Our Imaging Expert: No one can take a picture that everyone likes. But, almost every picture can have scope of improvement. Often, we are not our best critics, while others can immediately point out the faults. In If I were you, our expert comments on how your pictures could be taken to another level.
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Technical Editor, Smart Photography
The Early Bird
Dr. Prakash Lalpotu from Basmathnagar photographed this bird on a Palash flower during one of his morning walks. He used a 55- 200mm VR lens. He says “Though I am satisfied with the result, I want your critical suggessions for improvement”.
The 55-200mm lens on your Nikon D3100 is equivalent to approximately 82-300mm in the 35mm format. This focal length is too small for birds (especially small birds) unless you are lucky enough to find the bird close by. If I were you, I would have tried to use a longer lens. You have also mentioned that you are thinking of procuring a 70-300mm lens (equivalent to 105-450mm on your camera).While this would help to a certain extent, you will sooner or later, consider getting a longer focal length lens for bird photography. My suggestion to you is to get a Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens. This lens will certainly not be as convenient to carry as a 70-300mm lens (especially on morning walks), but the images you capture will be larger and have more clarity. And if you still want a 70-300mm lens, do consider the AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VR which retails for something around Rs.35,000.
Please see the edited image. With the right focal length lens, you could have framed the picture this way. I have slightly adjusted the tones and clarity.
Maya Tigress, Tadoba
Vipul Bhuta is a SP reader since the last one year and loves wildlife and nature photography. He mentions that he captured the tigress in strong sunlight but feels that the strong sun has caused some problems with the picture. He says “I would like to know how it can be improved and what should I remember in general while taking such photos?” Any animal coming out of the water poses a challenge in terms of exposure, especially when the sunlight is strong. Highlights tend to overexpose and shadows often go too deep and detailless.
If I were you, I would have tried a closeup and also composed a few more shots with more space on all the four sides. In other words, I would have included more of the habitat. Secondly, I would have waited for the tigress to look towards me before pressing the shutter release button. I would also have taken more care while releasing the shutter. I don’t see anything that is critically sharp in the picture (meaning that its a case of camera-shake during exposure). If it was a focussing error, at least some part of the animal would have been sharp. It seems to me that in the excitement of capturing the tigress, you have jabbed at the shutter release button rather than s-q-u-e-e-z-e.
For the edited image, I used a sharpening software called Focus Magic which uses what is called ‘Deconvolution’ technology. Note that Smart Sharpening in Photoshop also uses the same technology. Under some conditions, Focus Magic seems to have an edge over Smart Sharpening.
G. Mohan from Pondicherry has sent us this picture for evaluation. I like the tranquillity in the picture, But like most pictures, this too could be improved.
It is advisable not to divide a picture in two equal (or almost equal) parts. Doing so creates two pictures and they can often compete with each other for attention. In the edited picture 1,
I have cropped some portion of the water and in edited picture
2, a similar crop is applied to the sky. In this case, both ways work fine. |SP