Too much lens

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bajadreamer

Well-known member
There was a previous thread concerning shooting from a blind or hide with feeders and/or water attraction. This is a bird, a Cassin's Finch, that was seen in Cabin Lake, Oregon. There is a small cistern there that was built about 30 years ago. During the dry season it is the only dependable fresh water for miles. Needless to say, it attracts a large number of birds. There is a photo blind built about 10-12' from the water. This was one of my first pictures that I took there; I was using a 500 mm lens + a 1.4x extender on a full frame camera-way too much lens. Even though this is not a large bird it virtually filled the frame. I cropped very slightly from the right to remove some OOF concrete. I could not crop any further so had to leave a remnant of the concrete in. Question: Would you attempt to add canvas? If so, where?
Certainly if I had taken the extender off and used only the 500, I could have had more options concerning composition and may have improved my DOF. Next time.

Cassin's Finch-1.jpg
 

Charlie Lasswell

Well-known member
I'm not familiar with the concept of "Too much lens", never experienced and never seen it. I love to see the details I couldn't see otherwise and this is a great example of that.
 

gaknott

Well-known member
Supporting Member
For wildlife, especially birds, I like filling the frame without having to crop. It really brings out the fine details in their feathers, eyes, beaks and talons. Great shot!! I am normally not a big fan of textures; to me, it removes the reality from the shot (just my humble opinion ;))!
 

bajadreamer

Well-known member
Thread starter
Personally I think the picture is perfect. You mention the cistern, it's part of the story and it is interesting. I would leave it in the shot and talk about it. Many times, the story is as important as the actual photograph in my opinion. Photography for me is telling a story.
I certainly agree with about the story telling.
 

bajadreamer

Well-known member
Thread starter
I'm not familiar with the concept of "Too much lens", never experienced and never seen it. I love to see the details I couldn't see otherwise and this is a great example of that.
More times than not, I wish I had just "a little more" lens, but when the birds are super close (this one was just at the MFD of that lens, about 12'), my ability to compose becomes limited. The new Canon R5 may help that with full frame AF points.
 

bajadreamer

Well-known member
Thread starter
For wildlife, especially birds, I like filling the frame without having to crop. It really brings out the fine details in their feathers, eyes, beaks and talons. Great shot!! I am normally not a big fan of textures; to me, it removes the reality from the shot (just my humble opinion ;))!
Agree with you. Fine feather detail is one of my favorite attributes to look for in a picture. As with most things, I "want it all" though-detail and composition.
 

Viathelens

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I strive to get the shot where the bird fills the frame. I like my subject up close and personal with lots of detail. But to answer the question you posed, "I could not crop any further so had to leave a remnant of the concrete in. Question: Would you attempt to add canvas? If so, where?"

If you believe this shot needs more space you can add just a very little slice of canvas and content aware fill, using the crop tool, in PS to the left of the subject, so that the bird has more space to look into. This would also help in printing if you wanted to retain the original 3:2 ratio, assuming that ratio was what you originally shot at and still wanted. Of course, if you don't print that would not matter. I like it just as it is but sometimes adding a little more canvas does improve the shot.
 

bajadreamer

Well-known member
Thread starter
I strive to get the shot where the bird fills the frame. I like my subject up close and personal with lots of detail. But to answer the question you posed, "I could not crop any further so had to leave a remnant of the concrete in. Question: Would you attempt to add canvas? If so, where?"

If you believe this shot needs more space you can add just a very little slice of canvas and content aware fill, using the crop tool, in PS to the left of the subject, so that the bird has more space to look into. This would also help in printing if you wanted to retain the original 3:2 ratio, assuming that ratio was what you originally shot at and still wanted. Of course, if you don't print that would not matter. I like it just as it is but sometimes adding a little more canvas does improve the shot.
Certainly agree with your first statement. For me, it is often a question of "How much is too much?". I do not print so do not adhere to aspect ratios very much; most of my pictures are displayed on a television dedicated to my bird/wildlife pictures. If I am going to stay with a ratio, it would be 16:9 which often does not lend itself to "bird in the frame" picture. I agree with you about adding canvas to the left. Because the left margin is not very detailed, it was easy to do. Thank you for your thoughts.
 

Sxot

Member
Depends on your goal. Are you after showing habitat, or the bird? Since it's a man-made cistern, to me the habitat is not something I would add, it's not natural habitat. As such I would have gone for a tight crop, which you have. I think the photo is good as it is. You've got room around the bird on all sides, and a bit extra free space to the right which it is looking into. This gives it a feeling of space. I would not add anything here.
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
I wouldn't make any changes. I would only crop or add canvas if needed for a specific output or purpose. You have room to change proportions slightly if needed. The image is well executed, sharp, and you have a nice catchlight in the eye. The head is turned slightly toward the camera. It looks good.

It's a judgement decision on whether to use the teleconverter or not. Because of the concrete and the limited natural environment, I think a tighter shot makes sense here. But if you had a better background, including the environment would make a better image.
 

Howard5252

Unknown, but working on it
Supporting Member
If you feel there is not enough canvas at the left side, you might be able to live with it if you cropped slightly more on the right side, If that is not an option, Photoshop ELEMENTS (and I'm sure Photoshop itself) has an easy way to add some canvas to the left side (or top, if you wish). BTW, that brownish stuff on the right can easily be removed, either by bringing down the part of the photo directly above it, or covering with the stuff the bird is sitting on. If you OK it, I'll show you what I mean.
 
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