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Thread: From a recent walk...

  1. #1

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    From a recent walk...

    A dragon, a web-builder, a friendly mink (came right up to me), an almost invisible toad (at most 2 inches long).

    And to conform to this sub-forum I will call the last as one of a beach. The happy and contented looking user is just a coincidence.
    Oh and he really enjoyed himself.

    From a recent walk...
    From a recent walk...

    From a recent walk...

    From a recent walk...
    From a recent walk...

    From a recent walk...

    From a recent walk...

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Hi Bobo,

    Love the dragon fly shots, tried for some of those myself a few weeks ago and I just didn't stand a chance predicting where to aim, might I ask if you have a technique, or just got lucky? My only success at one of these has been unrepeatable since.

    I also applaud you for getting the mink, when I had the opportunity to shoot something similar, I stuffed up so well, it was unidentifiable from the shots!

    You seem to be 'on a bit of a roll' at the moment, lots of good pics, well done,

  3. #3

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Thanks Dave for the very nice words.
    Yes last 2 days have been great - no idea why hehe.

    Dragons - i have been trying for ages and ages (2-3 months actually). My experience is this.

    Most important is luck.

    Best are bright sunny days. They like to come out then.
    Dawn is another good time. Sun has not risen so much as to warm them up sufficiently for flight.

    They have territory which they will constantly patrol. If they have hovered (or landed) at a particular spot they will always return and do the same repeatedly.

    At first your sudden presence will frighten them off. Stay still, be patient and wait. After a short while you will become part of the scenery and they will return to their habits.

    Use slow movement for camera work.

    Issues with this shoot - shutter speed not fast enough to freeze wings (at least 1/640 or higher I read somewhere). Focal length vs DOF. I need to work on that. 90% of the pics were with his head pointing north and tail south. At 300mm his head and body was decently focused but tail section blurred. Next time will have to go much tighter then f5.6 or use a shorter FL. Pic 1 was 70mm. Pic 2 was 300mm and just lucky that the tail and head were almost on the same plane.

    Oh btw, will try frame fillers crops with the mink.

  4. #4

    Re: From a recent walk...

    Just a bunch of wonderful and fun shots, Bobo. The spider web is lovely, of course. My favorite, though, is the second image of the dragonfly. With the bokeh, it has such a wonderfully, shimmery and magic feel. Oh, and, is that your puppy, then? Cute!

  5. #5

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Thanks Katy.
    He is cute to an onlooker, but was very obstinate when the lady wanted him to move on from his sand bath. Was again at it when some kids were playing with him. Just stood flat-footed and would not budge!

    No not mine but mine is much cuter and she can be even more obstinate sometimes. Will post pics one day once she lets me get a good angle.

  6. #6

    Re: From a recent walk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Thanks Katy.
    He is cute to an onlooker, but was very obstinate when the lady wanted him to move on from his sand bath. Was again at it when some kids were playing with him. Just stood flat-footed and would not budge!

    No not mine but mine is much cuter and she can be even more obstinate sometimes. Will post pics one day once she lets me get a good angle.
    That's really funny! I love how it's tail is right up in the air. He's going to do what he wants to and enjoy life to his doggy fullest, eh?! I probably wouldn't want to argue with him about it, either, though.

    We love seeing pics of beloved pets! It's even more cute to see how in love and proud the owners are! (Yup! I'm in the proud pet owner category, myself.)

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post

    We love seeing pics of beloved pets! It's even more cute to see how in love and proud the owners are! (Yup! I'm in the proud pet owner category, myself.)
    Very true.

  8. #8

    Re: From a recent walk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Very true.
    yup!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    From a recent walk...From a recent walk...
    As Katy says, a fun series. But in terms of those that step out from the 'ordinary' and move up the quality ladder several steps, I think these two fit that bill. Two excellent images.

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Thanks Donald, your encouraging words are really appreciated. Keeps me motivated.

  11. #11

    Re: From a recent walk...

    and, oh, duh! I meant to thank you for the tips on the dragonfly hunting. I'll try it!

    Looking forward to pics of your sweetie....

    Katy

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Those tips are just from my observations about how they behave. The pics posted here are the first time i have actually been able to catch one in hover mode.

    Going back tomorrow to test a new theory and see how that works out. Hopefully that will fix the DOF problem when fully zoomed in. Double mission actually - been trying to catch the terns in dive mode.

    Pics of her will come when she gets into a camera happy disposition. Hopefully soon.
    Last edited by Bobobird; 29th August 2011 at 12:37 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Those tips are just from my observations about how they behave. The pics posted here are the first time i have actually been able to catch one in hover mode.

    Going back tomorrow to test a new theory and see how that works out. Hopefully that will fix the DOF problem when fully zoomed in. Double mission actually - been trying to catch the terns in dive mode.

    Pics of her will come when she gets into a camera happy disposition. Hopefully soon.
    Thanks Bobo,

    Your tips list is just like mine, which means I've just been unlucky to have uncooperative subjects
    I need to get out more!

    My one success was to preset the focus and wait for the target to fly into shot while my finger was fully depressed and when the camera detects a sharp image, it fires the shutter. Sadly my recent targets had a 4 foot length of timber to land on, so the 'hover before landing spot' varied too much to achieve any success.

    Also, I am useless at spotting them early morning, before they get mobile; any tips on where to look?

    My 'birds in dive mode' shots have always been too ropey (too far away mainly) to show on their own, I do have some old sequences that might work as a tryptych (sp?)

    Good luck today with your trials,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 29th August 2011 at 07:52 AM.

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Thanks Dave.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the so-called tips - (on Canons) AI Servo and the center focus point. Turning off IS helps with AF accuracy but if you are unsteady like me then just leave it on. Be mindful of DOF issues. For exposure - evaluative metering. You will need at least 1/320 for a bit of wing blur or 1/640 or higher to freeze so you may need to up the ISO as dictated by the lighting.

    Spotting - get used to looking for small objects. They blend pretty well into the vegetation but tend to land on something that gives them a clear view of their surroundings. Ponds are ideal places for them and look at small twigs, reeds or anything that juts out a bit.

    Damselfiles are much much smaller but less skittish. Start with them and after a bit you will nail them each time. Statics I mean, hovers needs quite a bit more luck.

    Hope this helps. Note that I am no expert at either photography or insect spotting. It is just what I have been told or tried.

    Hope to see your fabulous skills on these things in the near future.

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Did you use the same lens that you did with your red bird photos? And how close were you? I love the dragonfly. He is spectacular. And your puppy looks quite happy. I have a kitty in the vet today and it's not looking good. We love our babies don't we!

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    First class ! Love the dragonfly, the web's a really good detailed shot and the mink has a look of curiosity about him/her. A wonderful set.

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    Thanks Liz, yes the same for all except the puppy. Distance was very close 3-6 feet at most. The furthest was actually the web but still close.

    Thanks John.

  18. #18
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    Re: From a recent walk...

    That lens is really pretty all purpose it seems. I thought it was only for telephoto. You are getting glorious close up photos. Something to think about!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Thanks Liz, yes the same for all except the puppy. Distance was very close 3-6 feet at most. The furthest was actually the web but still close.

    Thanks John.

  19. #19

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    Re: From a recent walk...

    It is a pretty good lens. Closest focus distance is under 4 feet so does a decent job with closeup stuff. Slap on an extension tube and things get more interesting.

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