Six Word Saturday

Red Maple Leaf on a Boulder

My contribution to Six Word Saturday.

Six Word Saturday: Red Maple Leaf on a Boulder

29 replies on “Red Maple Leaf on a Boulder”

Thanks Becky. Taken last weekend shortly after photographing the sunrise. And shortly after talking to a police officer who had photographed the sunrise from a nearby location.

I was surprised that I had the section of shoreline to myself last weekend as it’s a popular location for the sunrise. The cop had stopped further back down the road which is to narrow for a typical cop’s U turn so they had to drive to the end of the road to turn around which is when a suspicious character with a British accent was discovered.

There are times when it seems as if any photographer using a tripod is a suspicious character when everyone else is using a smartphone to take pictures.

It used to be photographers with big telephoto lenses who were treated suspiciously but now it’s almost anyone with a camera rather than a smartphone.

I know, it’s rather silly that someone standing behind a camera on a tripod is treated suspiciously while no one blinks an eye about people snapping away on their smartphones.

David – a technical query. I’m having trouble with moving water fowl. If I get the speed right to keep the bird in focus, then the background is either too dark (which I can somewhat fix) or blown out too light. And if I get the aperture correct, then the bird isn’t in sharp focus. Suggestions?

It sounds like a lighting issue, at least in part. One recommendation by a well known bird photographer is to “point your shadow at the bird” which isn’t as trite as it sounds. If your shadow is pointing in the general direction of the subject it means that the sun is illuminating the bird and the water equally. Also, is the bird not sharp because of focus issues or because it’s blurred due to movement. If it’s swimming it may need a faster shutter speed to stop motion blur. You could try increasing the ISO to give you a faster shutter speed or to allow you to use a smaller aperture for more depth of field.

Thank you! I’ll give those a try. Part of the problem is that I only see them out in the late morning when there is still a shadow issue. the other issue is that I can only take the shot from one direction – I can’t physically stand in the middle of the lake, and my telephoto doesn’t begin to be able to shoot from the other side of the lake. I haven’t been experimenting with the ISO so far – just the aperture and speed. So I’ll try experimenting with the ISO.

You do need to pay attention to the direction and quality of light with species such as White Pelicans. It’s easy to either over expose the birds due to exposing for the water or to under expose the birds due to the camera trying to make the white birds into a mid tone. If the white plumage is under exposed it will make the water darker.

I’m trying to capture these shots because the pelicans are so beautiful, but I’ve forgotten almost everything I used to know 40 years ago about aperture/speed/ISO and I’m trying to take shots way ahead of my technical skill.

It could be a combination of unsuitable lighting and shutter speed/aperture/ISO settings. The more you experiment and practice the easier it gets and don’t forget about exposure compensation if the cameras exposure meter is being fooled by the white birds or the dark water.

I don’t have nearly as many difficulties shooting the cormorants, for instance. Or even egrets, since they usually just stand there. But the pelicans, ummmm… well, they MOVE. 😧

Oh!! “a combination of unsuitable lighting and….” Everything that you mention is indeed probably compounding the problem, but I realized really late last night that the biggest problem was the lighting. Or rather, the *change* in the light. I was discouraged because I hadn’t had much trouble taking shots of white pelicans earlier – in our “summer” – when the light was high, strong and bright. The shots I’m having trouble editing, because the lake water is so dark in the photos, were taken more recently, when the light on the water was completely different – weaker, hitting at a different angle, etc. I’m not experienced enough to have realized that the settings on my camera would have to be different in order to accommodate that. In addition, it was a day that I was specifically playing around with aperture settings to see how that would affect the photo. Thank you, David, for helping my realize that the differences in natural light will affect the shot, and need to be taken into account!!!

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