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Experiments at the Zoo

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  • Experiments at the Zoo

    Submitted for critique, some animal portraits from a trip to the zoo.

    First up, a Fairy Blubird (male). I'm very pleased that I nailed the focus. Does the composition work, with the blurred leaf in the foreground?

    Pekin Robin. Almost nailed the focus (just a bit behind his eyes). Good portrait, or too centered? Any tips for photographing tiny, quick birds?

    Chilean Flamingoes, with a low-key treatment.

    Female elk, high-key. Do you like the effect with this subject?

    And finally, "Giraffe Art," a painterly rendition using Nik ColorEfex4.

    All comments and opinions welcome!

    - Hal -
    A Still Mind - Photography, Music, Meditation, Ministry -
    Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.

  • #2
    Re: Experiments at the Zoo

    The Giraffe reminds me of a 1960s trip...


    • #3
      Re: Experiments at the Zoo

      My (non-prescriptive) tips for shooting quick moving birds:

      Learn their behaviour so you can anticipate what they are going to do.
      Start shooting before they do it and keep firing the shutter until they have stopped.
      Zoom out a bit to allow a bit of space for the bird to move in the frame.
      Apply the same rules to cropping birds and animals as you do humans, i.e. avoid amputating limbs at the joints.
      Get on the same level as the bird and look them in the eye.
      Choose a fast shutter speed. I try to achieve at least 1/1000 second for small birds.
      Use High Speed Sync flash to fill in shadows and to help stop movement.
      Boring bird on a stick photos don't win any prizes. (I've taken them too.)
      Birds bisected by a stick or a blade of grass are not great subjects.
      Pictures of birds and animals in the context of their surroundings are a lot more exciting than portraits with everything else blurred out, unless you are shooting for a bird identification book.
      Make sure that you have a narrow enough aperture so that at least all of the bird's face is in focus.
      Rules are made to be broken.

      All the best,

      Olympus E-M5ii, E-5


      • #4
        Re: Experiments at the Zoo

        The last 2 are not really working for me tbh, but worth experimenting!
        2-3 both great. First one just needs a different focus or backing


        • #5
          Re: Experiments at the Zoo

          I like your first one