Red-breasted nuthatch

Took this under less than ideal conditions, dark sky, poor light, windy. Had to use slow shutter speed and high ISO. Suggestions on how to improve.

Canon 80 D
, Sigma 150-600 @ 600mm
1/320 @ F-6.3 ISO 1600

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any pertinent technical details:

I like this as posted, John. The detail in the Nuthatch and the front of the perch both look good as does the exposure. The curve of the perch is nice as well and you got a nice head turn. Well done.

Good detail, particularly considering the shutter speed. I wonder how this would look if the background was darker?

John: Nice to get one of these guys in the viewfinder. The sharpest part of the image appears to be the perch directly below the body. If I follow that focal plane up, there is a part of the plumage (grey) that is pretty sharp, but unfortunately, the head/eye is not. Your shutter speed is fast enough and ISO 1600 with an 80D is well within the limits of that camera body.

John, I agree with Keith about the focus on this one. When you are focusing on a subject, what type of focus settings do you use? (i.e., single point? If multiple points, how many and what pattern? AI Servo? Knowing this would help in making some suggestions.


I had the camera set on single focus point and AI servo, will include this in future post.

John Tobias

I think the problem here is depth of field and/or where the focus point was. The back looks quite sharp but the head is not. Shooting wide open at close range like this you need to focus on the head rather than the back. You may have actually had a better image focusing where you did at 1/200 F8 because if the bird was not moving you may have had enough depth of field to get the face sharp. You could try another round of sharpening just to the face of the bird.