Close, but no cigar

Last week I listed 8 things I learned on the Jackson Hole trip. Apparently I didn’t learn them well enough. Last night, I went to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to work on the Flickr project group’s current “nature” theme, and just before sunset I was overwhelmed by the photographic choices available to me – so I broke some of last week’s rules. What I ended up with were pictures that I really like, but that have major flaws. I keep looking at the photos and wishing I had that hour back (with a better lens this time.)

The first item I didn’t learn well enough is: the subject isn’t sharp, don’t bother sharing the photo. The goslings just aren’t sharp enough here. One problem that I’m trying to overcome is that I get I’m not careful enough on time-sensitive shots – I need to take that extra 2-3 seconds and really nail the focus. But you see, I’m sharing this anyway!

Mother Goose and Goslings

Goose and goslings going for a late night swim

The second item is: leave the far-away shots to people with bigger lenses. I maxed out my 250mm zoom, and it shows in the slightly blurry outline of the subject(s) when the photo is at full size. I need to go up a lens size (and down $500) to really get these shots right… but that doesn’t seem to keep me from trying.

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Herons, swapping nest duties

One more lesson that I didn’t document last week (because I had heard it in the past) was: focus on the eyes. I didn’t really break that rule last night, but I would be much happier with this shot if I could have gotten the guy to look at me (which wasn’t possible because I was shooting through reeds).

Frog

Ribbit

I’ll probably go back out again this weekend to spend some more time on this nature theme. No doubt I’ll get waylaid by those enticing far-off shots… I’ll just tell myself I’m practicing for when I get that bigger lens.

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4 comments

  1. Question you should ask yourself – do you like these shots? Regardless of all the advice and tips you receive – you’re the one you ultimately need to please. I love the backlit herons – slightly fuzzy outline or not!!

    • That’s the thing – I like them well enough, but I often think “if I had just done this or that”. I never realized I could be such a perfectionist! I went back to the Lab last night and tried the heron shot again, and was just planning to write a quick post on it…

  2. Your frog had caught my eye in your Flickr feed. 🙂 A little tough to make a frog look at you, unless you’re good at imitating a frog sound.

    Your goose shot, yes, it has shortcomings. But the reflection and water ripples are nice. Just getting it all to come together at once–yes I know–easier said than done sometimes. But keep at it! We just have to listen to ourselves. Again, easier said than done. 🙂

    Barb


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