My best bunnies yet

Jul 31, 2013
Real Name
Monday morning I got out from work (11 hour night shift) and I decided to stay up since I needed to make a call to an office which doesn’t open until 10:00 AM anyways. And since my workplace is on the edge of the town, so basically on fields were there are hundreds of wild bunnies, I though it a good time to get better skills for shooting wildlife. Time to put my new Panasonic Leica 50-100mm f 2.8-4 to good use.

So I went to a spot I know that has lots of bunnies, is covered my morning sunlight and I can hide myself pretty well.
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So I sat in front of a wooden gate to a field of small tries, I made myself small enough to be mostly under the grasses level and I used the 3rd wood plank to cover my head above the eyes. I put the lens right under the 3rd plank and I waited for what felt like hours (it was actually only 30 minutes, yes I was that tiered) but it paid off. One bunny came out for breakfast, about 10 meters away from me. I waited for the right moment when he or she looked towards me to have eye contact in the image. I used smallest AF point, SAF, Spot Metering, Electronic Shutter Single Frame, Auto ISO, Manual mode with 1/400 second and f 4 or f 5.6 at 200mm, lens O.I.S priority. After editing the images to my preferred look (local adjustments were made to brighten and contrast the bunny a bit more to stand out in the image and contrasted the eye for more powerful reflection in the highlights):
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For me, these are the best images I ever made so far. Since I got the Panasonic Leica 50-200mm f 2.8-4 a couple of weeks ago I have been able to get the kind of images and results I used to dream about more then 10 years ago in places like National Geographic. I had the Olympus 50-200mm f 2.8-3.5 Mark I and it was a great lens (until it broke down) but the AF was not fast enough even for very slow subjects because I kept having to pay more attention to the AF accuracy (it quite often not me on point even in AFS). I got decent results with it but not as good as these (maybe if I had more time to learn that lens more). And that comes from a person who has been getting into wildlife photography for barely a year.

Here’s a RAW to JPEG export with no edits of a fly on a blade of grass about 1 meter in front of me (while I waited for the bunnies to show up):
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I never expected the lens to do so well, making the price of 1500£ melt away from any doubts or regrets of purchasing it.

And as a bonus, when I came to work last night (almost finished my shift and I will be going to look out for more picture opportunities this morning when I go home), basically from the same spot. I noticed a spark of light out into the distance but I couldn’t make out what it was, it was about 25 to 30 meters from me and I only realised what it was when I zoomed to 200mm. At first I struggled to get a good image because I accidentally bumped the O.I.S switch to OFF before realising that and putting it back ON.

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Even cropped the bird was quite small in the frame (sorry I am not good with birds at all, I’m sure there are others out there who can tell you what it is or even if you should say Miss or Mister :p ). It was basically the size of the smallest AF point setting. One small frustration was that the Olympus OM-D E-M1 white the smallest AF point seemed to lock slightly behind the bird if I tried to put the AF on the bird itself. I had to use the 2x TC option to magnify the bird and then use the Focus Magnification Assist too to really see if the bird was in focus or not in the EVF. So I chose to focus on the piece of wood that the bird was sitting on and that seemed to focus in the same focus plane with the bird. It might have been the horizontal AF sensor could not make a proper distinction between the birds black feathers and the shadow of the tree behind it, but was fine for the half lit and half in shadow wood beam.
The image was edited on the iPad Lightroom with the fallowing settings (I use this settings or slight variations of them in almost all of my images):
Exposure: +1.0
Contrast: +25
Highlights: -100
Shadows: +100
WB: Daylight
Clarity: +25
Dehaze: +25
Sharpening: 50
Radius: 1.5
Detail: 50
Masking: 10
And some doge and burning on the overexposed grass and trees, the bird had a bit of brush adjustment of +1.0 EV, -100 Highlights and +25 Texture.

This lens keeps amazing me every time I use it and gets me excited to go out and make images.
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