Yellow Warbler

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Seen at my neighborhood lake this morning.

Specific Feedback

I’m afraid to crop in any more of this image given the resulting loss of sharpness. The AF point is right on the bird’s eye but it seems that the focus could have been just in front of the bird. So any thoughts on subject sharpness?

Technical Details

Canon R7, 400mm f4 DO IS II, 1.4x extender III
ISO 2500, f5.6, 1/1000s, hand held.

Sharpness looks good to me, but maybe the sensor liked the leaves next to the head. That would have been the case for me back in the last century, where even the smallest sensor point had invisible “helper” points around it. I don’t know if that is still the case or not. This might be a very challenging situation with that yummy foliage. But it makes a fine composition and the bird looks excellent. I think you could crop in more from the right – enough to lose the branch in the twig. If you want to keep the aspect ratio, some could come off the bottom. Stunning perch and BG!

If I saw a bird this pretty, I’d pass out. We don’t have a lot of colorful birds around my area.

I like the composition a lot, Allen. when I really zoom in, I can see what you mean by the focus. I’ve notices that to some extent with the Sony eye AF, particularly when I’m a long way off. I’m not sure what the eye AF keys in on, but I suspect it’s just the boundary of the highlight and when that’s very small, I can understand it presenting problems.

Awesome image, Allen! :slight_smile:

The saturation and contrast is great! Love the yellow and green together like this!

The sharpness looks more than fine in this but I understand how cropping more reduces sharpness.

When I was first learning about focus and DOF, it took me a while to remember that the focus point used by AF is at the half way point of the total DOF, It would be nearly impossible to do with bird photography but I often use manual focus on flora and macro so I can place the nearest focus right on the front of the subject with the entire DOF behind that point (as apposed to half of it being in front where there’s just empty space when using AF). I hope I said that right. :roll_eyes:

Love it! :slight_smile:

Holy Yellow and Green, Batman! What a terrific find. You are a bird magnet. I like the perch and the background, but wonder if a bit of the bottom might be even better. As far as the focus though, it’s darn close. I find that with tracking and movement, the software in my camera learns and does better to focus on what’s moving, the eye if that’s it or something else - it was a chipmunk’s paws the other day. But if the software doesn’t get the time to figure things out, it can get it slightly wrong. Do you use Focus Peaking to help you with this? I do and it works for me.

Hi Kris, Thanks for the comment.
I’ve never used focus peaking. Is that a Live View function only?
This bird was still except for head movement and I got several frames before this one was taken. The autofocus point is right on the bird’s eye (as seen in post).

It’s possible your camera works differently, but the G9 can use focus peaking in autofocus single mode and all the focus point arrays including focus tracking and animal detect modes. The highlight color shows when you engage focus and the way I have my long lens set up, I can adjust the focus manually. When I do, an enlarged picture in picture comes up where my focus point is in the viewfinder and as I change the focus with the ring, I can see the focus peaking highlight move across the field. This doesn’t work with AF-continuous because the camera takes over focus and because it’s always hunting, the peaking doesn’t engage and I can’t override either. Does this make sense? This is all in viewfinder or the back screen.

For hummingbirds I will sometimes use Single-point AF-S with peaking and manual adjustment. Sometimes I’ll switch to a custom multi pattern and still have the ability to see focus peaking indicators and adjust the lens manually. The other day I was filming some chipmunks and used focus tracking which also let me verify focus with peaking . When the eye gets highlighted it’s usually right on the money. Of course Canon may do things differently, but it’s worth exploring.

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With my Canon R5, I only have focus peaking in MF, and it seems to have a pretty wide DOF tolerance. If I can put a single focus point on a small point, there is a triangle indicator in the VF that will show focus quite accurately, but not useful for a moving subject. AF, with the right choice of points, or eye-AF with animals or people, is amazing and hard to beat. But I need to check if I have some equivalent of your “AF Single Mode” that would give me peaking – don’t know the Canon equivalent. And The R7 is newer and may have functions the R5 doesn’t.

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The head is slightly less sharp than the rest of the bird, might be remedied with some selection based sharpening. Comp is pretty and am pleased that you were able to get the entire warbler in view, Warblers are tough to get in focus because they are in constant motion. With my Z9, I found that success rate for warbler focusing was higher with small focus area set with animal eye. 3D was not good and large area was confused with the surrounding greenery. The warbler twitched slightly during picture taking. You could bump up the microcontrast on the head to enhance the sharpness too…Jim