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Photo Information
Copyright: Monika MvJ (thistle) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1309 W: 74 N: 3014] (9282)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-07-25 3:33
Viewed: 7725
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 113
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It's time for my 200th post, as the title says :-)

It's quite special because it's one of first pictures taken with my new camera. I have a dSLR at last and I love it already. I have lots of fun with this cam :-)

On the picture you can see two young swallows basking in the last rays of sun. I have a pond near my house and it has quite steep sandy banks. Swallows have their nests in holes in the bank and at this time the youngs have already left the nests. There is plenty of them here and they love to sit on this wire. In fact it's quite difficult to get only two of them in frame because most of the time the wire is densely packed with swallows.

I think this are the Sand Martin (Riparia riparia).
They are very sociable birds. From a dozens to hundreds pairs will nest close together, according to available space. The nests are at the end of tunnels of from a few inches to three or four feet in length, bored in sand or gravel.Their food consists of small insects, mostly gnats and other flies whose early stages are aquatic.

The picture is a bit underexposed. The light was low and the white chests of the martins easy to overexpose. As many of you know I don't like overexposures ;-) but it seems I overdone here in the opposite way. It's a little dark, but I must say I like that, so I didn't brighten it in postprocessing too much.

I also don't have a decent lens, only zoom for general purposes. The piture have been taken with ISO 200 and without tripod. I really try to make myself take the tripod with me but I'm afraid I'm a bit too lazy for that :-)

Please tell me honestly what you think. Now I'm a beginner and I need your advices very much :-)

pvs, dew77, horia, limier, Janice, Signal-Womb, eruyanik, aido, ellis49, blakitan, red45, scottevers7, ramthakur, SkyF, valy67, PDP, izler, Hil, nardophoto, AndyB, jeanpaul, marhowie, Kaszek, firelord, livios, Alex99, hekcik, liziafa, peter_stoeckl, cedryk, HaBeMa, kojak, Tamrock has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Aramok: rawthistle 1 08-04 12:27
To livios: Thanksthistle 1 07-27 15:33
To pjvosman: Framingthistle 1 07-27 15:20
To Kaszek: ogniskowathistle 2 07-26 13:50
To flagman: rawthistle 3 07-26 05:01
To aido: Thanks!thistle 2 07-25 07:37
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-25 3:39]

Hi Monika,

You start with a superb shot with your new camera,very well composed,with great colors and sharp details,very well done,


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-07-25 3:50]

Congratulations on your CC post (in roman leters, again) and also on your new aquisition. It seems to me that this camera has been craving for you for a long time. I personally love this picture the way it is. The fact that it is a bit underexposed makes it even more calming and warm.
Very well done. Excellent POV and colors. Very good BG, too.
Bravo ans keep on sharing :)

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-07-25 3:51]

Hello Monika,
Magnificent capture.Well caught,framed and composed.I liked pose of birds,POV,colors,BG and clear eyes also a lot.Enjoy your new camera and lens:)Great work!

Hi Monika,
Nicely composed picture as always. Sharp and clearly seen. Congratulation to your 200th post and new camera.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-07-25 4:13]

CONGRATULATIONS Monika on your 200th post and your new camera. Now the fun begins!
And what a beauty to start with. The image looks very much like a painting I think with the colours of the BG and the softness of the birds. You caught them in a super pose, and the catchlight in their eyes is nice and bright too. Well done and thank you,

Hi Monika.
Your shot is like a paint!And the painter is you.
Wonderful composition,excellent architecture POV great shot colors,BG and so beautiful swallows.
TFS and see you
Have fun with your new DSLR

Ciao Monika, molto bella questa composizione, bella cromaticità e sfumature, mi piace molto!!


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-25 4:46]

Hi Monika,
The shot looks fine. Lovely pose and a perfect blured backgroud. Brown shades give an artistic feeling and a very special mood. Perhaps the upper side darker than the lower side is somehow unusual but it contributes to make the shot special.
Best regards,
José M.

Congratulations on your new DSLR Monika, is this X rated ;) Very nice capture you have for your 200th. I like how you composed this and I love the toned graduated background. Details on the bird are very nice although there appears to be softness around the edges which looks more like pp work. Anyhow a very nice capture indeed with a great pose on the birds giving this graphical aspect to your composition. Very well done.

Świetne zdjęcie!

Hello Monika,
i'm afraid you got your new cam which in your dream ;-) As for what i think, this is a quite different bird shot, appropriate your style. i love this lighting indeed and brown bg also. Very interesting pose of them and moment you captured. Great shot with great note!

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-25 6:56]
  • [+]

Hi Monika,
Congratulations on your new camera and your 200th post. That's quite an achievement, I hope I can reach that milestone.

So one of your first shots with a dSLR? It's an excellent result. Beautiful detail, DOF is perfect and wonderful warm light. The POV and composition are just superb. The soft low light really adds mood and a sense of tranquility to the image, something I like a lot in photos. Light in the eyes is also very good. This really is a great shot.

I only have a micro-nit to pick :-) I think the bird's heads appear to be a little dark but only because they are framed against a dark area of the image. A higher POV to bring them into the lighter part of the BG would help but I don't know if that was possible, and you wouldn't want to lose too much of the dark area, that really adds mood.

Alternatively a little fill-flash (I would have stopped down the flash as far as possible and even then it might have spoiled the mood of the shot).

It's a beautiful image, very well done on this one.


PS. Do you have the facility on your camera to view blown highlights on the image? I know some Canons do but I don't know which ones. It's a very useful feature.

Hi Monika,
this is a great picture. I don't think you need any guidance in photo, you are a skilful photographer and now you have a better tool. I have always like you picture.
But I agree wiht Adrian about the BG and the POV otherwise it's a lovely picture with warm nice colours and good details
Great work.

Congrats to your new "toy"

Hi Monica,
Happy 200th! Nice picture represents this special occasion. Great picture. Superb photographer!

Ben Lakitan
[a new kid on this site]

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-07-25 7:44]

Hello Monika!

Time to make some serious photographs :-)

Congratulations on your 200th and new cam! I'm really glad that you've got dSLR. You know well how to make great photos, now your hardware is right for your skill :-) Honestly I like this picture very much. Composition and X moment, warm, golden light, details. Maybe slightly too dark. Or maybe not :-) Great mood anyway!

Hi Monika,
Congrats. on your 200th post. and your new camera!!!! Looks like you will handle that as well as your last one. Great composition and pose.
Dark rich colors and sharp detail.Hope to see alot more with the new camera. This looks great.

Hello Monika, excllent colors, Bg, DOf perefct details, very crisp, excllent colors that really work well through out the photo, Excellent 200th posting, great work, TFs Kyle

Hi Monika
It's a very creative and different shot, worthy of a milestone post.
I don't think the exposure is all that bad. To me it looks like the last dying rays of the sun, which, according to your note, it is, so it looks pretty accurate.
The image is exceptionally clean and not over-sharpened. Are you using RAW or just sticking with jpeg for the time being?

Many congratulations on your 200th post and for acquiring a new versatile DSLR, Monika!
I toyed with 350D today in one of the shopping malls here in Dubai, almost drooling over it! However, can't afford it at the moment.
Your first picture with it is just superb. I like the way you have shot it and the BG is simply fantastic.
TFS and take care.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-25 8:48]

Hello Monika,
what a lovely composition for your 200th. Excellent capture, I love the low light it sets a wonderful mood. Great timing capturing those two in such a lovely pose.

Hi Monika !
Congratulations on your 200th post, and also on your new camera, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with it ! The pose of these birds is awesome ! The picutre might be slightly underexposed, but it gives a very soft mood to the picture.Details, composition, POV, DOF and Bg are perfect. Seems that this camera loves you ! :-)

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-07-25 11:13]

Hello Monika, congratulations on your new camera. I'm sure you'll produce some fantastic results with it.

This is an excellent shot for a "beginner" :-) The composition is excellent and the graduated bg. The exposure is a little under as you say but at least you have the catchlight in the eyes.

Very well done.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-07-25 14:14]

Congratulations for both your 200th post and also a great shot. Beautiful colours, sharp and with a great composition.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-25 14:28]

What an incredible composition, Monika. : )
A fitting 200th post! Congratulations!
I actually do like the "dark" effect of your shot.
It really brings out the gorgeous colors and has a great visual impact.
Excellent eye contact and POV. Very sharp details.
It looks like you are going to have a lot of fun with your new camera. : )
TFS. : )
P.S. Did I tell you I really LOVE the colors on this shot?

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-07-25 15:08]

Hi Monika

Excellent shot and very well composed, The colours are lovely and the framing is very good too.

TFS Hilary

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2006-07-25 15:21]

a very happy graduation, happy *200" and congratulations on
becoming a member of the canon-family, monika! :-))
amazing shot for a start with your new 350D, excellent
compositon with the two swallows sitting crossed-over on
the wire like that, terrific colors and light in the bg,
makes the whole scene look somehow unreal, as if these were
2 stuffed birds in an exhibition - very cool effect.
superb job & have lots of fun with your new toy, thorsten.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-07-25 17:15]

Hello Monika,
Congratulations on your new camera and a great choice too!
This is a nice first post with it.
I like the warm low light and POV alot.
Good details and very nice BG although the top area is a little dark around the birds heads.Thats just a very minor thing though.
Excellent work,I look forward to seeing more from your new toy.
Congrats on your 200th also!!


Hi Monika,
Congratulations on your 200th post. And I'm so pleased that you now have a DSLR, I think we'll be seeing some really high quality images from you.
The details are nice, clear and sharp.
Good colours, lighting and exposure. POV is spot on.
Well composed and nicely framed.
Thanks for posting, have a great week.

Hi Monika
Just wanted to add my congratulations with the others on you 200th post. I love this photo. I was drawn to the beautiful eyes of these birds. The whole pictures is great with its soft colors and clean lines.
TFS Kathy


Excellent Lighting and Composition in your pic. The POV, BG and detail are also good. Congrats on the SLR and 200th Posting! TFS,

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2006-07-26 5:46]

hi monica
excellent composition. they look like lover ;)
superb colours and good exposure. point of view, depth of field, background and frame are great
thanks for sharing
;) tomorrow

Czesc Monika!
Gratulacje! I z okazji 200 fotki i z racji tego, ze masz juz wymarzona lustrzanke!
Swietna fota! Bardzo udana kompozycja. Moim zdaniem wystarczajaco ostra. Kolorki i swiatko cudowne. Przy jakiej ogniskowej robiona? Bo z doswiadczenia ze swoja Sigma wiem, ze do 200 jest calkiem dobra, ale powyzej robi sie niestety mydlany.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2006-07-26 6:37]

gratulacje!. A strza³ piêkny, super kadr i mi³e kolory. Brawo!
Pozdr. Al.

Bonjour Monika
Félicitation pour cette très jolie prise de vue . C'est vraiment une belle présentation avec ces deux sparow ,on croirait une photo inversée dans un miroir tellement elle est belle..
Félicitations pour la netteté et les détails ainsi que les couleurs et le BG. Tu as bien choisi pour ta 200iême photos fantastique.
Merci pour l'envoie et Bravo....JP

Well now 'X' definitely marks the spot on this 'X'tremely clever capture, I love the dark to light gradient background and how the highlighted chest to head lays over the background. You'll always find a treasure where ever there's an 'X'. Very Nice Monika and congratulation on your new camera. :)

Hi Monika,
Lovely sand martins! I travelled through Eastern Poland last week and I saw thousands of swallows but I did not see a single one of this species. I wondered if they were present at all in this region, and now you have given the answer. Maybe (if you cropped) you had some space left to place the birds a bit to the left in the composition? Anyway, I like the picture, especially the soft mood of it.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-07-27 13:41]
  • [+]

Monika, welcome to the dSLR world. I'm sure things will become much better to the talent you have.

An SLR makes possible greater images. At first, I tell you: do read the manual of the camera. SLRs can be tricky, but you can avoid this by reading really carefully the manual. I know manuals are boring, but on the other hand they're really useful.

Whenever possible, use RAW when capturing the images. As time goes by, you'll realize it's much better than JPEG. In the beginning, in case you don't feel comfortable enough to use only RAW, shoot on both JPEG and RAW, so that the picture is captured in both formats. To edit RAW images, go to www.adobe.com/downloads and get the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) - it's free. It's the software I use, but I know there are other great ones. On Photoshop, just a final touch, mainly Sharpness.

As for the image, a great one. It has a very nice mood and an excellent composition. You captured a great and rather funny moment. The warm light looks very good.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2006-07-28 5:45]

Hi Monika.

You have noted the anniversary by post which excellent on beauty and artistic picture. My congratulations on this event and on the next brilliant job. Colour palette of this shot is extraordinary gentle and expressive and it is excellent corresponds with colour gamma of the birds. Excellent also idea of this image.

Bravo and new successes.

  • Great 
  • hekcik Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 291 W: 15 N: 305] (1827)
  • [2006-07-28 17:32]

Witaj Moniko,

Pierwsze zdjecie z lustra, woooow...
Swietne, wszystko na TAK
Podoba sie bardzo.


Hi Monika,
Great first post with the new digicam.
I like the grad. BG and overall mood of the shot, set with the monochromatic tones...
Clever title :)
Very well done..

PS - and don't be too lazy..remember the tripod once in awhile ;-}}

Gratuluje 200 zdjecia i tak PIEKNEGO zdjecia :-)
Widac tu prawdziwy warsztat Mistrzyni :-)
Nic dodac nic ujac.
Pozdrawiam Malgosia

Wonderful capture Monika! They are so lovely! Beautiful colors and great composition. Everything is perfect. Congratulations on your 200th post!

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-07-31 4:39]

200th post !! And a new Canon 350D, great !! You start very well with your new camera and I am sure you will make miracles with your talent.
Honestly, I like very much this smart composition and this nice pose of birds. The dark and warm colors give a quiet ambient.
Congratulations Monika and TFS.

hello Monika,
congratulations for your first 200 photos!
You celebrate it with a beautiful pair of bird, they´re lovely; the Bg is amazing and gives a romantic touch to the situation.
Best regards

It is a touch dark, but as you say the whites on the chest are spot on.

Glad to see you finally have come to the world of dSLR and this is a superb start.

Were you working in RAW?


Hello Monika,
congratulations to your posting number 200, and to your new camera! The picture you are showing is remarkably clear, and very moody. It has perfectly sharp details, and it shows a most pleasant appearance of tenderness at the same time.
Colours are marvellously subtle and well controlled.
Captured pose and composition are quintessentially reduced in a classical way. The image looks very artistic, coming from a well experienced photographer who knows to make very good use of her equipment.
Thank you, and best regards,

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-08-17 7:41]

Hi Monika
Wow great composition. Great colours, light, sharpnes, details, DOF, BG and POV.
Excellent shot my friend


autor ma oko doskonałe, co bym napisał o tym zdjęciu to będą tylko słowa...

Czesc Monika,
Ja mysle, ze Ty juz nie jestes "beginner" :-)
Przepiekna fotka, wspaniale umiesz patrzec na przyrode.

Hi Monika;thanks;oh very good frame and shot,great colors,fine border...

Beautiful shot! seems that the 2 birds are in pose for you!
Bye Tom

  • Great 
  • kojak Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 36 W: 0 N: 19] (163)
  • [2007-01-07 18:44]

Hi Monica,
was looking at your pictures and this one I really like! Grat work! Beautiful colours, good POV, nice details: excellent!
Congrats! ;)

Great shot love it detail and composition is so nice lovely light very well done best rgds Necip.

po prostu rewelacja! gratuluje!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2007-04-23 4:16]

Honestly: great! from the beginning (title) to the end (supporting note). Congratulations with your 200th post, and with your new camera! the picture is great. i like the position of birds, dof and light! very well done. tfs

p.s. i'm also dreaming about SLR, but it still a dream...

great composition and pose

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-07-26 14:48]

Fabuleuse prise,bravo pour cette photo original.

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