Monday, August 30, 2010

Photo of the Day: "Don't Feed the Wildlife"

In keeping with recent themes, here's another reminder to get closer when shooting wildlife.

Nikon D40 (6.1MP), Nikkor 18-55 I, 46mm, 1/250 sec., f11, ISO 400. Program auto, center weighted metering with -2/3EV exposure compensation. The D40 (and D80) suffer from a less reliable meter than most other Nikons, so some work with the dials is necessary to avoid blown exposures. Slow-sync flash, -2 1/3EV (this is close!). In-camera sharpening set to max (just called "+" in the older Nikon bodies), but it doesn't seem to suffer for it. Short of the D70/D70s, the D40 is my favorite older Nikon consumer body.

Post consisted of cropping to square, +1/4EV exposure, +15 contrast, increased clarity, saturation and punch. (Edit: Lightroom calls "punch" "vibrance.") I also burned (darkened) the top right corner to reduce its distractive capability and did some significant color correction. After boosting saturation and punch vibrance, my hand was beet-red. Pulling the red channel back left my watch wrist-band too blue, so I trimmed that channel, too. No sharpening, save for what Lightroom does automatically when you check "Sharpen for Screen" in the export box.

This image really is taken at point-blank range. My arm is extended to make close focus distance (call it 28" from camera sensor); that's why the f11. Otherwise there'd be no depth of field. Note that a four-year-old camera and lens combination, at the very bottom of the Nikon lineup, is capable of taking some pretty stellar photos, in terms of technical image quality.

Here's the out-of-camera original with no post except for resize and ©.


Regal Trumpet said...

Nice! I really like the post work, turned out awesome!

Modest Holdings said...


In retrospect, I may have dialed up the yellow channel a little too hot, but that's easy enough to fix. And I'm not sure I don't prefer it as it is. Depends on which phase of the moon you ask.

Kathie said...

Forensically speaking, nice finger prints! I, too, like the post work and concur, the yellow is just a tad too much, most evident in the chipmunk's coat. I'm just in awe with the fingerprints!