More Photos

December 22nd, 2007

Second day using the camera, and everything is going well. The focusing issue seems to be a matter of self-training, recognizing where the camera is focusing on and compensating. For example, when I am shooting birds on the ground and there are prominent depth-of-field issues, I notice that the camera will not focus on the center of the frame, but rather just below center. So, if I want to focus on a bird on the ground, I have to position it just below the center of the screen.

I also have yet to produce RAW images. Are they sharper than the JPEGs? I’ll have to experiment and find out.

I have also noticed more a feature I mentioned last time: if you are focusing on an area with several objects at different distances, the camera may focus on the wrong one. If you release the shutter and hold it halfway again to re-focus, the AF will usually offer a different object to focus on, as if to say, “Oh, that’s not your subject? OK, then how about this? No? What about this?” It can all be done pretty quickly, too.

Anyway, a lot of the same birds were there, but I did spot this Northern Flicker unexpectedly (click for larger image):

1207-Northern Flicker01-450A

As usual, hummingbirds virtually swarmed around this giant tree near the bike bridge. Got one of them pretty well as it perched in a nearby tree. The first image can be clicked for a larger version:

1207-Annas 01-450

1207-Annas 04-450

1207-Annas 02-450

There were also the prerequisite White-crowned Sparrows:

1207-Sparrow 01A-450

As well as the usual Stellar’s Jays and Acorn Woodpeckers, as well as a Black Phoebe that seems to have laid claim to the meadow:


1207-Acorn Woodpecker 01-450

1207-Acorn Woodpecker 02-450

1207-Black Phoebe4-450

There was also a flock of Chestnut-backed Chickadees. One I got real close; here’s a cropped-but-not-reduced shot:

1207-Chestnut Chick 02A-450

Here’s a reduced shot, with a larger unreduced version after a click:

1207-Chestnut Chick 03A-450

This one’s kind of cute, like the bird is hiding behind the flower…

1207-Chestnut Chick 01-450

And a squirrel; larger image on click:

1207-Squirrel 01-450

Categories: Birdwatching, Gadgets & Toys, Nature Tags: by
  1. December 22nd, 2007 at 11:15 | #1

    RAW files will be marginally sharper than JPEGs but require you to apply adjustments on your computer after the pictures have been taken. Depending on your time and level of Photoshop acumen, RAW may not be worthwhile for you. It’ll also likely run down the battery on your camera faster because it’ll take longer to save the larger files to memory on the camera.

    There’s a good tutorial with explanations at this site:

    The main benefit is going to be more control (since you’ll make adjustments and not the camera) and loss-less compression. However, even loss-less compression is of limited value if you don’t plan on applying lots of processing and re-saving after the initial shots.

  2. ykw
    December 22nd, 2007 at 18:02 | #2

    I think the best photos of animals are almost always with directly sun light on the subject and the sun at the photographers back. The reason for this is because the sun hitting the fur or feathers causes their colors and texture to be more pronounced. Also, it helps get a sharper focus due to running at a faster shutter speed.

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