Not quite :( ......but can anyone tell me....... ???

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Fish Chris
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Not quite :( ......but can anyone tell me....... ???
3 months ago

I have been playing around, trying to get some really nice Western Bluebirds, In-flight.... and most of you probably know how tough it can be to get small birds In-Flight, right ?

So I found a Western BB nest, in a hollow tree stump. After a bit, I noted that they (especially the female) would almost always come in, and perch on the top of the stump for a 10-30 seconds first, just to look around, and make sure the coast was clear, before hopping down, and doing a short, hover around, in front of the hole (doorway) to her nest in the tree. {not nearly so steady and predictable as a Hummer, though !}

I put my camera on a tripod, about 15 feet from the tree, with the entrance to the nest, being right off of the left side of the tree stump. I focused on the tree stump, then set the camera to manual. Then, figuring since the nest was just a bit farther back, around the side of the tree, I carefully moved the tripod forward about 6", and shifted the left.

I was trying to keep my shutter way up, to like 1/3200... and preferring to stay at 6.3 or 7.1, and of course, keeping as low an ISO as possible to keep these settings ^ (TV with auto ISO.... or high enough to keep things really fast)

So the bird would come in and land on the top of the stump, and I would reach up and put my finger on the trigger. Then, the split second it would hop down, I would just push, and hold the trigger, while she "hopefully" hovered around for 3 to 10 shots.

Long story short, I got probably 10 shots total, which could have been bombastic ! ....but which were woefully OOF

The example I will post here had zero cropping, and I don't think its eye could have been more centered in the frame. Could have been a ringer

But anyway, here is the $10K question > Looking at the example shot I will post here, can you tell me if my focus was too close, or too far ? And if you can answer this, can you tell me how you determined this ?

Alright, so I stomped all over this one in PP, with a bunch of heavy handed sharpening... might look decent on my iPad.... but I want a bunch like this, where I can see the dust mites on the hairs under its chin LOL

....and don't let the glint on the top of his eye fool you... I painted that inĀ  LOL

Thoughts / suggestions please.

Much thanks,

Fish

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