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Reader Mick Osborne pulls off tricky timing to take this joyous image
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Ickworth is a National Trust property in Suffolk; they were right in the middle of the lambing season when I visited. It was a bitterly cold day around Easter, and there was a huge Easter egg hunt taking place.
After walking through the lambs, I noticed that some of them were leaping about. I watched them carefully and a particular group caught my eye. They were by a fallen log, which was in a dip running and jumping all around it. Sadly, by the time I’d got to them to frame the shot they’d moved from the log.
However, I managed to get this photo after about 10 minutes of waiting, so I was very pleased with that. I caught this on my Canon 750D and 150-600mm Sigma Contemporary lens at 400mm. The exposure was 1/2,000 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 2,000.
What a lovely moment you’ve captured, Mick. I defy anyone not to smile at this shot. I’ve seen lambs doing this myself but I’ve never had the chance to get a shot of it, so I’m jealous. You’ve got a lot right here – a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and the focus is on that leaping lamb. That’s no mean feat, since this action would have been all over in a split-second.
There are a couple of technical things to look at. First, exposure. The head of the first watching lamb is slightly overexposed so detail has been lost. If you shot raw, no problem as it’s not far over so a quick adjustment of the Highlights slider in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw will have that sorted.
Second, composition. It’s hard to get a perfect composition on a moving subject, so it’s no crime to adjust it afterwards. All the action is on the right and I don’t think you need so much empty space on the left of the shot. I would suggest a square crop here, with the jumping lamb in the top-left corner and then crop to the right of the two less energetic ones. Once you’ve done that, get some printed for next year’s Easter cards!
You’ve executed the shot with great timing to capture the leaping lamb at the peak of its leap I like the fact that the leaping lamb is looking down to the bottomright-hand corner Watch for overexposure on white subjects, especially in the middle part of the day An aperture of f/8 would have given a little more sharpness in the black-and-white lamb
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