BIF photography settings advice

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 19,100
Re: BIF photography settings advice

Lenshoodie wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

dimvou wrote:

I am trying to photograph some birds in flight and I am using my dslr in manual mode setting manually shutter speed and aperture and living iso in auto.

I set also metering mode to spot but the photographs most of the time tend to be underexposed for the bird and exposed for the sky. I am able to recover the shadows afterwards but I lose most of the details of the bird. Is there a way to have consistent results of the photos exposure in camera ?

Shoot in Full manual mode for consistent exposures...


I'm with R2 on this one. I use full manual all the time for BIF. Metering off grass, I set the EV at minus 1/3rd of a stop cos it's darker than mid-grey. Unless the light is changing, that EV should give good exposures.

In auto mode the dark background here would have caused the bird to be over-exposed. It all happens too quickly to add Exposure Compensation, so as long as the light on the bird remains the same, you can stay in Manual.

S-E Owl

Backlighting is best against darker backgrounds. Against a bright sky the correct exposure for the bird gives a burned out background.

Marsh Harrier

I adjust the shutter speed if required as the aperture is normally fully open.

Really nice Short-Eared Owl. And +1 to your advice!

Good light increases the odds tremendously!

The threee BIFs that I shoot the most are Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Snowies. All of which require perfect exposure. Like you say, manual mode locks in those exposures no matter how light or dark the background. One needs only watch for changes in the light intensity, or angle (sunlit or shaded).

Happy shooting all!


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