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Thread: Black Skimmer

  1. #1
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Black Skimmer

    I had seen these birds one evening but it was too dark to get a quality shot so back I went the next day and luckily one showed up early enough to get a shot.
    Black Skimmer
    Black Skimmer
    Black Skimmer
    Black Skimmer

  2. #2
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Hi Roger,

    Firstly just wanted to say really well done on capturing these! It takes a lot of patience and skill to nail shots like these and I think you've done brilliantly!

    I have two favourites, the second one and the final one, not least because they seem to be the sharpest.

    I'd like to know a bit more about how you were set up for these shots before commenting any further... ...how far away were you? What focal length? Camera settings? How fast were these birds moving?

    One of the reasons I ask all this is to see if it would have been possible to use a slightly slower shutter speed and to pan the bird as you fired in order to get some motion blur in the background. I think that would make these shots even more dynamic and just add the cherry on the top of the cake, so to speak.

    But thanks for posting. An excellent series

  3. #3
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Hi Tommy,
    Thanks for commenting I was only about 40 feet away when it would come by at the closest point, they were shot at 200mm F 3.5 1/1000 using shutter priority ISO 200. I used a high shutter speed for two reasons 1. I'm having trouble with my shots being sharp (only 25% being sharp) and I'm not sure what's going on, if it's my camera, me (I'm using a monopod), tried both full image stabilization and only vertical. 2. I wanted the water splash to be stopped and sharp. That being said if I have the opportunity next time I will try some shots at a slower speed to capture motion blur. This bird made maybe five passes by me at not too fast of speeds I was able to get maybe 5 to 10 shots per pass some of those were incoming some out going. I hope that gives you an idea of what was going on.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Roger - Just being able to capture this behaviour is wonderful and I'm sure it's very much a case of practicing to perfect the technique of capturing them well. What lens is you have when you say you were trying the various modes of IS with the monopod?

    That last one demonstrates that you're not having any problems nailing the exposure.

  5. #5
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Donald,
    I shoot with an Olympus E-3 which has in body stabilization.

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerCook View Post
    Donald,
    I shoot with an Olympus E-3 which has in body stabilization.
    The reason I asked is because I wondered if, when on the monopod, it might be that you have to switch IS off and that was the reason you were getting a lot of what you feel are not sharp. But I don't know the Olympus system at all and am, therefore, only guessing at the causes.

  7. #7
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Donald,
    Olympus has three settings 1. IS on (both vertical and horizontal) 2. Only correcting vertical movement. 3. Off. I had it only correcting vertical due to I was panning with the shot, do you think if I wanted still water splashes I should of left it off completely?

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerCook View Post
    Donald,
    Olympus has three settings 1. IS on (both vertical and horizontal) 2. Only correcting vertical movement. 3. Off. I had it only correcting vertical due to I was panning with the shot, do you think if I wanted still water splashes I should of left it off completely?
    I don't know is the answer. I'm not very technically minded, I'm afraid. Hopefully some others with knowledge of the Olympus IS system and the thinking about whether or not it should be off if mounted on a monopod. I could be leading your thinking down a blind alley here. On the other hand, it could be relevant. We need more information to come in on this.

  9. #9

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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Good captures, Roger. I know how difficult it is to catch a bird in flight because the only (half) decent ones I manage are flukes. [I set the camera to continuous and (try to) pan the birds.] The first and fourth seem to me to have a slight colour cast; or is that a low sun.

  10. #10
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by FootLoose View Post
    The first and fourth seem to me to have a slight colour cast; or is that a low sun.
    Yes it was very late in the day

  11. #11
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Hi Roger,

    Judging by that last one I wouldn't say there is much wrong with your equipment, or indeed shooting technique.

    Perhaps a bit of selective sharpening using an unsharp mask in Photoshop would help bring out the detail a bit more...

    Black Skimmer

    Compare with yours in the lightbox.

  12. #12
    RogerCook's Avatar
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    Re: Black Skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Hi Roger,

    Judging by that last one I wouldn't say there is much wrong with your equipment, or indeed shooting technique.

    Perhaps a bit of selective sharpening using an unsharp mask in Photoshop would help bring out the detail a bit more...

    Black Skimmer

    Compare with yours in the lightbox.
    Wow Tommy that looks better, I need to work on my photoshop skills.

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