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#40578 - 07/20/14 09:46 PM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: James Morrissey]
Redskies421 Offline
Wanderer

Registered: 07/03/14
Loc: New Jersey
That would be fantastic!

Thank you so much for giving the time in order to help me grow into a better photographer! I thought the duckling photos would be interesting to look at

I personally like the photo..yet, I presume that it was shot too far away for it to have turned out well. Regardless, I really enjoy the dynamic behavior found between the two ducklings as well as the contrasting colors between the birds and their environments.

What do you think?
_________________________
Amateur Photographer/Paleoecologist

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#40580 - 07/21/14 05:06 PM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: Redskies421]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey,

I 100% agree about the dynamic interaction between the two ducklings. I also agree with you that unfortunately you feel a bit far away from the action in this photo. However, for me, the primary issue is that the obstruction of the grass is significant enough that it impinges on the dynamic play between the two little guys (lol, whatever the genders are).

Think of photography as being the exact opposite of painting. In a painting, you start with a blank canvas and you can rearrange things as you wish. The canvas gets developed based on how you create it. In photography, you start with a full canvas and you need to figure out how to reduce to the bare bones in order to tell your story.

Now, given that these are wild birds, and you are a distance away, it may not have been possible to be in a place to isolate the ducks photographically. As a documentary photograph, that works out just fine. If you are looking to create a wildlife portrait, however, that is where you need all of the elements to come together.

Thoughts?

James
_________________________
Manhattan, New York, NY Pet Photographer


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#40581 - 07/22/14 12:42 AM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: James Morrissey]
Redskies421 Offline
Wanderer

Registered: 07/03/14
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with you 100%

you can also see that issue with the frog photo (during mid-croak). In fact (I haven't posted these photos yet), I took some great photos of a baby muskrat while I was in Cape May but there was some foliage that came in between the animal in the camera (more like a long piece of grass that looks like a green blur).
_________________________
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#40582 - 07/22/14 12:46 AM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: Redskies421]
Redskies421 Offline
Wanderer

Registered: 07/03/14
Loc: New Jersey
Moreover,

I guess a portrait photo's aim is to get primarily the animal in the foreground with the scenery in the background, which I guess requires both strategy and luck (like most things). I slightly edited the photo (same as before..saturation, etc). Do you believe it works? I can post the original if you would like..I am really trying to get involved with lightzone as I feel that utilizing these programmes are essential to photography.

For example, I took a very nice photo of the same muskrat with its mother, however, it was definitely taken too far away and the exposure was a bit off. All of my photos are taken both RAW and JPEG, however, I am still trying to get used to the program in itself. the Duckling photo is a prime example of me experimenting.
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#40583 - 07/22/14 06:12 PM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: Redskies421]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
Did you post both versions on the Flickr site? I did not see them, so I don't have a reference point anymore. frown On that note, honestly, I am not the best post processor on the planet. There are some things you can do in post...actually, some folks are rather amazing at it. I just don't have the patience to sit and learn. I like spending my time with the camera.

In answer to what makes a photo - it really depends on what you are trying to create. Sometimes, all you can make is a documentary photograph. Getting too close to wildlife can be dangerous (to them, typically).

Right now, my pet project for wildlife photography is to make the wildlife part of the scene, but not "the scene." LOL, that can be really difficult, particularly when there is a big beautiful bull in the frame. However, that is the direction I am TRYING to move. i.e. I want to create landscape compositions that show wildlife doing what they do naturally. The problem with a head shot in the wide is the same with one in a zoo. You have no idea where it is being taken. It is one of the things I like about the duckling photos you shared, as a matter of fact. The idea that the ducklings are doing what they are doing and we are seeing a larger image. It is just a matter of isolating some of the distracting elements.


If you haven't post those muskrats! I love seeing critters I don't typically get to see every day - particularly here in the city. :P
_________________________
Manhattan, New York, NY Pet Photographer


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#40639 - 08/27/14 01:15 AM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: James Morrissey]
Redskies421 Offline
Wanderer

Registered: 07/03/14
Loc: New Jersey
James,

I am terribly, terribly, sorry for the late response - I was in the field for a month and now I am getting ready for the new semester (I am a professor as well...which is a tough occupation when your students confuse you to be well...another student due to your age).

In any event, I posted the muskrat (unedited) in flickr. Additionally, I posted a few other photos as well.

I do have a question for you and if I asked something similar in the past than I apologize.

I primarily shoot around sunset. For me, this is the best time because animals often become way more active. If you look in flickr, there will be a photo of a heron. I love the action, however, as you can tell, its a bit gritty (I had to turn up the ISO a bit). Do you have any tips for photographing behavioral shots (meaning fast movement) around sunset? If I turn up the shutter speed to 1/1000 then the aperture will go down to f 4.5 which I do not find to be acceptable. I have been trying to find a nice balance so that I can take decent photos despite going later in the evening..do you have any tips?

Cheers

Alec
_________________________
Amateur Photographer/Paleoecologist

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#40645 - 08/30/14 12:51 AM Re: New to photography..first wildlife photos/post [Re: Redskies421]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
Hi Alec,

No sweat off my back! The great thing about a post is that it is here for you when you get back. :P May I ask where it was you are off teaching?

As to being confused for a student, I think we all go through that. In my field, many of the social workers out in the community are younger than the parents they are working with. LOL, only recently have I begun to feel older than everyone. Of course, I am not....it just feels that way. :P

I wish we could get at the image better than flickr. Do you want to send me a file? I will be glad to look at it. I will also embed it into a post here for you. :P

James,

I am terribly, terribly, sorry for the late response - I was in the field for a month and now I am getting ready for the new semester (I am a professor as well...which is a tough occupation when your students confuse you to be well...another student due to your age).

In any event, I posted the muskrat (unedited) in flickr. Additionally, I posted a few other photos as well.

I do have a question for you and if I asked something similar in the past than I apologize.

I primarily shoot around sunset. For me, this is the best time because animals often become way more active. If you look in flickr, there will be a photo of a heron. I love the action, however, as you can tell, its a bit gritty (I had to turn up the ISO a bit). Do you have any tips for photographing behavioral shots (meaning fast movement) around sunset? If I turn up the shutter speed to 1/1000 then the aperture will go down to f 4.5 which I do not find to be acceptable. I have been trying to find a nice balance so that I can take decent photos despite going later in the evening..do you have any tips?

Cheers

Alec
_________________________
Manhattan, New York, NY Pet Photographer


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