BIF - How can I "ignore" the background?

Started 11 months ago | Questions thread
Rodger1943 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,457
Re: BIF - How can I "ignore" the background?

sbutk wrote:

Rodger1943 wrote:

There has been some good information posted here already, but here's my take on it.

Use a medium size AF box. Use highest burst rate with AF between shots. Use as high a shutter speed as you can, you can get quite good BIF shots at 1/500 sec, although the wings may be blurred. I don't have an issue with that. If possible, do a quick focus on something that is a similar distance away to where the bird will be. That should save a small amount of time with the AF. That something could just bit a spot on the ground and the distance away doesn't need to be exact. You can also try reducing the aperture, EG F5.6 rather than F2.8. That will increase the depth of focus and may help the AF "grab" the bird.

With the shots you posted, the bird is too far away and as a result of that, too small in the frame, therefore the camera can't differentiate between the bird and background. Your best results will come when the bird is much closer and the background much further away.

Hope this helps.

More great advice, thanks. I particularly like the suggestion about Aperture Priority; I'll have to remember to experiment with that next time I'm out.

EDIT: Are you - or anybody else reading this - familiar enough with the FZ300 to know whether it has a preset mode such as "Panning", that might also help with what I'm talking about. Still hunting around and learning...

I don't have the FZ300, but I'm sure there is a panorama option, however it would be of little use for birds in flight. One thing I didn't mention is that I always use a red dot sight, which helps you track the bird. I use an "Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight". Check it out they fit into the hot shoe on the top of the camera. Here's a couple of links on Youtube that will fill you in on how they work. I wouldn't be without mine.

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