I had received a lens that I wanted to test out (Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO DG Macro) and went to one of the spots I often take pictures, a local duck pond. I chose this location because it offers a challenging spot where I could try the lens under sometimes less than ideal situations. This picture was taken on a tripod (yes, unusual for me) at the extreme end of the lens's focal length ... again, not the ideal, but I needed to know what it is and isn't capable of. This was the original:
Shutter speed: 1/500 sec
Lens: Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Focal length: 300 mm
© Mark L. Fendrick
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to bracket the exposure as the bird was only there briefly, as I feel that doing so might have helped in the area of the bird that was overexposed. However, I wanted to see what I could do with the shot anyway, and came up with this:
Working with the RAW file, I corrected for the normal distortion of the lens (using the profile provided in Photoshop), reduced the exposure a bit and adjusted the clarity and vibrancy. I cropped it as you see and then added a little unsharp mask.
While it is far from my best photo, and would generally not display it, I am putting it out here for discussion, and any suggestions you might have - and what you might have done different in PP - are welcome.