It's a bird

by Vian Esterhuizen

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56,364 reputation
8115261
bio website jonrista.com
location Aurora, CO
age 35
visits member for 4 years, 11 months
seen yesterday

I am a relatively new photographer, having been at if for only a few years. I chose Canon gear when I finally took the plunge into DSLR. I am an avid hobbyist now, and love everything about photography, from the gear, to the science, to the art. I spent years reading about the technology and photography theory, so I am very well versed in the technical aspects of photography. My artistic skills are moderate, but improving. You can see my work @ the following sites:

My interests lie primarily in nature photography:

  • Birds
    • Songbird Setups
    • Shore Birds & Waders
    • Raptors
    • All others
  • Astrophotography
    • Moon
    • Wide Field
    • Deep Sky
  • Landscapes
  • Wildlife
  • Floral Macro
  • Insect Macro
  • Abstract

I currently use the following gear:

  • Cameras
    • Canon EOS 7D
    • Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi)
  • Lenses
    • EF 16-35 f/2.8 USM L Wide
    • EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
    • EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
    • EF 100-400mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM L Zoom
    • EF 600mm f/4 L IS II
    • Canon EF 1.4x TC III
    • Kenko 1.4x Teleplus Pro 300 DGX
    • Periodic Rentals:
      • EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II
      • EF 500mm f/4 L IS II
      • Canon EF 2x TC III
  • Filters
    • Lee Foundation Kit (x2) + Tandem Adapter
    • Lee .3/.6 ND
    • Lee .3/.6/.9 Soft Grad ND
    • Lee .3/.6/.9 Hard Grad ND
    • Lee CPL
  • Tripod
    • Gitzo Systematic GT3532LS 3S. Series 3 Tripod
    • Jobu Pro 2 Gimbal
    • Gitzo Mountaineer GT0541 4S. Series.0 Tripod
    • Gitzo GH1780QR Series.1 Mag. Center Ball Head

Jun
16
comment Why do my photos lack texture/detail/microcontrast?
What exactly are you looking for? Aside from some exposure issues...your images seem to have plenty of detail, and the color is great. There are some slight focus issues, but nothing I would attribute to the hardware...it just looks like your run of the mill micron misfocus caused by things moving in the wind, or you moving ever so slightly while taking the picture.
Jun
12
awarded  Good Answer
Jun
11
comment When to expose for the shadows vs expose for the highlights?
Nikon shadows will be pretty much the same as Sony shadows. They both use the same Sony Exmor sensors. Nikon actually does a better job with their RAW data, as it is true raw, not lossy compressed...so you might be able to eek more performance out of each file. Overall, though, the differences between Sony and Nikon cameras that use Exmor sensors is minimal. Your fine going with either brand. Almost everything out there these days uses Sony Exmor sensors. The exceptions are Canon, which use Canon sensors, and Samsung, which use Samsung sensors. Even MFD use Sony now.
Jun
11
comment When to expose for the shadows vs expose for the highlights?
...can be easily adapted. Both the Sony A series cameras (E- and FE-mount) and the Samsung NX class cameras, are mirrorless. That means short flange focal distance, which means just about any lens, of any brand, going back many decades, can be used on those cameras with simple and relatively cheap adapters. That opens up a whole different world of image quality that simply isn't available in the Canon line at the moment.
Jun
11
comment When to expose for the shadows vs expose for the highlights?
I used to be a pretty loyal Canon fan, but after watching and waiting for years for them to improve their sensor technology, I have come to the conclusion that they simply can't, because they either don't know how, or simply don't care. IQ improvements are being made in leaps and bounds by all the competition, and the best Canon has come up with since the 5D II hit the streets is the 5Ds...which MAYBE gets about half a stop improvement in noise performance. If you want better IQ...don't let brand loyaltee get in your way. Cameras come and go...and with mirrorless, lenses...
Jun
11
comment When to expose for the shadows vs expose for the highlights?
I personally have stuck with Canon because their high ISO performance is very good, and because their higher end lenses are phenomenal. I own the 600mm f/4 L II, and it is a beautiful piece of engineering and glass. I use that for birds and wildlife. That said...for most of my other photography, I've been moving to other brands. Sony has some compelling options, with IQ like you see above, for quite cheap. The A6000 and A7r II are on my list. I may get a Samsung NX1 for shorter focal length wildlife (w/ forthcoming 300mm). A QSI CCD camera for astro is on the way soon.
Jun
11
revised When to expose for the shadows vs expose for the highlights?
deleted 1 character in body
Jun
11
answered When to expose for the shadows vs expose for the highlights?
Jun
11
awarded  Nice Answer
May
27
awarded  Nice Answer
May
23
comment Why is a physical anti-aliasing filter still needed on modern DSLRs?
Digital film would not suffer from aliasing as we experience it today, and it could potentially provide both extremely high resolution in good light, or extremely high sensitivity in low light, and dynamically adapt between the two as needed. Brilliant design...not sure if/when it may actually find it's way into an actual camera though...
May
23
comment Why is a physical anti-aliasing filter still needed on modern DSLRs?
Fuji has always been one to try out non-conventional pixel layouts. They have had some success, but in the end, the classic bayer matrix still seems to win out in the end. There are some patents out there for a dynamic "digital film", which uses extremely small binary pixels and high frequency sensor readout for a sensor that behaves more like the grains of silver halide in film than pixels on a sensor. The "jots" are basically photon counters, and can combine together to create larger "grains". Each of these is read out thousands of times a second, and reconstructed into an image.
May
23
comment Why is a physical anti-aliasing filter still needed on modern DSLRs?
I think a random distribution of pixels on the sensor would certainly be a solution to aliasing...the trick would be combining all that data into a usable image on a computer. It would require some interesting algorithms to sample and reconstruct the data in a standard RGB pixel matrix. I wonder if doing so would reintroduce some aliasing as well... Reading out neat little rows and columns is super easy for computers, which is why its done that way. Random data is actually something computers don't handle well.
May
16
comment How can I adjust the colour temperature of an image programmatically?
I am curious how one can perform white balance like it is done with Lightroom, where you have a color temperature as well as color tint. Those two sliders align perfectly with the two planar Lab space axes, as well as with CIE-based white point adjustment formula that can be found online. Is it possible to control color temperature and tint separately with this kind of simplicity? Is that just some other calculation to determine the R_gain and B_gain?
May
16
comment How can I adjust the colour temperature of an image programmatically?
I was going to say you should put that into an answer, but I see you already did. Thanks for the insights, though! I was unaware this could be done so simply.
May
5
comment Are there cameras that autofocus during an exposure?
Try shifting focus during an exposure. See what happens. I don't think that would work. Not with short exposures. Some people have used it as a means of creating an effect, however that is usually with longer exposures, and after the focus shift has been made, the camera is left still for a moment before the shutter closes. For a constantly moving subject, I think you'll find that the entire image is just blurry in one way or another.
May
4
answered What are the exact pixel values (or ranges) for shadows/midtones/highlights in Lightroom?
May
4
comment Are there cameras that autofocus during an exposure?
Are you looking to focus during a single exposure? Or looking to focus during video, or multiple exposures? Changing focus during a long exposure is sure to result in a totally blurred image. Tracking focus during an ongoing, long exposure doesn't have any real value. As for focusing during say video...Canon has DPAF which will do that, and other manufacturers have similar things (although usually done with CDAF).
May
4
awarded  Good Answer
May
3
awarded  Necromancer