A Hawk at Publix

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Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
A Hawk at Publix
4

Cropped and slightly enhanced

While doing my grocery shopping this morning, I saw two Red-tailed hawks sitting in separate trees.  One was pretty obscured by limbs and leaves but this one was sitting out in the open.  I think it’s a female. My settings were not quite finalized so might have been a little better, but the best images so far from this camera.  Suggestions always welcome. Thanks

SOOC

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Ellie
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sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,130
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Ellie,

That looks excellent.

Looking at it full size, it seems that you've focused on the bird's abdomen (in the center of the uncropped photo) - and I suspect the little focus square was there rather than on the bird's head.  Am I correct?

If so, I'm not sure what's best practice for forcing the square to the desired spot (eyes/head) with RX10. Perhaps someone will offer advice.

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OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: A Hawk at Publix

sherman_levine wrote:

Ellie,

That looks excellent.

Looking at it full size, it seems that you've focused on the bird's abdomen (in the center of the uncropped photo) - and I suspect the little focus square was there rather than on the bird's head. Am I correct?

If so, I'm not sure what's best practice for forcing the square to the desired spot (eyes/head) with RX10. Perhaps someone will offer advice.

Hmm.  I think I might have focused first on the eyes then moved down to get the entire bird in focus. Or something like that.  One issue that was odd, The view finder would change from light to dark as I was looking through it.  Wasn’t sure what that meant.  
Going back to see if they are still there.  They must have a nest somewhere nearby because I see them flying in the area often.  First time I have seen them perched at Publix in many months.  They used to be there often.

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Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

 Elliern's gear list:Elliern's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon D5100 Sony a6000 Nikon D5500
sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,130
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Ellie,

That looks excellent.

Looking at it full size, it seems that you've focused on the bird's abdomen (in the center of the uncropped photo) - and I suspect the little focus square was there rather than on the bird's head. Am I correct?

If so, I'm not sure what's best practice for forcing the square to the desired spot (eyes/head) with RX10. Perhaps someone will offer advice.

Hmm. I think I might have focused first on the eyes then moved down to get the entire bird in focus. Or something like that. One issue that was odd, The view finder would change from light to dark as I was looking through it. Wasn’t sure what that meant.
Going back to see if they are still there. They must have a nest somewhere nearby because I see them flying in the area often. First time I have seen them perched at Publix in many months. They used to be there often.

Perhaps the aisle next to the chicken

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Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,845
Re: A Hawk at Publix
1

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Ellie,

That looks excellent.

Looking at it full size, it seems that you've focused on the bird's abdomen (in the center of the uncropped photo) - and I suspect the little focus square was there rather than on the bird's head. Am I correct?

If so, I'm not sure what's best practice for forcing the square to the desired spot (eyes/head) with RX10. Perhaps someone will offer advice.

Hmm. I think I might have focused first on the eyes then moved down to get the entire bird in focus. Or something like that. One issue that was odd, The view finder would change from light to dark as I was looking through it. Wasn’t sure what that meant.
Going back to see if they are still there. They must have a nest somewhere nearby because I see them flying in the area often. First time I have seen them perched at Publix in many months. They used to be there often.

Great shot Ellie.

I suspect you have the exposure set to spot, and when you moved the camera it saw a different portion of the bird and readjusted the exposure, hence the change in brightness.

There is also a feature of the RX10iv to focus on eyes, either animal or human. That might be a setting to try on some birds. Look on page 6 of the first menu folder.

My best advise is to try some of these features and see if they work for you.

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jodaco Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Jerry045 wrote:

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Ellie,

That looks excellent.

Looking at it full size, it seems that you've focused on the bird's abdomen (in the center of the uncropped photo) - and I suspect the little focus square was there rather than on the bird's head. Am I correct?

If so, I'm not sure what's best practice for forcing the square to the desired spot (eyes/head) with RX10. Perhaps someone will offer advice.

Hmm. I think I might have focused first on the eyes then moved down to get the entire bird in focus. Or something like that. One issue that was odd, The view finder would change from light to dark as I was looking through it. Wasn’t sure what that meant.
Going back to see if they are still there. They must have a nest somewhere nearby because I see them flying in the area often. First time I have seen them perched at Publix in many months. They used to be there often.

Great shot Ellie.

I suspect you have the exposure set to spot, and when you moved the camera it saw a different portion of the bird and readjusted the exposure, hence the change in brightness.

There is also a feature of the RX10iv to focus on eyes, either animal or human. That might be a setting to try on some birds. Look on page 6 of the first menu folder.

My best advise is to try some of these features and see if they work for you.

I think this is a great shot. Love that clenched fist.

Animal eye AF would not have helped here in my opinion. It does like birds or profiles.

Focus and recompose would through off focus point analysis but is a fine technique. Some would say moving the focus point to the eye is better but there isn’t always time. Of course once you get your initial capture you can try. Also using the relative touch pad function can do it while your eye is still in the viewfinder.

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Bassy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,311
Re: A Hawk at Publix

this shot looks pretty good, but i think  it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0.  At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to  completely blown out.  Why would it do that?  
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing.  Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc.  Never could find the animal face detect.  I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that.  At least it’s better than any previous birds.  Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window.  Did kinda ok for ducks.  But eye was too dark.  Going to keep playing.  Pretty much used your settings.  
Thanks for all your help.  I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

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Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

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sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,130
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Elliern wrote:

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0. At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to completely blown out. Why would it do that?
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing. Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc. Never could find the animal face detect. I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that. At least it’s better than any previous birds. Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window. Did kinda ok for ducks. But eye was too dark. Going to keep playing. Pretty much used your settings.
Thanks for all your help. I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

When you see the focus box does it have tiny green boxes around it?

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OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: A Hawk at Publix

sherman_levine wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0. At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to completely blown out. Why would it do that?
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing. Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc. Never could find the animal face detect. I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that. At least it’s better than any previous birds. Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window. Did kinda ok for ducks. But eye was too dark. Going to keep playing. Pretty much used your settings.
Thanks for all your help. I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

When you see the focus box does it have tiny green boxes around it?

Only when I have it set to flexible spot.  I think it was either on wide or center.  So that might explain why it was focused on center of bird.  Could not find small spot.  Is there such a thing?  And if so where do I find it. Tried to go to pet/animal eye but could only get to people face/eye. 
might just have to keep it on expanded flexible spot

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Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

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Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,845
Re: A Hawk at Publix

It looks like you were focused on the hawk's belly.

The exposure was set to SPOT and the EC set to +.7.

Here's the thing about exposure, the camera wants what ever is in the metering area box to be 18% gray, no matter if the box is small as in "SPOT" or more of the frame such as CENTER, as an example. If what it sees is darker than 18% gray, it cranks up the gain, your picture looks lighter. If it sees a brighter area than 18% gray it darkens your image.

In this case the metering box was pretty close to that dark branch and the white feathers. I have no way of knowing just what the camera was looking at exposure wise, after the fact. I can just see where it was focusing, but I am assuming that was also the general area of the metering box.

Fiddling with the exposure compensation overrides that setting a bit, and certainly that is a correct thing to do, as your idea of what the exposure should look like is the right one.

Another tip, is to turn on the zebras. That causes any areas that are over exposed to show blinking stripes. Possibly the white areas around the hawk's neck might be pushing the limit. If what is overexposed is important to your photo, then dial in some negative EC. Sometimes the part overexposed is not a factor like in a back lit photo against the sky. You may want additional brightness so your subject is not a silhouette and a blown out sky may not be an issue.

It is often possible to bring up details in darker areas in post processing, but blown highlights are gone forever.

It is my opinion that your photo is properly exposed, but everybody has different opinions. Your opinion is the only one that counts.

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Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,845
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0. At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to completely blown out. Why would it do that?
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing. Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc. Never could find the animal face detect. I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that. At least it’s better than any previous birds. Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window. Did kinda ok for ducks. But eye was too dark. Going to keep playing. Pretty much used your settings.
Thanks for all your help. I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

When you see the focus box does it have tiny green boxes around it?

Only when I have it set to flexible spot. I think it was either on wide or center. So that might explain why it was focused on center of bird. Could not find small spot. Is there such a thing? And if so where do I find it. Tried to go to pet/animal eye but could only get to people face/eye.
might just have to keep it on expanded flexible spot

Go to page 6 of the first menu file.

Select Face/Eye AF Set.

Turn on Face/Eye Priority

Turn on Animal Eye Display

Go to Subject Detection

Toggle to animal.

There you are....

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OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Jerry045 wrote:

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0. At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to completely blown out. Why would it do that?
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing. Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc. Never could find the animal face detect. I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that. At least it’s better than any previous birds. Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window. Did kinda ok for ducks. But eye was too dark. Going to keep playing. Pretty much used your settings.
Thanks for all your help. I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

When you see the focus box does it have tiny green boxes around it?

Only when I have it set to flexible spot. I think it was either on wide or center. So that might explain why it was focused on center of bird. Could not find small spot. Is there such a thing? And if so where do I find it. Tried to go to pet/animal eye but could only get to people face/eye.
might just have to keep it on expanded flexible spot

Go to page 6 of the first menu file.

Select Face/Eye AF Set.

Turn on Face/Eye Priority

Turn on Animal Eye Display

Go to Subject Detection

Toggle to animal.

There you are....

Thank you, Jerry!!  Got it turned on.  
So do I need to stay focused on the eye at all times or can I focus, half press and move to another area and maintain the eye focus as well.  The hawks are gone for today, but they were in same shopping center as Starbucks.  Hoping they will return tomorrow.  I wish I could find where there nest is.  Has to be nearby.  But it’s a large housing development and lots of construction in that area now.  People and birds and deer are overwhelmed with construction and tourists right now.  Our once huge deer population is now almost completely gone due to over building.  The trees with our eagles and hawks nests were unnecessarily cut down to build office buildings.  They could have been left standing since they were at the far edge of the property which backed up to a canal

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Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

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OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Jerry045 wrote:

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0. At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to completely blown out. Why would it do that?
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing. Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc. Never could find the animal face detect. I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that. At least it’s better than any previous birds. Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window. Did kinda ok for ducks. But eye was too dark. Going to keep playing. Pretty much used your settings.
Thanks for all your help. I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

When you see the focus box does it have tiny green boxes around it?

Only when I have it set to flexible spot. I think it was either on wide or center. So that might explain why it was focused on center of bird. Could not find small spot. Is there such a thing? And if so where do I find it. Tried to go to pet/animal eye but could only get to people face/eye.
might just have to keep it on expanded flexible spot

Go to page 6 of the first menu file.

Select Face/Eye AF Set.

Turn on Face/Eye Priority

Turn on Animal Eye Display

Go to Subject Detection

Toggle to animal.

There you are....

Thanks, Jerry!!! I have it set.  Do I need half press to keep the focus  on the eye or does it automatically keep it in focus if I am also focused on another area?

-- hide signature --

Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

 Elliern's gear list:Elliern's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon D5100 Sony a6000 Nikon D5500
Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,845
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Elliern wrote:

Jerry045 wrote:

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Bassy wrote:

this shot looks pretty good, but i think it looks to bright

if you have another chance shoot it at 0.0 exposure

Well I started out at 0.0. At first it was way too dark, but then as I would look through the viewfinder, it continuously kept changing anywhere from very dark to completely blown out. Why would it do that?
So I changed it just slightly and it held better but still would change as I was viewing. Also could not find small spot only options we were: center, wide and flexible, expanded flexible etc. Never could find the animal face detect. I read to go to people face detect and move to left for pet/animal but could not do that. At least it’s better than any previous birds. Still have not been able to capture small birds in focus. I was about 25 ft from brown thrasher, but never really focused, even while resting on car window. Did kinda ok for ducks. But eye was too dark. Going to keep playing. Pretty much used your settings.
Thanks for all your help. I’m improving but not where I need to be yet

When you see the focus box does it have tiny green boxes around it?

Only when I have it set to flexible spot. I think it was either on wide or center. So that might explain why it was focused on center of bird. Could not find small spot. Is there such a thing? And if so where do I find it. Tried to go to pet/animal eye but could only get to people face/eye.
might just have to keep it on expanded flexible spot

Go to page 6 of the first menu file.

Select Face/Eye AF Set.

Turn on Face/Eye Priority

Turn on Animal Eye Display

Go to Subject Detection

Toggle to animal.

There you are....

Thanks, Jerry!!! I have it set. Do I need half press to keep the focus on the eye or does it automatically keep it in focus if I am also focused on another area?

I have not used it yet myself, so I don't know if there is a way to toggle between eye focus and normal.

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AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 3,939
Re: A Hawk at Publix

These are good: congrats!

Two comments:

1.  Eye AF: when the new firmware came out I tried it and was not impressed. I did a thread on it: will try and find and provide a link.

2. Light & dark in viewfinder: you have Live view turned on and the viewfinder is showing the exposure of the image to be captured. While other exposure metering settings can do something similar, this effect is most obvious if you have small flexible spot focus mode with spot met with the metering spot has the "Focus point link" enabled. In other words, the camera will meter on the point where the focus flexible spot is. As you move this point over lighter and darker areas, the exposure can change drastically. I actually like this because a) it meters where I want to focus (that is the important part of the image for me) and b) with small movements over lighter/darker areas I can "tweak" the exposure. But this CAN be tricky for high contrast subjects.

Some time ago I did a graphic demonstrating this. Assume you have the following image:

Obviously I would want to place the focus Flexible spot on the head of the eagle because that is what I want in focus. However, you still have some latitude on WHERE on the head you place the small spot. If you place the Focus spot (and therefore the metering spot if they are linked) on the predominantly white part of the head (the red circle), the camera would like to expose so the average of this bright white metering area is grey, so you will get a dark image, like this:

By moving the spot to the darker neck/chest so that more of it is on the almost black feathers,  you will get this exposure:

What you are looking for is the get the focus spot in the plane of the eye while getting the "right balance" of black & white in the metering area to get the exposure right.

What I like about this is that you have COMPLETE control over the exposure while still getting the focus where you want.

As for focus and recompose: I NEVER use it any more. I prefer moving the Flexible Spot focus point to the position in the frame that will give me the desired composition if I then place it on the part of the subject I want in focus. To facilitate this I have set one of my custom buttons (C2 in my case) to "Focus standard". If Flexible Spot is active and you press the key associated with "Focus standard", it allows you to move the focus spot position using the left, right, up and down arrows on the Control Wheel on the back of the camera. I then move the focus point to where I want it to a) focus on the desired spot on the subject while b) achieving the desired composition.

Using your hawk image as example: normally the focus Flexible Spot is centered in the middle of the image, somewhere around where I placed the blue cross. I would have moved the focus point to the red circle.

In that way I could both focus AND expose on the most desirable part of the frame, i.e. the head/eye of the hawk. If needed I would then have adjusted EC for Live View to show me the desired exposure.

This is my personal method of focusing and exposing on birds: I am sure other people have their preferred way of getting the results they want. I find this quick, intuitive and accurate. But that's just for me. But at least I hope this gives some clarity on some of the underlying principles.

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Alwyn

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AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 3,939
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Thread describing my experience with Eye AF for birds shortly after the firmware was updated to include it with the RX10 IV HERE . Bottom line: I do not bother with it at all as it is too inconsistent PLUS it takes away way too much of my control of focus and exposure.

To each his own.

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Alwyn

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Bassy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,311
Re: A Hawk at Publix
1

well written alwyn very well explained

just for the record i do not have smile/face detection  turned on  in my camera

i do have zebra custom 1 turned on lower limit 109  plus

OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: A Hawk at Publix

AlwynS wrote:

These are good: congrats!

Two comments:

1. Eye AF: when the new firmware came out I tried it and was not impressed. I did a thread on it: will try and find and provide a link.

2. Light & dark in viewfinder: you have Live view turned on and the viewfinder is showing the exposure of the image to be captured. While other exposure metering settings can do something similar, this effect is most obvious if you have small flexible spot focus mode with spot met with the metering spot has the "Focus point link" enabled. In other words, the camera will meter on the point where the focus flexible spot is. As you move this point over lighter and darker areas, the exposure can change drastically. I actually like this because a) it meters where I want to focus (that is the important part of the image for me) and b) with small movements over lighter/darker areas I can "tweak" the exposure. But this CAN be tricky for high contrast subjects.

Some time ago I did a graphic demonstrating this. Assume you have the following image:

Obviously I would want to place the focus Flexible spot on the head of the eagle because that is what I want in focus. However, you still have some latitude on WHERE on the head you place the small spot. If you place the Focus spot (and therefore the metering spot if they are linked) on the predominantly white part of the head (the red circle), the camera would like to expose so the average of this bright white metering area is grey, so you will get a dark image, like this:

By moving the spot to the darker neck/chest so that more of it is on the almost black feathers, you will get this exposure:

What you are looking for is the get the focus spot in the plane of the eye while getting the "right balance" of black & white in the metering area to get the exposure right.

What I like about this is that you have COMPLETE control over the exposure while still getting the focus where you want.

As for focus and recompose: I NEVER use it any more. I prefer moving the Flexible Spot focus point to the position in the frame that will give me the desired composition if I then place it on the part of the subject I want in focus. To facilitate this I have set one of my custom buttons (C2 in my case) to "Focus standard". If Flexible Spot is active and you press the key associated with "Focus standard", it allows you to move the focus spot position using the left, right, up and down arrows on the Control Wheel on the back of the camera. I then move the focus point to where I want it to a) focus on the desired spot on the subject while b) achieving the desired composition.

Using your hawk image as example: normally the focus Flexible Spot is centered in the middle of the image, somewhere around where I placed the blue cross. I would have moved the focus point to the red circle.

In that way I could both focus AND expose on the most desirable part of the frame, i.e. the head/eye of the hawk. If needed I would then have adjusted EC for Live View to show me the desired exposure.

This is my personal method of focusing and exposing on birds: I am sure other people have their preferred way of getting the results they want. I find this quick, intuitive and accurate. But that's just for me. But at least I hope this gives some clarity on some of the underlying principles.

Thanks, Alwyn. Makes sense. I will remove that setting and use flexible spot instead. I have used it before so not something totally new.  
Went back to Publix but they stayed gone.  Will check out the area again in the morning.

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Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

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AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 3,939
Re: A Hawk at Publix

Elliern wrote:

Thanks, Alwyn. Makes sense.

Thanks Ellie!

I will remove that setting and use flexible spot instead. I have used it before so not something totally new.
Went back to Publix but they stayed gone.

That is SUCH a bird thing: don't you hate it when they do that?? VERY inconsiderate! 

Will check out the area again in the morning.

Fingers crossed...

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Cheers
Alwyn

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