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micpic

Need Photo Help

5 posts in this topic

I'm a novice for photography, and have recently been practicing shooting RAW. Things are looking better but my images seem real soft, not blurry but not as sharp as I would expect.

This image of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was shot this morning in a mix of shade and sun. The focus point was on the chest, and the settings were as follows.

TV 1/640 AV 7.1 ISO 400 WB Shade

I'm using a Canon 20D with a 100-400L lens and it was set @400mm.

I'm wondering if this is the best I could get or are there some suggestions as what I could have done better. I can take criticism well, that's how a person learns. Just take in fact that I'm a novice and need terms I can understand.

Mic 2890190773_773fa3e649_o.jpg

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Mic, I shot that body/lens combo hard for several years, so am really familiar with how images should look. While your image looked a little soft on my screen, it did not look like a lens or a technique issue. Thanks for posting the exif. That makes things easier.

I just think this is an issue of not enough sharpening in post processing. There are quite a few good regimens for sharpening digital images for web display. All digital images need some level of sharpening to look their best, and shooting RAW guarantees you'll need to sharpen, since cameras can do some in-camera sharpening on jpegs if you set it that way but not with RAW images. If you've been shooting jpeg and your parameters (you can set them in the menu) indicate some in-camera sharpening, your RAW images will definitely look softer out of the camera than your jpeg images.

Mic, in the repost of your photo below, I didn't get fancy at all, I just used unsharp mask in Photoshop CS2 with the radius set at .7 and sharpened it in a single pass with the whole image at 200 percent. That alone helped the image. Take a look.

2890275709_48a40e4b0a_o.jpg

Often, especially if the background is very buttery and clean and I don't want to make it look more grainy, I will carefully lasso the bird in PS and sharpen it individually. When I do that, I take pains to make sure I'm actually lassoing the bird just inside the bird's edge, so that any sharpening I do avoids a telltale "sharpening halo," which can form along edges between subject and background if the edge is included within the lasso.

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Thanks Steve, that's what I'm looking for. Your repost is much better. I'm pretty weak a editing and with winter coming on I'm hoping I'll have time to work on all this.

Mic

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Mic, what post processing program do you use? It's all a learning process, and a fun one at that. smile

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Steve, I'm just using Digital Pro that came with the camera. I do have Photoshop Elements 2.0 but have not used it yet.

Mic

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