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Thread: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    The back side of our property borders a small lake. My husband helped me set up his portable tent-like deer blind and I spent a few hours waiting for wildlife. These are the best of the shots.

    I'm mostly documenting progress and there are too many for real C&C but I would appreciate comments on my approach. I started out in Shutter Priority at 1/1250 but then switched to Manual at 1/1250 & 7.1 with Auto ISO. (Day 2 which I'll post later, I upped the speed to 1/1600). I was using my 100-400mm lens which for most shots was mounted on the tripod with the ballhead completely loose so I could pan or change quickly. Since it was loose, I had Image Stabilization ON in Mode 2. I admit I did not switch it to Mode 1 when I wasn't panning. I wonder how much difference that makes?

    The highlight of my afternoon was getting the hawk shot even though it is not tack sharp but it was the first decent shot I've gotten of one! Most of these shots are cropped quite a bit. Got to find a way to get closer!


    #1 The ducks leave on my arrival.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    #2 I'm bored and shooting whatever I can see.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    #3 Finally, a hawk waaaaay up in the sky.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    #4 Bored again and practicing on crows.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    #5 Paydirt! Another hawk lands within range - barely.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    #6 And.... he flies away.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    #7 Golden hues of the sun as I'm packing up.
    Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

  2. #2
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Hi Terri,
    Well done a nice set here.
    I don't think there are many on this site who would not love to get closer when taking this type of shot; when you find out how to do it, please let me know.
    Looks like you had a lot of fun.
    John

  3. #3

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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    I realize I know absolutely nothing about shooting wildlife, but doesn't one set up a deer blind to look for deer?

    I really like #2 though I would prefer a little more space on the right. I notice that none of the photos of the birds is (or should it be "are"?) sharp though I also notice that they're a lot sharper than if I had taken them.

  4. #4
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    thanks, John. Yes, I'm learning that no matter what lens you have, there's always something you want that's out of reach!

    Good point Mike. I guess I should have married a duck hunter! and I agree with your assessment of #2. I've cropped too closely and can fix it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. As to the birds - I'm afraid they were too far away for my skill level but we'll see how I can improve with my current equipment. Not sure what I'm doing wrong yet but I'll figure it out!

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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Terri I believe you have the equipment needed and it looks like you have a great area for wildlife, now comes the fun part, patience and careful study of the whole environment should produce results. I believe even with your ball head loose and panning that turning the I S off is preferred. Alot of the time when shooting birds in flight with my 400 I will rest my lens on my tripod without locking it in so I can lift and handhold at will. looking forward to more pics from your back forty.

  6. #6

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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    I got a chuckle out of your bored shots, Terri. Been there.

    I'm not a Canon shooter, but in general when you're shooting at shutter speeds above 500, IS can do more harm than good. There are a lot of opinions on this topic but purely from a common sense standpoint, once you get above the magic 1/focal length (or 1/focal length/crop factor) for your shutter speed, why introduce another variable? It's worked for decades.

    Another thing, shooting in M mode with auto ISO is not Manual. The camera is still making auto adjustments based on whichever meter mode you are using. Shooting BIF or anything that is moving across a BG with widely changing brightness is risky business for a proper exposure of the primary subject. Also when you are shooting various subjects like this, it's a great time to put everything in manual and use it as a learning experience. Especially when you're bored

  7. #7
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Terri,

    I always enjoy your posts (the writing and the pics). I look forward to seeing more as you progress. BTW, I happen to like crows very much. I think they are very beautiful and interesting creatures.

  8. #8
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Thanks James. I will give the ISO off a try and see what happens.

  9. #9
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Dan, thanks again for taking the time with a helpful response. I had not heard the thoughts on IS and high shutter speeds until this and another current thread on the subject. I'll certainly give it a try without IS.

    On the subject of shooting Manual, I've done quite a bit of shooting in "Full" manual (no auto ISO) this past year when shooting wildlife and actually do prefer it but in most cases the wildlife wasn't moving as quickly in and out of different lighting conditions as birds do. That's why I set the Auto ISO. Is it really just a matter of practice to be able to shoot in full manual with panning birds or is it a matter of setting up for one background lighting condition and waiting for the birds to enter that background? (hope that question made sense...) Am I trying to shoot too many conditions in one setting? I guess the answers to those questions could be different depending on experience. But I guess what I'm trying to get to is whether a goal of shooting varying animals entering varying parts of the scene dynamically in full manual is achievable or unrealistic.

  10. #10
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingSquirrel View Post
    Terri,

    I always enjoy your posts (the writing and the pics). I look forward to seeing more as you progress. BTW, I happen to like crows very much. I think they are very beautiful and interesting creatures.
    Oops, didn't mean to dis the crows! They are certainly plentiful and cooperative around here! I would like them better if they weren't so noisy.

  11. #11
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Hi Terri!

    I like your approach. And some nice shots.

    I sometimes shoot on a tripod with my ball head tight, until I see a subject. Then give it a quick turn to loosen it just enough to provide some resistance so I donít get carried away! Works well!

    I would guess that since you are tripod based, Mode 2 would be fine. Depending on your glass, sometimes it is highly recommended (i.e. critical) that you switch stabilization off while mounted to a tripod to avoid an auto stabilization loop. Though Iím not really sure if a loop actually happens much. But your shots look to me as though you didnít suffer much from 2 on your pod. If I were going to pan on a tripod, I would use Mode 2. I donít see the difference in panning on a tripod and panning handheld as concerns lens IS Mode selection.

    I have been shooting (or trying to) wildlife in Av lately. With enough ISO (manually set) to make sure I have plenty of shutter speed in the darker areas. Iíll have that much more shutter speed in the lighter areas, but so much the better. This way I only have to keep an eye on the shutter speed, making sure I have enough, and if not just bump the ISO as needed. This seems to be a little less to deal with when the action of the subject gets fast and you donít have time to set (or re-set) everything.

    I guess I could be qualified as a crow hunter of sorts!

    I sure seem to ďeat crowĒ a lot!

  12. #12
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Thanks, Terry for explaining your experience. I may have to spend a little time testing this IS on/off issue in a more controlled environment to see how it works for me with my equipment and skill level. I'm pretty sure that second shot of the plant still had Mode 2 IS turned on and it is pretty sharp. But then again, it was only about 8 ft away from me as opposed to 150-300 ft.

  13. #13
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Terrib,

    Experimenting with IS on and off is a good way to find the answer for your equipment. Moving cars are a convenient and useful subject for this. Focus on a car part that has some detail so you can detect the difference. Take a number of shots and eliminate any that appear mis-focused. This is good practice for panning and using auto focus (try servo mode).

    Different Canon lenses have different IS capabilities; the latest offerings are supposed to have the best performance and can detect when the lens is mounted on a tripod.

    Paul S

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Adventures from the Deer Blind - Day 1

    Thank you, Paul. That's a good suggestion about the cars. Even though we have wilderness on the "back 40", we just happen to have sufficient cars going by the front at high speeds for me to do some pretty good tests.

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