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Nymph

White-throated Sparrow ... C&C

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I got a few tip to improve this picture and was wondering what your thoughts are on it.

I think I am a little cautious when it comes to cropping...not sure what is acceptable.

I lost some detail on it but think it works.

42609043edited2.jpg

426090431copy.jpg

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I cloned out the branch behind the bird, worked on its eye a little, USM and noise reduction. There may be a few other things I did but can’t remember.

It turned out a little soft but was interesting to work on.

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I like the idea of doing the cloning on the branch. I would like to see a little less crop, because of the beauty of the bg coloring. It is a good idea though to crop a little from the left to reduce some of the tangle of branches and give the appearance of more space in the direction he is looking, I think. A couple twigs could then be cloned as well. I really can't do c&c because I'm not sure what is acceptable either. Sometimes I think it is in the eye of the photog. Some seem to prefer the close ups and others like more environment in the shot. His eye is nice. The 'softness' seems to add to his sweetness actually. But I do miss some of the soft green bg. Thanks for doing your exercize and then putting it out there. Then we can learn in the process, as well.

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Dave, Its easy to fall into the "crop to get closer" realm as you have mentioned. It becomes so easy to just grab that crop tool and zoom in on the subject. Invariably when you do that your subject will soften. You only have so many pixels to work with in an image. When you remove say 50% of those you will ultimately loose detail. Most often any processing(sharpening, ie) to that image only further degrades it.

In some cases say shooting a baseball player in the outfield and cropping in to get him to fill the frame you don't loose a ton of detail because there really was not a ton of detail to start with. Do that same thing with a small feathered bird and you really start to lose the sharpness and detail.

After a bit you can look at an image and tell fairly quickly that substantial cropping has occurred. Most images take on the plastic look that is evident when you shoot at high ISO and you apply substantial noise reduction to it. I personally try to never crop more than 25% of the image away, especially with our feathered friends. What that means is I try and fill 50% to 75% of the viewfinder with the subject. Keep in mind obviously you can crop a bit more with 20mp as opposed to 8mp files.

The more you shoot the more discriminating you will become with what images you will spend time working on. Keep in mind that not all shots need to be filled with the bird, environmental portraits can be just as powerful. Learn to roll with what you have, both equipment-wise and subject-wise and make sure you are happy with your results.

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Thanks for the input Dan. It helped me understand a little more about the crop factor. I don’t think I usually crop that hard on photos.

I think I just need to get closer shots for my own personal preference.

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this is an interesting thread,, I used to think that because I had a high pixel count that it was acceptable to crop as much as I wanted to,, but now know differently.

really great image you have here! and sometimes it just works when you have the environment in the shot as well,,

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And it is all personal preference Dave! Shoot for whatever makes you happy and satisfied, thats what makes this enjoyable after all. You are doing great and you will look back after a period of time and see a difference in your work and that will make you even happier!

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panthrcat,

Resolution alone does not guarantee how much you can crop. There are many factors that go into how much you can crop. Sensor size, focal length of a zoom lens, aperture, distance to subject, quality of the lens and its resolving power to name just a few. When you start talking about mega pixels it is not a cut and dried issue of more MP = ability to crop more.

You can do a lot of reading if you want to wade through the technical aspects but it is a lot more fun to go out and take pictures and see what you really can do. Experiment with zoom lens for example and a single subject and fill the frame with the subject at its shortest zoom. Now zoom all the way out and keep moving back and until the subject fills the frame as in the first situation.

Get the two shots on your computer and try cropping the same on each picture. Zoom in to 100% on both and see what happens to your image. Once you shoot enough with your equipment you will find out what its limitations are and what you can get away with. That is what makes this a longer learning process than most people think.

You can snap away all you want and be satisfied with the results and that is cool. If you really want to get to that next big step up you will have to be very aware of what your equipment and you can do or not do. That just comes from shooting a lot and examining that work with a critical eye. What lens, what camera settings, lighting, jpeg or RAW, and on and on. You don't have to go to all those lengths, take it as far as what will make you happy. Often times you discover that you want to get better and better results, you can achieve that once you start to understand the many factors that will give you those very high quality shots.

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wow dbl, thank you for this answer to questions I have had, I hope I can do what you suggest to see for myself the difference,, I never really thought it could get so complicated. blush I got sooooooo much to learn!!!

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