matter of fact I /am/ both a curator and a publisher, as well as
    a brochure-maker; the unstated " ... considering your snaps for
    inclusion ... " must have been beyond your grasp. Sorry. I should have
    known.
    'Welcome.
     
    Frank ess, May 12, 2008
    #18
  19. Focus

    Zilla Guest

    I agree with Tony - not necessarily with ALL his critique, but his intention
    to
    provide "his" critique. If you agree with a critique, take it, if not leave
    it.

    Like any form of art, photography is very subjective.
     
    Zilla, May 12, 2008
    #19
  20. Lol Bert...............................

    The Canon 40D is also very frustrating for you?

    That makes:

    *...........???
    *...........???
    *Canon 350D
    *Nikon D40x
    *Nikon D300
    *Sony A350
    *Canon 40D

    All this camera's are crap?

    Take my advice Bert: stop photography, you will never learn. It isn't the
    camera, it's *you* that makes the errors.
     
    Dicasa Photography, May 12, 2008
    #20
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