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Thread: Help.....

  1. #1
    Benjy's Avatar
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    Bernard Boyle

    Help.....

    Hi,trying some wildlife today a couple of Buzzards about,couldn,t manage to catch a sharp photo,this is best of a bad lot,any comments would be most helpful...Sony A65,F/13,Exposure1/50 sec,ISO 100,Focal length280mm,Metering mode Spot.....Help.....

  2. #2

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    Re: Help.....

    HI Bernard-Flying birds are tough. First I would say your shutter speed needs to be increased. For birds in the air I would say at least 1/500 to start and pan with their movement also. Find a place with moving cars (that has a safe place to stand) and practice panning to get the cars in sharp focus. Take notice of what your F-stop and shutter speed is at each attempt and that will help you. Keep at it the more you practice the better you get--mary

  3. #3
    JimG's Avatar
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    Re: Help.....

    Hi Bernard,

    the sharpness problem is definitely cause from using a shutter speed that slow. i'm not familiar with your camera body but i would definitely try to shoot at a bit higher iso, lower my aperture a few f/'s and push the shutter speed to minimum a click above your focal length.

  4. #4
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    Hi,trying some wildlife today a couple of Buzzards about,couldn,t manage to catch a sharp photo,this is best of a bad lot,any comments would be most helpful...Sony A65,F/13,Exposure1/50 sec,ISO 100,Focal length280mm,Metering mode Spot.....Help.....
    I am not a wildlife photographer; however it appears that this pic was shot with a shutter speed that was not sufficient and if you were hand holding this then camera shake is also a problem. Rule of thumb is that your shutter speed should equate the focal length of your lens. Telephoto lenses tend to magnify camera shake. Use of a tripod or monopod would be useful.

    Bruce

  5. #5
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Help.....

    Hi Bernard,

    You do need a higher shutter speed and you don't need as small an aperture as you used and you can up your ISO quite a bit (depending on your camera's capabilities) to achieve the fastest shutter speed possible.

    You might take a look at several of my threads starting with THIS ONE where I asked about the same problem and received a lot of help.

    Also, Christina also has quite a few threads where she has requested help on this issue. The experts have helped both of us quite a bit.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help.....

    I think F8 would give you sufficient DoF. If you camera has the capability, you could set it to shoot in continuous burst mode as you track the bird. Also, try turning off the IS -- it slows focusing down a bit and doesn't help much if you are panning.

  7. #7
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Help.....

    Hi Bernard,

    I have 1000's of Birds in Flight shots just like that one and I'm still trying! I've been practicing for about 2 years, and although I do have some good shots, the majority of my BIF shots are not great as BIF are very challenging. Using a faster shutter speed, larger aperture and higher iso will help immensely.

    I have asked a ton of questions on this forum, so if you read my threads you will likely learn a ton from all the helpful replies, as I have. Also check out all the bird photos on this forum. Read their posts about technique. I also read all the posts from the photo techies on this forum to see what I can learn from them (it's easier, more fun, and more informative than reading a manual )

    When I started with BIF I practiced with Sports Mode. I would load the photos and read the shutter speed and aperture off of the photos that turned out or not, and try to learn what settings worked or not.

    I practiced panning and focusing, typically on large birds that didn't move to fast. I tried to photograph birds in good light on sunny mornings or afternoons. (although many say that cloudy days are great for my camera the light was usually too low)

    Next I tried Aperture Priority, usually about F8 (for BIF), but as open as I could shoot without purple and green fringing. I noted the settings that worked, and also the shutter speeds that were too, low.

    I tried Shutter Speed priority, and noted the settings that did not work or worked, and why or why not.

    I've played with auto iso, and although it works well for many, it is not a mode I prefer to use. I use it as a learning tool. ie; check out the settings and set my own.

    Today, for BIF I use mostly manual mode (but not always) because I found that the shutter speeds selected by my camera were often too low in aperture priority, and that my photos using shutter priority were too dark. It depends on what works for your camera. If I don't have a plan I have my camera set on aperture priority so I'm good to go in case a bird flies by.

    When I first started I always use an iso of 100 but I've learned that I typically need to use an iso of 320 or 400. Sometimes I will go as high as an iso of 800 but it does not always work well for me because of loss of detail, poor colour and noise.

    I always look at my histogram to check my exposure and correct it. I would love to use a tripod for BIF but I don't because I miss too many shots.

    I usually use continuous focus mode and matrix metering but from time to time I will use center weighted and spot metering for birds, usually black or white birds, or combo b&w birds.

    Today, I'm learning that to get a really nice shot, I need to get closer to the bird, the closer the better. I'm also learning to pay attention to my backgrounds.

    In summary
    practice using sports, aperture and shutter speed mode
    practice panning and focusing
    use higher iso's and faster shutter speeds
    practice on bigger slower moving birds
    practice in good light
    get closer
    follow photographers on this forum and learn from them.

    All that said, I seem to know it all but I still can't manage to obtain that perfectly beautiful photo of a bird in flight... so I keep trying one day!

  8. #8
    Benjy's Avatar
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    Bernard Boyle

    Re: Help.....

    Mary, Jimmy,Bruce,Terri,Greg,Christina, a BIG Thanks for all your tips on birds in flightI have taken note of them and will practice them,out today again2-3 hours not a buzzard or deer to be seen...Thanks again

  9. #9
    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Re: Help.....

    Christina has nicely explained everything.I do not know about your camera body but there is one adjustment called "focus area". I have experimented a lot and found that Dynamic area mode with continuous focus works best for flying bird because your camera never loses focus of your your subject.It instantly focus the subject whenever it moves from primary focus area.This is for an example http://500px.com/photo/28585791

  10. #10

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    Re: Help.....

    All good advice.

    If you are serious about birding the key is practice, practice, practice.... no short or easy route unfortunately.

    I just found this which is a pretty good all in one resource.

    http://digitalbirdphotography.org/cover.html

  11. #11

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    Re: Help.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    ...All that said, I seem to know it all but I still can't manage to obtain that perfectly beautiful photo of a bird in flight... so I keep trying one day!
    A nice summary of what most of us go through, Christina. And in spite of all of the knowledge gained on the topic, the only thing that really works for me is statistics. In other words, if you shoot enough you're bound to hit something once in a while

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