The tone and color through out is very nice. I feel the background works well although it seems very noisy, I think I might like it much better if it was cleaned up. The detail on the bird is very nice, again just the wrong time of day. The hot spot on his shoulder and no light on the eye hurt the overall image. I think the image would be much stronger if those things were taken care of. I had a thought for you while I was looking at this. If shooting these birds in better light is not possible for you all the time how about bringing some type of small portable reflector with you. This would give you a chance to provide some much needed side lighting and maybe get a catch light and more pop in the eye. I have one I use while shooting portraits outdoors. It is a small fold up that you can put on a small fold up stand. One side is white and the other a gold color for warming things up if needed. Very easy to use. This would also let you dial down and balance the exposure some so saved the highlights.
Thanks Scott, Here is an updated shot with some edits. The use of a reflector is not really an option, cause I can get so close and do not want to frighten em. A beamer would be good but I have the SB900 its quite a large flash and adding the attachment ????
The problem here is that we do not see spoonbills to often and I was just happy to shoot- down here its hit or miss on the birds- just gotta get lucky, Am, noon later in the day--who knows
BY THE TIME I WOULD SET SOMETHING UP THEY WOULD BE GONE...
Preston this edit looks great!! Much better. How did you get the detail back on his shoulder? For some reason I was thinking you were getting pretty close to these birds. As for the better beamer I see them all the time while we are shooting Eagles mounted to SB900's. There is one guy that shoots with two of them mounted to a gimble head with a battery pack. With so many other people shooting there it is kind of frowned upon though. You just need a little fill flash so you can tone down the ambient lighting getting rid of the hot spots. That is why I was thinking a reflector might work. We don't need to light the bird up, just a little fill that would also give a catch light.
I was about 20 feet from him. I cloned the shoulder from beneath the OE area, added light to the eye. I try to use the pop up flash- I am usually able to take many shots and check the histogram. Its very difficult to rid those hotspots in full sun, Im trying my best-- Thanks
Hi Preston, Because of the detail, I prefer this to any of the previous spoonbill shots. I am not sure if a reflector will work as you are way to far from the subject to have any effect with a reflector. I have toyed with the possibility of using a mirror but I am not sure if it will be at all practical to use a gadget like this in the field. I like this background, did you do some PP to make the background so soft? I just except the small washed out area on the shoulder and does not find that distracting at all. Better light would have made a world of difference but I like the picture as is in spite of what it could have been with better light. Well done.
When using mine I usually have to have an assistant go with me and if I don't want a harsh light I might have them stand at least 50' away. The light it produces seems to be very concentrated especially with the gold side. You have to remember he is photographing these birds at a golf course, not out in the wild and the birds are pretty tame and used to humans being close so I don't think he is chasing them around much. Another thing that might work is to use a flash with a better beamer.
I am impressed with the link you gave me. I have contemplating a screen for some time, it will be great with macros. It seems to be a very durable gadget. I think Antero should have the maths to give us a good guide on how far it will be effective. For example if at 3-feet will reflect 20% of the light (just for argument), at 10 feet it will be something like (1/(pi x 10 x 10)) x 20. No, I am sure my calculations are not correct because that will leave you with very little extra light, except of course if the screen is slightly concave to focus more of the reflected light onto the subject. Thank you Scott.
I am not a numbers guy so I would have no idea what that would come out to be. Like I told Preston, we don't need to light him up, just a little fill so we can tone down the ambient in hopes to get rid of the hot spots and provide some catch lights in the eyes.
As for the reflectors being durable, they most definitely are. On mine the gold side provides much more light then the silver side. My next one will be gold & white. I don't much care for the silver, it's too cool for me.