I don't normally use 1200mm for portraits, but . . .

Started Oct 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,611
Re: I don't normally use 1200mm for portraits, but . . .

MurryG wrote:


I'm glad this thread popped up again because I had completely missed it -- nice shots! You have gotten a lot of detail out of this little gem. I have yet to use the SX50 on a tripod but plan to when the bluebonnets show up this spring. I assume you use a cable release also?

Thank you my friend. I'm glad you were able to finally enjoy them.

Although I used a tripod in a (that is, my) normal way for the rattler and the owl, I used it more like a monopod for the eagle. From the time we came into such close view of the eagle to the time I pressed the shutter was literally 5 to 6 seconds. The zoom was already out to 1200mm and I was holding the camera on an unlocked head in my right hand with my left hand curled around all three legs monopod style. As I saw the eagle was turning its head away from us, I reacted instinctively by planting the legs on the ground as one, swiveling the camera toward the eagle's eyes, focused and pressed the shutter. The opportunity was then gone, but I already had the picture.

It was while still standing there and comparing pictures (and my fellow hikers marveling at what the SX50 could do) that I noticed what looked like movement in the shaded hollow of a tree not far away. I moved as close as I could get and this time planted the spread tripod legs to get a look through the 1200mm lens. Thus the image of the owl. And I did take it rather quickly as well, not because the owl was going anywhere, but because I didn't want to disturb it any more than I already had.

Note that the rattler was also taken earlier in a normal tripod mode, again rather quickly as it was moving away from me behind the large rock. It would however pose perfectly still for a few seconds at a time, allowing the shot. And also, each image was taken without a cable release. I only use the cable release for landscapes with the tripod head locked. For wildlife, I leave the head loose and my hand on the shutter release to be able to react quickly when, not if, the subjects move.

We have a pair of eagles that have made our small lake here in The Woodlands their home for over a decade now and I just read an article about them that they are past the age to produce off spring (happens to the best of us I guess :-)) They have had twenty two babies over the years so maybe some of the kids will move back home?

I hope you get the chance to capture images of your neighboring eagles. They make such great subjects and the SX50's long lens can provide a lot of opportunity. I'll be looking forward to the results if you do.

Thanks again,


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