My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #8 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #8

dalmatian-pelican-hair-do

This image was created on the Lake Kerkini, Greece IPT with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens and the 1.4X III TC (handheld at 145mm) with the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode.

Lens/camera body Micro-adjustment: -8.

My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #8

On September 25, 2011 I posted For Your Critique: Image #8. This Dalmatian Pelican image was entered in the Animal Portraits category of the 2011 WPOTY competition. I love the hairdo and the bird’s expression.The image caused more than a few folks to chuckle. Many folks liked the image and many had some suggestions. Many folks liked the tight crop while others–including my first and only photography teacher, Milton Heiberg, did not like it that the end of the bill was missing. I very much like tight crops on the face when you want to show important details, in this case the colorful eye and the snazzy hairdo. Some complained that the lower part of the bill was out-of-focus. It surely is, but I have been focusing on the eye and working at wide apertures for several decades so it is not likely that I will change soon as I have enjoyed a modicum of success employing that style.

Some folks like the white on white look, others suggested darkening the background.

The oft-asked question popped up again: why did you have the 1.4X TC on the 70-200 if you made the image at 145mm? Setting up with the 1.4X left me holding a 98-280mm lens which I thought would be best for the situation as some of the birds were more distant. And I do not worry at all about sharpness with the 1.4TC in place. Many folks commented that the image was very sharp. Steve Stadler wrote my favorite comment: “I Love it!! It really captures the personification of a grumpy old man who just woke up, and it looks like something Pixar would use as a character in one of their movies.

This image did not make the final round of judging. Thanks to all who took the time to comment.

artie is traveling 🙂

artie is traveling in the Southern Ocean (Falklands, South Georgia, & Antarctica) and will unable to respond to your questions and comments until after his return on 26 January 2012.

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Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving this lens on my shoulder with the 2X III teleconverter. I also use it a lot with the 1.4X III TC.
Canon 1.4X III Teleconverter. Designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.

10 comments to My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #8

  • avatar Jamie Medford

    The oof bill is the only comment I would make on this, otherwise it’s technically flawless. Great exposure, sharpness and one of the best hairdos I’ve seen!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      With enough d-o-f to render all of the bill sharp I would have brought in unwanted BKGR detail.

  • avatar cheapo

    I’ll confess to having missed this one. But what a superb image!! Hahahaha! No paparazzi!! I haven’t combed my hair this morning!

  • avatar Gordon Lindsay

    What a bad hair day!

  • I agree with Mary’s and David’s comments 100%. And I like the background just the way it is (not darker). It precisely matches the iris of the bird’s eye, which I find really desirable.

    The image works so well not just because of the humor value (and anthropomorphism), but because of the contrast between the bright burnt-orange and the predominant whites and grays.

  • avatar Mary Stamper

    Why would you want the end of the bill in focus? It would allow your eye to slide right down and out of the photo. The OOF ring around the outer parts of the bird function as a frame around it.

    What I wonder is whether anyone who complains about that sort of thing has any concept of how a photographer can purposefully manipulate the eye into looking at something specific, which seems to be what was done here. If everything is in focus, unless the lines are very graphic, or the colors very well designed, it’s harder to get the viewer under your control!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Mary. You’ve explained why I like focusing on the eye and using a relatively wide aperture :).

  • avatar David Policansky

    Do you think people who complain about the end of the beak’s being out of focus ever actually take photographs? As for not making the final round of judging, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that judging in many photo competitions–not yours, of course–is a complete crapshoot, and once you make “honorable mention,” you’ve done as well as anyone could hope for.

    It’s a great image.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Nope, not with a telephoto lens. An yes, the judging is–of course–totally subjective. With 7 or 8 BBC honored images I have done well over the years :).