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Weekly #560 - Birds Competition

Competition Details
Closing Date: 08/04/2018
Judge: i-Berg

A readily available, accessible and photogenic subject to most - I hope. I'll take images of any 'wild' birds, pond life such as swans included. Usual rules - you win it, you set it next week, and then judge it with comments. Pentax / Ricoh only of course, please. Closes midnight 8 April.
Competition Entries


Link Posted 09/04/2018 - 12:36
Weekly Competition #560 Birds

Gday - thank you for taking the time and effort to submit your image for this comp.

As always, the thoughts in the c&c are my own and thus entirely subjective. They apply solely to these images at this particular time.

There are two sets of things I will be looking for: the first is whether the image meets the brief (is it a bird? ); and the second (as in previous times) is a combination of content, lighting and composition.

Ive deliberately left the topic wide, to give people scope to interpret as they see fit. The intent this week was to set a topic that would be accessible and give opportunities to as wide a field as possible. That at least seems to have worked a treat, with twenty entries. So here goes:

A Free Lunch johnriley. Quite an interesting study of the primary flight feathers to kick the comp off John. You cant have everything, granted, but it would have been even better without the feeder intervening (of course then, no study of the outstretched underside of the wing).

Taking to water Perspicador. This shot is full of action, one of the main attractions of so many birds: theyre busy. Id have liked to have seen birds either in or out of the frame timing may have been your friend with that Rod?

Will the rain never stop? davidwozhere. A lovely study of a bedraggled jay. And of course Pentax stuff shines when the weather does not.

GSW bps. A practiced use of a telephoto lens with all the right camera settings. Maximise the opportunities and you pull off shots like this. Good work.

Lets do lunch! DoctorJeff. I see youve used a shutter speed of 1/60 for the image, and its too slow for this focal length Doc. Rule of thumb (ish) is 1 over your focal length (thus a 400 mm lens will mean you need to use at least 1/400 for your shutter speed). If ISO needs to come up to allow that to occur, then so be it. You may have had a sharper image as a result.

SS Swan (Battleship Class) Berserker. Majestic youve captured a swan doing what it does best. Well exposed, and well caught with its bow wave too.

Common Buzzard ProfYana. Id have liked to have seen this beauty at a slightly larger size in this frame. Birds in flight are a real art. I imagine this one may have been high, and thus theres a limit to how hard you can crop without starting to see softness and artefacts.

Should we nest here? Aitch53. Great concept, let down a little by a very intrusive railing.

Goldfinches newbiek50user. You may have had a focus issue with this finch shot. Hard to get right without a considerable amount of practice if manual, or a competent and speedy autofocus (cough)

Thrush GlynM. A very pleasant study of the song thrush in snow. I like the way it fills the frame Glyn.

Double decker michealblue. Such timing! The panorama framing youve used (custom dimensions by the looks) really suits this action shot.

Whos an ugly duckling? JAK. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder John. Not only does the cygnet make a good image, I like the backdrop as well.

Wedge-tailed eagle TonyCr. Thats the difficulty with these display type shots its the tourists who youll often get as the backdrop. That said, Ive been to Healesville Sanctuary to the East of Melbourne many times, and seen this show too. In the wild, these are a regal and powerful bird. Even more so up close and personal when seen from a sailplane, and they lower their own landing gear with intent... Ask me how I know .

Just looking Ken2390. For some reason, this image has artefacts visible around the subject edges. Either its heavily cropped, or perhaps over-sharpened (or both?)

Eagle Noelcmn. I like this plucky little fellow, and the focus is spot-on and crisp. Can you let us in on the actual lens you used for this image please Noel? The bokeh strikes me as really nervous and busy. My DA*50-135 f2.8 does exactly the same thing at certain apertures. Interesting.

The Great White One drofmit. This image has striking contrast weather and sky behind, and perfectly timed egret in the sunshine as the subject. This would have been in the places had the bird filled the frame a little more Tim.

Whos a Pretty Boy Paulb531. Mr Macaw, I presume? Vivid and spectacular colours another reason to enjoy taking pics of birds. Well seen.

Lunch-time Stephen-s
. Oh boy, this takes the cake. Focus and depth of field perfect, timing spot on, vivid rendering, ideal composition and the subject matter absolutely striking. What did you have to pay him to pose?

Eyed by the Long-tailed Tit Abe-Normal. I looked at this again and again. The plumage is so deceptive for a moment it looks soft and out of focus, and then its there in detail. Clever, and well done with a most photogenic subject.

Headless vulture feeding and friends vic cross. I suppose there are limited opportunities for snaps on tours in places as popular as those in which youd see these valuable birds scavenge. This shot seems to encapsulate that lack of opportunity a little. That said, itd be a pleasant part of the memories for this trip Im sure.

So to the results (again, my apologies, work dished out a big day):

3rd place: Eyed by the Long-tailed Tit Abe_Normal.

2nd place: bps GSW.

1st place: Stephen-s Lunchtime.

This week, the HCs go (in order) to davidwozhere, GlynM, drofmit and michaelblue. Given twenty entries, Im feeling generous.

Thank you again for participating as is usual, Ive enjoyed thinking about what youve provided and offering my thoughts.
Last Edited by i-Berg on 09/04/2018 - 12:38


Link Posted 09/04/2018 - 18:08
Cracking winning shot for this popular subject, well done Stephen-s. Congrats. That must have been one hungry Puffin . Congrats to the other podium places, GSW and Abe_Normal. And not forgetting the HC's Davidwozhere, GlynM, Dromfit and Michaelblue. Wonderful challenge, excellent feedback, so a hearty thanks to i-Berg. Being a bird lover, I'm deeply gratified at seeing all of these. And to answer your question, i-Berg, its the Sigma 170-500mm lens, the lens I will usually use on my visits to the Kruger Park. An oldie, so some aberrations to be expected. Or maybe I should have put the engine off .


Link Posted 09/04/2018 - 19:00
Hi thanks for the feedback and the 1st place... Well chosen subject i-berg. Oh Idid pay the fella but it was goods in kind, protection from the ever present theaving gulls whilst he took a break proir to returning to the burrow with lunch.

Well done to all who placed or got HCs a good inspiring variety of images on show this week.

I will get my thinking cap on do a suitable subject for this week. Should be up later this evening.


Link Posted 09/04/2018 - 19:11
Many thanks to i-Berg for another great competition which attracted an excellent number of very nice entries.

Thanks also for my HC .

Congratulations to Stephen-s for the well deserved win, runners-up GSW & Abe_Normal, my fellow HCs and everyone else for another grand set of images.



Link Posted 10/04/2018 - 00:54
Thanks to i-Berg for running the competition with prompt adjudication, and for my placing. Congratulations to the other podium finishers, particularly the winner stephen-s for showing that kit lenses are no disadvantage.


Link Posted 11/04/2018 - 01:11
Some cracking shots in this lot! How you get such a sharp, solitary long tailed tit I don't know. They never stay still. And the woodpecker is perfection. Do all puffins arrange their prey the same way round? I never noticed this before. The Berserker swan is a well seized opportunity too. Well done you lot !
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

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