First of all, I LOVE Ptarmies (Ptarmigan)! And having a new D7000 needing to be put through the paces was excuse enough to head to the mountains last weekend. Here are a few of the resulting photos, these are unusually for me using fill flash, and my 500VR mostly at f5.6. The fill-flash was generally dialled to -1.7 EV and exposure was often set to +0.03. One thing I didn't realize till I was trying it was that if you dial in -1.7 on the flash and +0.7 EV on the camera, the flash adjusts itself to -1.0.
I did vary exposure in post too. It also looks like my WB is a little on the blue side (didn't look that bad in Capture NX) but I'm too lazy to fix it now. I don't like a warm colour cast for snow pictures.
I also have a lot of ungulate photos from the same trip, but will have to process them another day. They are even sharper looking what with all that fine fur.
This is at 7300' in elevation, the road to here closes on Dec 1 until June 15th, so we try and visit right before closure in hopes the Ptarmies have descended to this low elevation by then. It took us two days to find them, the first day we found their sign but they must have been dug into the snow. The second day we were lucky enough to find them emerging out of the snow. It is always an honour to be in their presence
Very nice! The detail and whites (balance) look great to me. The shots remind me of this month's National Geographic Magazine where there is a spread on the Whooper Swan in snow. Who is that in the last picture with the gear? Peter
nice stuff just got my D7K over the weekend still getting used to it such a difference over the D300 that I traded in I almost did not go for the upgrades after reading all the negitive I have not found any of the concerns.
Very difficult to visually find these birds. We look for fresh tracks in the snow and then walk the area. This year it was thigh deep. Last year was hip-deep and I lost the rubber foot at the bottom of my monopod. I know exactly where it is, I just have to get there in summer
Yes 14-bit compressed RAW and sharpened in post.
Caesar I like the first one too. These are very confiding birds once you settle in. It feels like one is back in the garden of Eden.
That is me in the last photo (with my 'Michelin man' coat on, it's thick but very warm for laying down in snow).
You just have to stop that Steve, you are ruining the claims of people who say the D7000 is soft and can't focus, particularly in low contrast scenes!
When I had the images up on the screen, my GF immediately recognized them from her living in the cold wilderness of northern Russia tundra where they are called "Куропатка" and pronounced Kuro-pat-ka and very numerous. She said they were nicknamed snow-chickens adding that they were easy to hunt and sought for their good tasting pinkish flesh. She said they live on the tundra and northern forests but die in large numbers from freezing each winter because they have not fully adopted to the extreme in cold there yet. She said after a storm, they could walk out and pick up dozens frozen solid because they can't survive colder than -50C. She said your photos reminded her of home and said to thank you. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Very, Very nice. Thank you for sharing and including photo of artist in action. Did you happen to take any jpegs? If so, how did they compare with the post-processed NEF's? Waiting for my D7k today or tomorrow. Will start playing immediately.
Great shots! I'm shooting jpeg using an 18-135 with sharpening set on 6 and getting very good results. I haven't had my camera very long and am still "playing" with the menu sets. Still get a few "soft" pics but usually because of the settings. I shoot several different settings of the same object and then process them in NX2. Compare images and write down the settings from the best picture. This gives me, someone with not a whole lot of experience, a guide and seems to work for me.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
Thanks Folks. And Hynek welcome to Nikonians, a truly great learning place.
I have added a Bighorn Ram, I need to go through my Sheep photos and pick out some favourites, here's one for now (using the new Nikonians linking capability, you can click on the photo for a larger image).
I also plan to dig out a short Ptarmigan video (but later).
Wonderful captures. And I thought I had a tough time with sandhills in some fields for lack of contrast. Were these all AF? I know I have a tough time especailly in harvested corn fields the AF goes after the stalks sometimes more than the birds. Have to turn the tracking off. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.
Thanks SteveK, although I have been welcomed last winter, it’s not like being ever amiss There are coming reminders about membership renewal or upgrade so I looked into the forums whether the display possibilities improved. Also found a new d7000 specialized forum on the list. Your example just shows nicely a way around to achieve an alternative of a slightly larger file size display option available in a smart way, which may come in handy in respect of landscape images in particular.
The image is again a high Q capture that certainly doesn’t gain with sharpening gone a tad too far, though. It seems to be a general consensus so far the d7000 needs more sharpening but I haven’t found this characteristic to the camera speaking of landscape featured frames (in raw/tiff > process). On the contrary I found d7000 the “sharpest” dx (at least) Nikon camera yet in my tests even if the files behave differently -also as far as the sharpening goes, which I have covered elsewhere. Close up ranges may slightly vary (and have little experience so far) but degrees of 8 or higher incr in nx2 seem quite high. I am using equiv. of 3, max 4 (comparing for a well tried match on the final jpg output w/ no sharpening in any previous step-defaults etc) whatever subject (on 12Mp d90) while at the same setting the d7000 exceeds slightly detail of the d90 (on 16-35/4, Tokina atx100 & 11-16/2.8 or 24-120/4). Things are very new, there is many techniques, formats (handheld one will prove more challenging than using IR remote and lock up mirror on my tripod e.g. with high pixel density sensor -as one example) and I suspect Nikon QC on early batches didn’t help to more uniformed experience either along the fact. One note back to the Ptarmigan. As I worked in a vast amount of snow (one could disappear in) I appreciate the value of these captures and also the fact of skilled handling of the d7000; I think many post this time around will focus on actually mapping capabilities of the very new sensor / camera where it matters most - in practical photography. Thanks again -for both,
It seems to >be a general consensus so far the d7000 needs more sharpening >but I haven’t found this characteristic to the camera speaking >of landscape featured frames (in raw/tiff > process). On >the contrary I found d7000 the “sharpest” dx (at least) Nikon >camera yet in my tests even if the files behave differently >-also as far as the sharpening goes, which I have covered >elsewhere.
What I think is that the D7000 files WILL TAKE more sharpening, without negative artifacts, than my D200 ever would.
They may not NEED it, but they tolerate it extremely well.
>What I think is that the D7000 files WILL TAKE more sharpening, without >negative artifacts, than my D200 ever would.
>They may not NEED it, but they tolerate it extremely well.
Absolutely, I am used to stretch the file possibilities to the maximum in my workflow (using always one exposure –no merges). From this point of view the d7000 is significant leap ahead (I frankly wouldn’t expect in such a degree) and taking from this side we can say the DR capabilities, low iso noise levels (base iso effective lowering to 83 – from 145) and high iso performance along the resolution are all working for the image with less artefacts within answering departments while the file is under the stress demanding scenes are able to create – DR – exposure – noise wise.
As for the sharpening I've also found the files more flexible, fit and responsive to actually broader spectrum of techniques – like radius - as said above with reluctant tendency towards usual artefacts to take a shape, I’ve tried also tools I don’t regularly use. Today I’ve seen perfect pin sharp shots handheld with 85 1.8D @ 1/100, 1/125 that show again how rewarding high Q lens on this sensor is. I can’t wait myself to put my camera through a “real” (for me) serious session in the environment and intensity I love getting to know the camera most. Have to be patient for that a bit still.