In Flight

© Beth Spencer

In Flight

Uploaded: December 04, 2012


Canon EOS 7d - Tamron 18-270mm lens, f/6.3, 1/250, ISO 100

Exif: F Number: 6.3, Exposure Bias Value: -0.67, ExposureTime: 1/250 seconds, Flash: did not fire, compulsory flash mode, ISO: 100, White balance: Auto white balance, FocalLength: 119.00 mm, Model: Canon EOS 7D


Dale Hardin December 04, 2012

Nice catch of the three pelicans at sunset Beth. Hard to stop the motion in this low of light.

Sadly, though, the image is severely under exposed and would be difficult to recover completely. Even opening in raw won't overcome the blown blacks.

However, you can bring out the birds better by applying a screen blend at about 25% to 50% and then using a gradient to salvage the sky color. #1501922

Dale Hardin December 04, 2012

I just noticed your camera settings and see that you could have increased your ISO easily and captured much more realistic lighting. #10451333

Rita K. Connell level-classic December 05, 2012

I love when I can capture the pelicans flying low like this. a beautiful sunset. if you have viveza a few adjustment made it pop more. can't wait to see your edit. #10452236

Jeff E Jensen December 05, 2012

Can't wait to see what you come up with on an edit. #10452390

Debbie E. Payne December 05, 2012

Lightroom to the rescue, Beth! Or whatever raw processor you use should be an easy fix. I think there is great possibilities for improvement in this one. #10452759

Beth Spencer December 05, 2012

I don't have time tonight but hopefully tomorrow after work I will get time to work on this. #10452769

Peter W. Marks December 06, 2012

Like Dale I was wondering why you used ISO 100. Was this an intentional setting or one left over from an earlier shot in full daylight? #10453074

Beth Spencer December 06, 2012

I started over and redid this one and then added one more. I did not expose it as much as I had. I added a crop. Is this more what you had in mind Dale.
Peter I am not quite sure why I used ISO 100. I guess I really didn't think about that a lot, I shot there a lot, maybe I need to rethink it. anyway, here are the edits. #10454050

Dale Hardin December 06, 2012

Yes, that's better Beth and about the best one could do with the data available. You really need to think about increasing your ISO in low light conditions.

Go outside at twilight and take some test shots using ISO 100,200,400 and 800 and compare the differences and you'll soon see what we are suggesting. #10454092

Beth Spencer December 06, 2012

Thanks, and I will give that a try. I just need to remember it is ok to shoot higher ISO that the noise is not a problem it used to. I have to break some old habits! #10454093

Dale Hardin December 06, 2012

Also, noise can be handled in Post processing with much success. #10454098

Michael Kelly level-deluxe December 06, 2012

Perhaps I am thick tonight but I don't see that raising the ISO would change much. As long as the shutter speed and f stop are what you are after the ISO setting should have little effect on the shot. I would say you could change the exposure compensation and if this forced you into to slow a shutter speed then you might change the ISO to compensate.

I like the depth of color in the shot and the silhouettes of the birds. I did think the original was a bit dark but the edits look good. #10454101

Peter W. Marks December 07, 2012

You thick Mike? Never! My thoughts re the ISO was that by chosing ISO 100 Beth was limiting herself to a wide open aperture (f6 .3) to give herself the shutter speed she needed and that resulted in a shallow depth of field and there is little that is sharply in focus. I am thinking that your thoughts about 'exposure compensation' would have been the answer but of course realistically, when three birds in formation are fast approaching there are few of us that could remember where on the camera menu LCD that feature is hidden! #10454372

Anthony L. Mancuso December 07, 2012

Nice shot and I think the edits are an improvement Beth..

I'm not sure what Mike means by "the ISO setting should have little effect on the shot" when going from ISO 100 to 400 would give 2 full stops of light to the image and would've made it much brighter. Actually, while I was typing that I realized he is referring to changing the ISO in one of the auto modes which wouldn't affect the exposure unless the exp compensation was adjusted as he mentioned. I usually shoot in manual so changing the ISO does change exposure for me..

And Peter, even if the lens was wide open, the subject is so far from the camera that there should've been plenty of DOF for a sharp image. #10454482

Dale Hardin December 07, 2012

Mike is correct if you are shooting in an auto mode, and I should have made that clear. #10454673

Peter W. Marks December 07, 2012

I am not fully in agreement with you Tony as for example if the birds are, say,100ft away from the camera, then an aperture setting of f6.3 with Beth's zoom lens set at 270mm fl would give a DOF of approx 10ft (ie near acceptable in-focus at 95Ft and far acceptable in-focus at about 105ft)
However if she used an aperture of f22 with the zoom again at 270mm fl there would be a DOF of approx 36ft (ie near acceptable in-focus of 85ft and far distance acceptable in-focus at about 120ft)
Now, if the subject was 200ft away the difference would be even more dramatic.

Aperture f6.3
Near acceptable in-focus image would be at 182ft distance
Far distance acceptable in-focus would be at 222 ft
This gives us a DOF of approx 40ft.

But now, with an aperture of f22 we have
Near acceptable in-focus of 147ft and a Far distaance acceptable in-focus of 310ft
so this results in a DOF of about 160ft which is dramatically more than the 40ft when the aperature is f6.3
I think we could agree that gives us far more latitude to get a sharp image.

Now this where the ISO comes into it as the tiny aperature of f22 would hardly let any light in so we would have to up that sensor sensitivity to about ISO 1250 to give us the same exposure as we had with the aperture of f6.3 at ISO 100

Now if all this isn't making your heads hurt I will be most surprised! Do you guys remember when photography used to be fun!! #10454676

Michael Kelly level-deluxe December 07, 2012

You all are great. Yup I shoot almost all the time in Av mode where I set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. The only time I up the ISO is where my settings would result in the shutter speed being to slow.

Understanding the basics of photography is important, but you don't need to calculate the precise details on every shot. If you know the basics the feel of the shot using the basic knowledge will suffice in most cases. #10454733

Beth Spencer December 07, 2012

Peter you have made my head totally spin. I am still trying to understand all that math and am wondering how you figure all this out!
I usually shoot manual or AV. Now I am thinking why I chose f/6.3 and this is what I think I was thinking: I wanted to try and focus on the birds and not the whole shot. Should I have tried a different f stop?
I do not have much practice with these kinds of shots, so will have to learn more about it. I guess I will have to have Rocky take me back so I can practice more, but think that won't be for a while yet. He is getting his new knee the day after Christmas.
I usually shoot ISO 100 but am going to have to try and mix it up some. So increasing the ISO is going to let me shoot faster in lower light, is this right?
I am learning a lot from this thread, so thanks everyone for all your comments! #10454942

Peter W. Marks December 07, 2012

I'm laughing Beth. If we ever hope to have images accepted by National Geographic we probably would have to know this stuff but now you will see why I never fret over a twig or leaf.I truly never sweat the small stuff; as long as an image 'speaks to me' in some way I am happy. But all who seek perfection do have my admiration for their single mindedness and of course if their images are for paying clients then perfection should always be the goal. So, all that math you ask about is for me just theoretical stuff which I have on my computer but never use in real life.
I think for most of our images there are two circumstances where all of this is important but we don't need to worry about the math stuff.
1) a portrait where we want the subject to stand out sharply but the background to be blurred we would use a wide aperture like 2.8 or 3.5fl and depending on the light use a low ISO and fast shutter
2).A landscape with loads of detail all the way from a few feet in front of you to the trees and mountains way in the distance then we need the largest depth of field possible so then it should be f22 or so and we would need a tripod as we would use a slow shutter speed to get the needed exposure or we could up the ISO to use a faster shutter speed if we have to handhold.

And I think somewhere in all this longwinded answer I might have said 'Yes, up your ISO and shoot a faster shutter'.
Have a good evening Beth, I am now off to an art exhibition and it is opening night so we get some wine and nibbles!


Michael Kelly level-deluxe December 07, 2012

The 3 components of correct exposure are shutter speed, f stop, and ISO. Shutter speed controls things like motion blur both from the subject and the camera as well as how long the available light can strike the sensor, f stop controls DOF as well as the amount of light let through the lens, ISO is the equivalent of film speed and is a measure of the sensors sensitivity. All of these may be adjusted and have a 1 to 1 ratio. Stop down one full f stop (note most cameras adjust 1/3 stop at a time) and you need to double your shutter speed to get the same exposure or double your ISO to keep the same shutter speed. As long as you keep these relationships in mind there are practically an infinite number of combinations that will result in the same exposure. If you change one of the three and do not adjust one of the others you will change the exposure. We as photographers decide the required elements of a particular shot and adjust accordingly. Thus the examples that Peter gave above. #10455135

Kristin Duff December 08, 2012

@Peter...did I mention I failed university 3 times? #10456650

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