* Wed C&C "No Theme" Thread #697 on 2021 09 01 *

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Mike Fewster Veteran Member • Posts: 8,621
Re: BIF. I have much to learn.

RoelHendrickx wrote:

minniev wrote:

Oh what fun to photograph some of those colorful birdies. Clouds of them? My word!

Birds are the most uncooperative subjects you can find anywhere. They are never still even when they appear to be, they do not respond to requests, they disappear as soon as you confirm your settings.

A good start. Looks like you got many of them pretty sharply in focus. Of course with a big flock moving fast, getting them all in focus isn't possible. I think the picture would feel more pleasing without the leftward downtilt, but that may be just me.

Finding the focus settings and tricks that work best for you is the first quandary on this journey, and this varies between cameras and between photographers. Some like BBF, others not. When you find a batch of settings you like best, save them to a slot or button on your camera and you'll save a lot of time in the field. I use continuous autofocus, small single point, the Pro Capture feature on Oly cameras, a starting shutter of 1400 (this varies according to the birds as darting terns are very different from flapping egrets), auto ISO with a maximum, and spot metering.

That’s very sound advice. For shutter speed I would have thought a bit slower (1/1000 or so) but I am sure you are right. Probably also depends on the direction of flight.

Of my BIF, about 90% are useless. So you may not want to listen to me at all!

Getting 10% that are worth exploring further seems above average. I doubt I would get 1 or 2 out of 100 that are not total frustration… and then by accident.

If I can offer one nugget of advice it wouod be to not try to zoom in too close. This is valid for any fast moving subject. Allow yourself margin. Better to crop a bit than to have 50% images in which there are parts missing…

That is so right. It was something I learned that day but I didn't learn it until the very end of the session. I was using a new tele and thought using it at full extension was the way to go. Wrong. It was impossible (impossible for me that is) to get them. At that focal length, they had arrived and gone far too quickly for me to react. These guys were quite close and bursting and zig zagging out of trees. I tried anticipating them. They wouldn't cooperate. I tried panning with them. This shot was one of the panning attempts. I was shooting bursts of about 10fps.

I'm impressed by the suggestion that "it is better to crop in a bit than to have 50% images in which there are parts missing." If I had managed only 50% with parts missing I would have been deliriously happy. 10% and I'd have still felt OK. I got nowhere remotely near that figure.

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Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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