how to take pictures of birds in flight?

Started May 9, 2005 | Discussions thread
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seafan
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how to take pictures of birds in flight?
May 9, 2005

Hello,

I'm learning to take pictures of birds in flight, I've found that they are too quick to follow, and when I got them in the frame, many of the pictures are out of focus or blurry. here are some of my questions about bird photography:

1. what aperture to use? I have 75-300mm IS lens. for large birds, should I always use the largest aperture? (f5.6 at 300mm)

2. what speed is required? (if there is a minimum to use, I could increase the ISO to match that requirement.

3. how well does AI focus and AI Servo AF mode work on moving subject?

4. any tips or tricks in the panning of the camera? should I try to follow the moving bird, or move my camera a little ahead of the bird in anticipation? when I see a bird in flight, is it already too late to catch it? (should I follow a bird using AI focus first, in anticipation in it start taking off?)

5. any other tips?

thank you for your help!

-Jason

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