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How Do You PP Your Bird images?


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Hi, Before a few months ago I only really photographed Land/Sea Scapes and some other odds and sods with Canon equipment but now moved over to Sony for mainly bird photography and wonder apart from getting it right in camera what do you do to your images to get the WYS image and what software do you tend to use? Thankyou, Russ.

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If by “......getting the WYS image...” you mean being able to have your prints the same as what you see on the computer’s screen, I have always found that my prints look darker than what I see on screen (so I have to compensate that before printing). This, even when I was using a monitor calibrated using x-rite i1 Pro. Colours were fine.

To develop my raw files I use DxO’s program (it used to be called DxO Optics Pro originally, and it is now called DxO PhotoLab). I think it is a great program (not cheap though). For Sony’s raw files there are (among others) two programs that are free, Sony’s Imaging Edge and Capture One Express for Sony. These two have the basic features but allow you to process your raw files quite efficiently, but both are limited regarding correction of optical distortions of lenses (in which respect, DxO excels any other program).

To edit my 16 bits tiff files (to which format I export my raw files after processing them) I am now using Affinity Photo. It also allows you to process raw (with limited features).

I am no expert in taking photos of birds, but I have taken a few for fun and for my own enjoyment, some time ago. I just took photos of the ones that crossed my way when walking around with a camera to shoot photos of whatever subject that would draw my attention (well, not exactly, but I don’t go outdoors to the wild hunting for birds to take photos of them as you will probably be doing). Here are the photos of birds that I have taken till now https://alejandroceppi.zenfolio.com/pajaros

Most of those (not the two last ones) I took with an APS-C sensor camera (either a Sony A230 or an A580) using a Minolta 100-300mm F/4.6-5.6 APO zoom lens (most of them) or the Sony 55-200 mm f/4-5.6 kit lens.

Edited by Alejandro
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  • 2 years later...
3 hours ago, zansavier said:

There are many software options available for editing RAW images, including Adobe Lightroom, Capture One, Dxo. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you may want to experiment to see which one works best for your workflow.

You are responding to a thread that's over two years old, and to which the thread starter has never replied. In fact the person who asked the question hasn't visited the site since February 2021.

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/7/2021 at 4:29 AM, Russ said:

Hi, Before a few months ago I only really photographed Land/Sea Scapes and some other odds and sods with Canon equipment but now moved over to Sony for mainly bird photography and wonder apart from getting it right in camera what do you do to your images to get the WYS image and what software do you tend to use? Thankyou, Russ.

Review your images and select the ones you want to process. Choose the ones that are well-composed, in focus, and have good exposure. It's often better to work with a smaller selection of high-quality images rather than trying to process all of them.

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    • I mostly see posterization artifacts, which are the result of lossy compressed RAW files (or bad jpeg conversion). Unfortunately, the A6400 doesn't offer uncompressed or lossless compressed RAW. The noise might indeed result from the smaller sensor than what you're used to. If you're not shooting at max aperture, you could try shooting at wider aperture and lower ISO. When you're not shooting at max aperture, fullframe versus APS-C shouldn't matter much in terms of ISO-performance combined with depth of field: at the same ISO and aperture value, fullframe offers better noise performance but with a narrower depth of field. This can be offset by choosing a larger aperture and lower ISO on the APS-C camera. If you want a fullframe camera the size of an A6400, try the A7C(ii).
    • ..unfortunately, the lighting was correct. The shot required deeper shadows. The K1 ff didnt have these banding issues [yes, I know the sensor is larger]. The film shots had details in the same light. The sony files, both the jpg and raw, had this banding/noise - with NO retouch or post adjustments [straight out of the camera]. the camera was purchased new a few years ago and I am trying to determine if there is something wrong, or the settings are wrong, or the camera just cant handle this kind of lighting [studio + softbox]. No shadow detail is one thing... banding/noise in the shadows is unacceptable. Does sony have a body this size that is FF ? Im wondering if that would make a difference..  dw
    • The root causes for banding are uneven lighting, incorrect exposure settings, or compression artefacts or certain kinds of artificial lighting, especially LED lights. Also the lens used plays a role, I have noticed it more with my sharpest lenses, looks like they outresolve the sensor when I have a uniform blue sky. There is more than one solution, and ultimately post-processing, but the root cause has to be identified first.
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