Amazing photos of lions fighting

Nov 13th, 2007, 06:48 PM
  #21  
 
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Bill,

Quote "The EXIF data indicates 1/80th sec at 400 mm ... ideally you'd want at least 1/1,000th sec with a lens that long and that fast action so I think there's some motion blur because of the slow shutter speed. Probably could have jacked the ISO up one stop (from 200 to 400) but still hard to get a fast enough shutter speed in that light, I guess."

I agree with much of what you've stated above. I have a problem with the +1 exposure bias (if that means exposure compensation?).

I'm still not convinced the photographer used 'burst mode' it might have been one shot focus where-as AI focus or AI Servo (Canon speak not Nikon) would have helped subject focus.

IMO Skimmer produces the most consistent high quality images shown on this site. Many of the other images are holiday snap standard. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Geoff.
GeoffG is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 07:33 PM
  #22  
 
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Bill,
Your too modest.
As for the other excellent photographers, you're right, they and too many others do deserve recognition.

Problem is, unless I'm mistaken, I haven't seen much of them around these parts lately.

Now that I'm thinking of it, seems like we've lost a lot of people in general around here - true?
Perhaps they've all gone to Africa.

cybor is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 12:40 AM
  #23  
 
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Geoff, you could be right re burst mode - but I looked at some of the timings of the images and they seemed to be so close that I guessed that burst mode might have been employed. That said, I don't know how quickly one can take successive shots on that camera model without being in burst mode - it could be really fast! What I couldn't see any evidence of was bracketing...

Kavey is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 03:56 AM
  #24  
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I have a problem with the +1 exposure bias (if that means exposure compensation?).

Geoff, I *think* he was trying to do the right thing by shifting the histogram to the right since this keeps noise down (see this article for a good explanation of 'expose right' for digital ... http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...se-right.shtml ).

But I think he out-smarted himself here because it would be better to have a faster shutter speed and expose straight up.

I'm still not convinced the photographer used 'burst mode'

I checked the specs and in RAW mode this entry-level camera shoots 3 frames/sec but the buffer is only 4 deep, so basically after 1.3 seconds the buffer fills and he's shooting off the memory card, which will be really slow. Calling this 'burst' mode is almost a joke, but that's probably the best he could do with that gear.

I can understand why the early shots of the fight are blurred but the last shot is a near-by standing lion at 1/400th sec and that's still blurry ... maybe the photographer was still excited by the fight and his hands were shaky?

Bill
Bill_H is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 04:35 AM
  #25  
 
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There's not really much point trying to over expose to reduce noise at ISO 200 - there will hardly be any. Similarly, 1/80 is too low at 400mm to prevent camera shake even with an IS lens and steady hands.

Personally, I would have gone up to ISO 800 (or 1600 ISO on a 1D Mark III)...camera shake and motion blur are impossible to rectify whereas noise is.

The photos I recently took of mating leopards in the early evening were taken at ISO 1600 (this gave a shutter speed of 1/640)..capturing the leopards in mid air with some noise was preferable to a blurred, unusable (but noiseless) image.
Tanky is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 05:35 PM
  #26  
 
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Amazing pictures, yes they are not perfect, but they capture the moment well. I had a similar situation with lions playing. Sometimes even marginal pictures are great if the subject matter is great like those pictures.

The picture I took below came in 2nd in a National Geographic contest and I consider it grainy and far from perfect but you get the message.

http://www.pbase.com/mytmoss/image/50041639
mytmoss is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 05:36 PM
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Congratulations mytmoss~that's a great picture!
matnikstym is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:04 PM
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Bill,

Yes, I agree with you again. I suppose the photographer did the best that they could with the equipment they had and their level of experience. We've all been there!

I've read the 'Expose Right' article a few times over the years.
I think the article makes new-bees think that there is a perfect histogram. Personally I'm not too concerned about the histogram unless I'm clipping highlights and blocking shadow areas.

But at least the photographer got the moment on film and one hell of a sighting it was.

mytmoss,
Your image is excellent and you have achieved focus on the subjects. Where-as all I was saying about the other images is that it was a pity that they were out-of-focus. And yes, all images capture the moment well.

Geoff.
GeoffG is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 07:12 PM
  #29  
 
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The photographer certainly seems to have needed a much faster shutter speed. I'd guess that is the main problem. A much higher ISO setting would counter low light far more satisfactorily than + exposure compensation. I'd go for 800 ISO.

Yet, the very last shot, at 1/400th sec, is also soft...and at that shutter speed, it should not be, but one has to take the excitement of the occasion into account...and rushing adrenalin wouldn't help steady the hands. A few of the others, showing some action, are reasonably sharp at shutter speeds up to about 160th sec.

Still, a great action sequence to capture, and it's often better to have some motion blur than none.

John
afrigalah is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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My thinking on sharpness is - it is probably more important than any other aspect of image quality. A little motion blurring is fine - as long as there is basic sharpness to the image which provides a "base" for the motion. If the image is not sharp then I don't care if the exposure is perfect. While if the image is sharp, I can overlook some iffy exposure. I always go for the high shutter speed and let ISO and aperture fall in the best they can. But you know, if you can't hold the camera study you still have sharpness problems. And I'm convinced that a lot of blurry photos are due to sloppy camera holding.

Of course, probably like the lions fighting the sun had set 15 minutes ago and it was a stretch trying to get any kind of a photo.

It is interesting to see that now with good high ISO the in flight bird photography (BIF) that have the bird wings crack sharp. Very beautiful to me.

Also, FWIW, there is a photographers forum in South Africa that I enjoy - www.outdoorphoto.co.za - that has several excellent contributing wildlife photographers.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 10:36 PM
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My thoughts, too, Tom. I don't shoot digital on safari, so I don't have the privilege of being able to up the ISO shot-by-shot or sequence-by-sequence. So I'm puzzled why people with digital cameras don't exploit this advantage.

And you are dead right about sloppy camera handling. No matter how steady your hands are, it's always better to help yourself with some kind of camera support...every little helps. High ISO can be a good thing, but it also has its disadvantages in 'noisy' images if the camera doesn't have the capability. My wife and I notice this only too clearly when shooting basketball action...we need at least 1250 ISO at f2.8 without exception, and some cameras can handle this with little or no 'noise', others can't.

John

afrigalah is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 12:59 AM
  #32  
 
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"I'm puzzled why people with digital cameras don't exploit this advantage."

Me too. I shoot digitally and have changed my shooting style to take advantage of the different additional functions available to me.

I am often surprised at how many people don't do that. I've even heard some say that one isn't a real photographer if one uses the feedback data on previous shot to improve the next one! My response is usually to ask why they aren't using an old fully manual camera as automatic focus, onboard light meters and so on are all similar improvements introduced over the years to help get the right shot!

I change ISO a fair bit during a day (even just going into a shaded area and back out into a sunny one can make a big difference). I also use exposure compensation to expose somewhat to the right of the histogram without being too far right as there is more noise in the darker tones than the bright ones. Bruce Fraser's book on working wtih RAW gives an excellent explanation on this.
Kavey is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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As a complete novice and one who is just now experimenting with all the cool effects on my camera, I'm reading all this with interest.

I do hope to see more subject matter on this site from those in the know. Please keep posting.

One problem I see on this travel site is that most are too kind to tell it like it is. I'm glad to see that your having an honest discussion about the posted photos.

A few of you gave me some pretty good feed back on my last African photos. I found this to be very helpful as most digital classes don't seem to handle the different types of situations that one may run into when shooting in Africa.

Tom,
Thanks for posting that site - will check out.
cybor is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 05:47 AM
  #34  
 
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When shooting, I always try to change my ISO to try to maximize my shutter speed against lower ISO. If the camera is not steady, then the picture quality will take a big hit. With todays cameras, shooting at 1600 ISO or higher still provides great shots. There are plug programs that can help eliminate noise that is caused by higher ISO shots. Also if you by lenses that have image stabilization, picture quality will greatly improve when using lower shutter speeds.

As I stated before, I loved the series of shots, but I too was very disappointed with the quality, especially given the camera equipment used.
mytmoss is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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It's a very cool sequence and I would have loved to have been there to see that fight. I agree with the comments about the sharpness. I did look at the other images they have posted and thought quite a few of the wildlife images were not sharp. I wonder if there's something wrong with their lens. It seems the people/landscape images are sharper than the wildlife.

Cybor, if you ever want your photos critiqued, then you should ask. I assume the photos posted here are for our enjoyment, not for critiques. I remember someone commenting on a photo once and the OP got pretty defensive and upset. There are some amazing photographers that post here and they may be willing to help if you ask.

mytmoss, great image and congratulations on the NG award! You are Michael, right? You are marked as one of my "favorites" at pbase.
sundowner is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Cybor
I'm not an amazing photographer - many here are way beyond my level. But I AM good at explaining concepts, methods etc. It's the IT Trainer in me. And I've delivered training courses on digital photography, understanding the terminology and processes and processing RAW images in a professional capacity. If I can help I'd be more than happy to.
Kind regards
Kavey
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Nov 16th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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Thanks Sundowner, I am Mike/Michael.
mytmoss is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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Kavey - I've played around a little with processing RAW. For my Nikon D200 and D40X what RAW program would you use? And I want to use only one RAW program not two different ones. Thanks.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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Kavey,
Will do.
Thanks
cybor is offline  
Nov 30th, 2007, 05:06 AM
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Bill,

wonderful pictures of my favourite cat, the younger one took a beating, poor thing

thanks for sharing

Sonali
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