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Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Sun 18-Nov-12 11:20 PM

A number of these have also returned to our area and I've found these to be one of the most difficult birds to expose for. The black feathers seem to suck in all the light, and the white feathers seem to reflect it all when shooting the males, so we get either blown highlights or deep featureless shadows.

The two shots of the males I've posted here, I waited until I got some ot the iridescence reflecting back of the black head feathers, and underexposed the shots to not blow out all the whites. The female is somewhat easier to expose for.

D300 + 600mmVR + 1.4TC

Male (drake) ISO400, f/7.1, 1/500sec, -0.7EV

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Male (drake) ISO400, f/6.3, 1/640sec, -0.3EV

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Female (duck) ISO400, f/6.3, 1/250sec, -0.3EV

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Thanks for looking

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

coolmom42

McEwen, US
3668 posts

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#1. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

coolmom42 Moderator Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011
Mon 19-Nov-12 02:49 AM

Great job handling that difficult (and gorgeous) coloring. Those are beautiful ducks.

Maybe an overcast day with diffuse lighting would be helpful in getting the exposure right, although you got it right in these!

working on it in Middle TN
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rbsandor

Denver, US
1743 posts

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#2. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

rbsandor Gold Member Nikonian since 29th Aug 2007
Mon 19-Nov-12 04:11 AM

The solution is obvious; you need the dynamic range of a D800. Richard

cockers

Plover, US
4656 posts

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#3. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

cockers Silver Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Mon 19-Nov-12 08:40 AM

Well done considering the difficult EV range. Was burning the highlight detail in on the males' heads in PP not an option? Or were they blown?

Al

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vcottman

Denver, US
8134 posts

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#4. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

vcottman Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2006
Mon 19-Nov-12 12:34 PM

Great series Richard!! #3 is my favorite.

Thanks for sharing,


Vaughn

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Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#5. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 1

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:16 AM

Thanks Diane for your kind words and advise. They'll be around for most of the winter in any ice-free waters, so I'll probably get more chances to shoot them. A diffused light would help in toning down the contrast, but you generally you lose the iridescence of the head feathers without some sunlight.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#6. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 2

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:17 AM

I know Richard, that extra 2+ stops of EV would come in handy sometimes - still sitting on the fence!!

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#7. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 3

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:23 AM

Thanks Al. I had some small flashes of blown highlights. I find using the burning tool (set for highlights) just seems to turn the whites grey without bringing out any more detail.
I did process the image again however creating a mask around the white head feathers and really pumped up the highlights adjustment in the shadows/highlight menu. Managed to bring out a little more texture in its head.



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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

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Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#8. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 4

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:24 AM

Thanks again Vaughn.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Lunastar

Mankato, US
3621 posts

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#9. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 8

Lunastar Silver Member Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning a Nikonians Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 06th Jan 2010
Tue 20-Nov-12 12:06 PM

Awesome detail, Richard! In this case, a little blown highlight is the way it has to be and I'm not sure any camera would handle it with aplomb. Great images!

BTW, I'm on the D800 fence....where's my D400??

Mark


www.mercuryoutdoorcommunications.com

nutcracker

Dublin, IE
151 posts

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#10. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 9

nutcracker Registered since 21st Dec 2005
Tue 20-Nov-12 09:05 PM

Try Capture One 7, quite amazing what that program can recover in highlights while preserving dark detail. Lovely shots despite the challenging light conditions - worth trying effects of C1 7.

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Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#11. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 9

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Fri 23-Nov-12 02:45 AM

Hi Mark and thanks very much. I'm sure if I'd spend a little more time and perhaps taking shots with some diffused sunlight I could get better results.

With the intro of the lower priced high megapixel DX models (D3200 & D5200) I'm hoping for a the D400 soon. Not sure how much longer I can wait!

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#12. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 10

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Fri 23-Nov-12 02:46 AM

Thanks Sean, looked up the software. I'll download the trail when I have some time to play around with it.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

jdroach

Milwaukee, US
5766 posts

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#13. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

jdroach Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded. John exhibits true Nikonian spirit by frequently posting images and requesting comments and critique, which he graciously accepts. He is an inspiration to all of us through constant improvement in his own work, keen observations and excellent commentary on images posted by others. Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 21st Mar 2009
Fri 23-Nov-12 01:54 PM

Well done!

jdroach, a Milwaukee area and sometimes Chicago area Nikonian.

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niknac37

Mysore, IN
1967 posts

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#14. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

niknac37 Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 03rd Dec 2007
Fri 23-Nov-12 02:59 PM

Richard, Kudos to you for the series, I love the Rain bow colours in the second pic. I understood your comments on the black and white exposures, thanks for those tips.

Pakku

massulo

Tampa/Lutz, US
11721 posts

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#15. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

massulo Moderator Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning a Nikonians Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 07th May 2002
Fri 23-Nov-12 05:24 PM

Great colours as usual-- You could add light in PP if desired..
B?W in close quarters is very difficult....



Preston-(The Tampa Nikonian)..D610


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g1975a

Cambridge, CA
2220 posts

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#16. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

g1975a Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Sep 2007
Sun 25-Nov-12 12:45 PM

Nicely shot, Richard. You did well with balancing their colours and iridescence. My course is almost over so I can finally get out for some shots.

--Trying something and not succeeding is a lot better than waiting to fail: the realization of a chronic procrastinator.--

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
12567 posts

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#17. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sun 02-Dec-12 03:01 AM

Very nice series! Great work on those difficult exposures.

I actually like that female the best.

Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
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cchoc

Marietta, US
4792 posts

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#18. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

cchoc Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, most notably in Landscape Photography Charter Member
Sun 02-Dec-12 11:55 AM

Cool shots Richard, and a super job with the exposure. I've never seen this type duck before, thanks for sharing.

Charlie...
stalking light

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VR8

Ottawa, CA
774 posts

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#19. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

VR8 Silver Member Nikonian since 04th May 2008
Sun 02-Dec-12 01:45 PM

Marvelous shots!

Victor

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af4nc

Yardley, US
3194 posts

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#20. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

af4nc Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Jul 2007
Mon 03-Dec-12 10:16 AM

Nice series and good job with that challenging exposure. Like bald eagles, they can be difficult but you did fine.

Tom MILLS
Its all about the light and composition
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CK

Mississauga, CA
1810 posts

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#21. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 0

CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004
Mon 03-Dec-12 09:08 PM | edited Mon 03-Dec-12 09:08 PM by CK

Really nice set, Richard. Capturing both the deep blacks and vibrant whites must be a tremendous challenge. I think you've done about as well as anyone could. Love the colours in the males' heads, and I especially like the female though -- those water droplets are a great touch! Well done, sir.
Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#22. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 13

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 12:44 AM

Thanks very much John.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#23. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 14

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 12:49 AM

Hi Pakku and thank you for stopping by. Sunlight will create this effect on their feathers. From what I've seen a camera such as the D800 would probably handle the dynamic range somewhat better. Hopefully a D400 or D8000 with an improved sensor is not too far fro being launched.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#24. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 15

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 12:54 AM

Thanks Preston. If the highlights are blown, it's difficult to bring out any detail. If the shadows are under exposed, you end up with excessive noise. It really is a fine balance using the dynamic range of the D300 sensor with harsh lighting and high contrast.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#25. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 16

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 12:57 AM

Thanks Greg, looking forward to getting out again with some of our locals. Hope you enjoyed your courses.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#26. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 17

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 12:58 AM

Very kind of you Dave, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#27. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 18

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 01:01 AM

Hey Charlie and thanks for your comments. These guys are pretty regular for late fall and can be seen around our area all winter in any open (no ice) water.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#28. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 19

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 01:01 AM

Very kind of you Victor, thank you.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#29. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 20

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 01:07 AM

Thanks Tom. The difference between these ducks and Bald Eagles, the eagles usually have some texture and hence some shadows in their head feathers. The head feathers in the ducks are "very" smooth and virtually have no texture. Reminds me of the breast feathers of a Cedar Waxwing - also a difficult subject to try and pull out some details.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#30. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 21

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 01:35 AM

Nice to hear from you Chuck. Miss your posts, not as many Canadians on here as there used to be. And thanks very much, appreciate your thoughts and comments.

I hope to participate a little more as a "forum" member and participant soon.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

jdroach

Milwaukee, US
5766 posts

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#31. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 9

jdroach Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded. John exhibits true Nikonian spirit by frequently posting images and requesting comments and critique, which he graciously accepts. He is an inspiration to all of us through constant improvement in his own work, keen observations and excellent commentary on images posted by others. Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 21st Mar 2009
Wed 05-Dec-12 01:43 AM

Help me under stand what the illusive D400 will "perhaps" do that the D800 or D600 won't do?

jdroach, a Milwaukee area and sometimes Chicago area Nikonian.

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Dubes

Mississauga, CA
7084 posts

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#32. "RE: Buffleheads" | In response to Reply # 31

Dubes Silver Member Awarded for his high level of achievement and willingness to help others – most notably in wildlife photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded as a Winner in a Nikonians Best of Images Annual Photo Contest Nikonian since 16th Jun 2007
Wed 05-Dec-12 11:48 PM

John, I hope what I write below helps and doesn't sound too confusing.

As a bird photographer, I enjoy the crop factor that a DX body (like the D300) gives over the FX full frame of a D800/D600. Mind you having 36 megapixels vs 12 megapixels at your disposal would allow you to do significant cropping in post, but ultimately bring to to approx. the same level as the D300 in terms of pixel density. However the dynamic range, especially of the D800, would be able to give you more details in the shadows & highlights of your images.
My 600mm Nikkor on the D300 (DX) is the equivalent of having to use a 900mm lens on the D800 (FX) body.

Other reasons I'm holding out for a replacement of the D300 vs the D800 is price. I've recently started to consider my investment in good quality lenses as long term (10 years plus), whereas on bodies more short term (3-5 years). I have an excellent normal zoom range lens in the $1300 range new (in Canada), but it is a DX lens (17 to 55). If I invested in a D800 ($3000), plus a new FX normal zoom (24-70 at $1500) and a battery pack ($390) - that is a big investment for something that will be outdated in 3-4 years. Once again I refer to typical dollars in Canada.
The D300 I now have is built like a tank and takes a reasonable amount of abuse without any problems. With the recent intro of the higher megapixel D5200 & D3200, and the big price drops in the D7000, I'm hoping for a new "D400" or equiv to be launched early next year and I'm thinking it will be a better build quality than the D7000 in terms of materials and have a price of between $1800 to $1600 in Canada.
Absolutely nothing wrong with a D800 and I'd love to have one, it's a marvellous piece of engineering and capable of some stunning imagery as we've seen posted here and on other forums. However a prosumer level DX body would fill my needs better, and if one is not introduced soon, I may not have a choice as the camera starts to wear.

Hope this answers some questions, please feel free to contact me off line to address any points that need clarification on my end.

Please Visit My Gallery and my website at www.richarddubiel.com
Richard

G