Redbellied Woodpecker

What technical feedback would you like if any? Any

What artistic feedback would you like if any? Any

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Canon 5D III, F 22, iso 640, 1/125sec . with 100x400 lens , 1.4 Ext.

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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A wonderful pose and pleasing environment, but the crop feels tight. If it’s full frame, it would be easy to add a little on the left. The tonalities are good but image quality has suffered from some stage of processing, especially noise removal. Is it a large crop? That camera and lens should give you a very good file to work with if exposure was good.

Agree with Diane about the nice pose. Nice head turn, nice background.

The image quality just isn’t there. No idea where along the line things happened, but there’s no detail in the plumage. One problem for sure is shooting at f/22. You’re well into the diffraction limitation of the lens/camera combo. Here’s a link to an excellent article on the topic:

If you take a look at the diffraction calculator on that site (after reading the details), be sure to open the “advanced” option so you can put in the resolution for your camera and set the circle of confusion based on the resolution. At f/22, the airy disk size is nearly double the circle of confusion. Yep, techy stuff, but shooting at apertures that small are something folks need to understand the issues they create.

Thanks Diane and Keith. Keith, appreciate the article and some of it sank in but will require additional attention. I did realize later in the day that my “f” stop and ISO was too high .

Nice looking bird John. I like the pose , perch and bg. It is a bit tight for me so if cropped a bit less would still provide and a very good look at the bird.

Thanks David, added more room on left and removed partial stem on right.

Nice pose–adding more room certainly helps. Looks like the image is a significant crop. Not enough pixels to carry the details…Jim

Thanks Jim, Thanking that using my 5DR III , at 24MP for this photo and “crop” might not be a good idea rather than using the 5DS R at 53MP “cropping.” The noise is also more significant with the 5DR III.

I continue to see references that a large crop won’t allow detail in the final image. If the initial image is not sharp, the cropped image won’t be sharp. I’m attaching an image from my old Canon 5D Mark III (Same camera as used here). This is 11% of the original frame, the jpeg that I’m uploading is 1500 pixels on the long edge. I brought this issue up years ago on the old NPN site. I did an experiment with this image and enlarged the cropped version of the image to a 16x24 print. I don’t have a good way to show the image file from the 16x24, but I can assure you with just a touch of post processing sharpening applied, the print looks just like this jpeg (and of course the jpeg doesn’t look as good as the processed PSD file from the RAW capture).

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Thanks Keith for taking the time to display and explain your process. From your comment I cannot blame my process on the 5DMark III. I almost always use a tripod now and will pay more attention to " f" stop and iso settings. Hopefully with due care in focusing will allow me more in focus, with lower noise shots. I also use “center weighted” focusing which may or may not affect my photo quality. At any rate Keith, thanks .

I think you’ve confused metering and focusing. Center weighted Metering simply says allow the meter to see the entire frame, and add more weight in the overall metering calculation to the center of the frame. There is no such thing as centered weighted focusing.

Hi Keith, I miss-spoke.

The 5D3 and 100-400 are a very good combination – assuming it is the newer II version of the lens. The original with the push-pull zoom was not nearly as good optically. The newer one is awesome. I second Keith’s information about crops – I’ve often cropped to 10% of the original frame and gotten a very sharp result. The important factors are good focus, no camera vibration or movement, an aperture of more like f/8 to f/11 and a lower ISO. Getting a good exposure is also important to minimize noise in the darks and avoid blowout in the whites.

Just to make sure I didn’t leave any misleading impression… Cropping to 10% of a frame is simply a bad idea. I was just showing that it is possible. We should always strive to get images that don’t require as much cropping. I’m fully aware that is not always possible, but should always be the goal. That might mean longer lenses, better positioning, patience, blinds, etc. Or… as I wrote in my article on Including the Environment, just don’t crop as much. That solution could end up being a great option for some images.

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Thanks again, I agree with all comments. Even using the 100x400 II, I find that a large crop is necessary for small birds and accordingly, hard not to end up with excess noise. My attachments illustrates the problem with small subjects/cropping and may only prove the importance of good focus, aperture and ISO settings. This also shows my lack of professional training and how appreciative I am to helpful comments such as yours and Diane’s.

Sorry, this picture was taken with the 5D III, at f 8, 1/320 sec, iso 1600 at 560mm. My iso may be too high.