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Opinions please - is this overreaching?


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Out with the camera yesterday - mainly doing town and landscape work so only had the 18-105mm lens.  Walking back I had one of those moments nature delights in throwing at photographers without their zooms - a kingfisher.  I took a load of shots anyway - just to see what I could get - the light wasn't brilliant either.  Anyway one of the shots has come out way better than anything I have managed in that situation before - but I cannot assess it accurately as I have nothing else to assess it against. 
I am not submitting it - but would appreciate some feedback on what I got right, what I got wrong - and if the situation is just beyond the camera and lens (more the lens - if I had my 300mm and a tripod I would have known what I was doing lol)

I cannot get the image to show on here from Dropbox so am just putting the link - if it doesn't work please let me know.  Thank you


https://www.dropbox.com/s/5fhdujk00j3buqw/289-Dec-20-2018 - bath.jpg?dl=0

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Yup, I understand your pleasure at spotting a Kingfisher and managing to capture it in camera. I've only ever seen a kingfisher on two occasions and was unable to get a picture!


However, some folk make this their life's work and there are some incredible images available. You need a longer lens, a hide, a dollop of luck,  and an awful lot of patience.

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5 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

Search the Alamy database for 'kingfisher'... and see how it compares...

Oh its not going to touch them.  I have taken half decent shots of kingfishers before  - just not at 105mm 1/125th iso 500.  I am lucky, my town has fairly shock proof kingfishers who have been known to ignore 20 odd people 30ft away.  Come summer I will try and get some shots for here.  The image I have put up is just one where I have pushed everything I have  - I was a distance from the bird, it was not bright,  it was not the ideal lens etc.


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8 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Kingfishers are birds of habit. Good chance you'll find it in the same spot day after day.

Some people create a perfect perch for the bird. Some go even further.

A car is a good blind btw, if you don't have a real one.



My lucky town has nearly tame kingfishers - they will happily fish less than 30ft from groups of people pointing at them.  I should not have any problems with a targetted shoot of them (although being animals they will note I am focused on them and practice being awkward)

The photo above was absolutely not a targeted shoot - it is absolutely the last way I would seek to get a shot of a kingfisher.  I had been doing a town centre shoot - was walking back to my car and was presented with this by chance.  I feel I pushed everything I had to limits - and I have a shot where you can zoom in on the kingfisher and it still stays relatively sharp considering how small it is in the frame.  At this stage in my experience I do not feel I could have done better - what I want to know is what areas of my experience do I need to work on so I could do better.  Is everyone else with something that small getting it way sharper under those conditions - and how.

With that distance, that light, that lens was there anything extra I could have done.  Not for an image for stock but just for the technical challenge of such a small subject at such a distance with totally wrong conditions.  The old if I understand how to gain the most from incorrect set ups my correct set ups will also improve.  The image is not compositionally - it is not going to be offered for sale - I am just after technical critique.

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I think you made the most of bad light and lack of reach here and it really goes to show that you don't always need massive heavy lenses i.e., last year I was lucky locally to get some nice shots of a Kingfisher in an urban situation a few in my port I think.    At the time I was using a heavy 200-400mm handheld.  It was so close I had to zoom out and the exif shows the focal length between 180 and 200mm, could have used my 70-200mm 2.8 !  You never can tell, good luck with shooting  a few more.



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