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Some smaller birds from Lake Langano/Ethiopia

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Old Monday 7th March 2016, 20:21   #1
hans-b
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Some smaller birds from Lake Langano/Ethiopia

1: Weaver?
2: Olive Sunbird???
3: Weaver?
4: ?

I took the picture at Lake Langano (Ethiopia), 25.1.2016
If it is not possible to identify the bird the family or genus would also be helpful.

Thanks for your help
Hans

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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 04:49   #2
MacNara
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2. Can't be Olive Sunbird because it has a tail extension (see attached photo lightened in Photoshop). It also has colours. Because of the extension it can only be Tacazze, Malachite or Beautiful non-breeding male (or first-year male coming into its first breeding plumage). I think it's Beautiful because of the back colours; for the same reason, I don't think it can be Malachite. And I think it's too light and the bill is not big enough for Tacazze. But someone with more experience might differ.

[Hint: when you are looking for identification help, it's often a good idea to lighten or adjust in Photoshop (*other photographic software is available*) to emphasise any information available (like the tail extension and the colours in this bird which were not clearly visible in your original post), even if the resulting photo is not as 'natural' as it could be.]

3. I think this is Ruppell's Weaver again.

4. This is Swainson's Sparrow (the locally common grey-headed sparrow).

1: Hmmm! It's not a weaver, and although the colouration is like the sparrow, the bill is too small. Maybe Yellow-spotted Petronia? Someone with a better eye than me will surely come along and say for sure.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 06:24   #3
Jean FRANCOIS
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[quote=MacNara;3366540]2. Can't be Olive Sunbird because it has a tail extension (see attached photo lightened in Photoshop). It also has colours. Because of the extension it can only be Tacazze, Malachite or Beautiful non-breeding male (or first-year male coming into its first breeding plumage). I think it's Beautiful because of the back colours; for the same reason, I don't think it can be Malachite. And I think it's too light and the bill is not big enough for Tacazze. But someone with more experience might differ.

Beautiful Sunbird !
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 07:41   #4
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Thank you.
Lightening: I develop the RAW files in DxO Optics Pro (RAW converter). But that is the next step and I do that only for pictures I use for printing.
Next time I will lightening (if necessary) the pictures I upload.

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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 08:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans-b View Post
Next time I will lightening (if necessary) the pictures I upload.
Yes: only if necessary. I think you said elsewhere that you are 'a photographer rather than a birder'. Well, I'm the opposite (but compared to many on this great Bird Forum I'm just an amateur nature lover who is lucky enough to travel a bit), so if there is a bird I can't identify I use the 'light slider' in my software to see if there are hidden shapes in the shadows, or colours that are otherwise too dark to see.

When I started birding and photographing nature (just for my own pleasure) ten or so years ago, I used to shoot RAW. And in those days it made a big difference to the final photos. But about three or four years ago, I stopped even shooting RAW. On my latest camera (I'm on my fifth generation DSLR), it makes almost no difference using straight jpgs (and doing editing adjustments on the jpg) and doing the RAW conversion myself.

It used to take at least a minute, and sometimes three, to make the RAW photo into a decent jpg - and with 3,000 or more photos over a ten-day holiday (our maximum) twice a year, I was starting to lose the pleasure from my photos because of the time it took to process them. I still process all the camera jpgs (cropping, straightening, lighting), and it still takes time, but it's much more efficient than before.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 19:35   #6
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Quote:
When I started birding and photographing nature (just for my own pleasure) ten or so years ago, I used to shoot RAW. And in those days it made a big difference to the final photos. But about three or four years ago, I stopped even shooting RAW. On my latest camera (I'm on my fifth generation DSLR), it makes almost no difference using straight jpgs (and doing editing adjustments on the jpg) and doing the RAW conversion myself.
Hm, to RAW I have a different position. I shoot RAW + JPEG and archive both. Most of the time I use the JPEG for displaying, sorting and selecting pictures because it is faster (IrfanView is very fast for displaying but very limited for editing). But when I print a picture I develop the RAW file and use the resulting JPEG for the print or calendar.

Why?
For me there is a difference in under or overexposed areas. In JPEG you have often 0 or 255 as value and cannot lighten or darken it. In the RAW you can often lighten areas that look like black or darken areas that look like white.
When you use the RAW converter of the camera manufacturer and open the RAW it will look like the JPEG from the camera. But that is normal because the RAW converter and the camera using the same algorithm. When you open the RAW with a third party converter you will see light differences between the RAW and JPEG. I use DxO Optics Pro but I think it is the same with Lightroom.
A good example is when you underexpose a picture and open both (RAW and JPEG) in a RAW converter and lighten both.

The disk space is no problem with TBs of disk space nowadays. From my Ethiopia trip I came back with about 6900 pics (185 GB). After archiving I will have less then half of them, maybe one third.

The algorithm for developing and denoising are getting better with the time. When I have the RAWs I can develop it as often as I like it also with better software.

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Old Tuesday 8th March 2016, 21:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans-b View Post
When you use the RAW converter of the camera manufacturer and open the RAW it will look like the JPEG from the camera. But that is normal because the RAW converter and the camera using the same algorithm. When you open the RAW with a third party converter you will see light differences between the RAW and JPEG. I use DxO Optics Pro but I think it is the same with Lightroom.
That's a good point. I suppose I don't think the trade-off in time versus quality is worth it to me for the few photos I have where it would make a big difference. As I said, in the early days of DSLR it was worthwhile, but these days I don't think it is. I used to have a Pentax and use the Adobe DNG as RAW. The Canon software with my current camera doesn't seem to give me much improvement using RAW - but you may be right that it would be worth trying a third-party converter. Occasional blown highlight with white birds when the rest of the photo is good (or even too dark) is a problem with the Canon that I rarely had with the Pentax. To be honest, I'd go back to the Pentax if there was a lens for it as good as the one I use on my Canon (the Pentax's point focus was better than the Canon also).

Anyway, you seem to have got some great photos in Ethiopia. My wife and I enjoyed Ethiopia; we might go again if we have the chance.
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