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Thread: Osprey Attack

  1. #1
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Osprey Attack

    I was fortunate to see this happen before my eyes as I was sitting in my kayak watching the juvenile bald eagle hoping it would be doing some fishing for me to capture.
    I heard the Osprey chirping loudly as it was coming in but did not pick it up until the last moment. It was coming in unbelievably fast in a steep dive before it swooped in on the eagle, I am lucky to have it reasonably sharp.

    The exposure on these are not the best, the birds were in deep shadow with sunlight in the trees behind. I should have used Manual mode to maintain a consistent exposure but to be honest I was not ready for this. Background is very busy but with these situations you really don't get to choose!

    Still an awesome sight to see for the two seconds that it lasted
    As you can see in the last image the juvenile was not too pleased with the Osprey's antics.


    Osprey Attack

    Osprey Attack

    Osprey Attack

    Osprey Attack

    Osprey Attack

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by BCrose View Post
    The exposure on these are not the best, the birds were in deep shadow with sunlight in the trees behind. I should have used Manual mode to maintain a consistent exposure but to be honest I was not ready for this. Background is very busy but with these situations you really don't get to choose!
    The fact is that with the situation you were faced with, these are remarkable images. I wonder of such a thing has ever been photographed before?

  3. #3
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Interesting and amazing work. That last one is really good of the eagle, too.

  4. #4
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The fact is that with the situation you were faced with, these are remarkable images. I wonder of such a thing has ever been photographed before?
    Thanks. A very cool scene to see happen.

    To answer your question yes...this is a fairly common occurrence with these two species. The Osprey tries to establish territory in it's fishing area buy terrorizing the Eagles. In return the Eagles come screaming out of the trees when an Osprey flies by with a fish and a battle ensues over the spoils. The Osprey nearly always can out manoeuvre the Eagle but occasionally it is forced to drop the fish or it is somehow torn out of it's talons. I have seen it from afar but never close.

    This is one of my bucket list shots to get and I constantly try to get in the right position but still no luck...someday.

  5. #5

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    Re: Osprey Attack

    This is awesome, Monte. Just to witness much less to capture. I'm surprised the eagle didn't invert and present its talons as they typically do. Maybe still young enough that it hasn't learned that tactic yet.

    Shooting with this type of background is indeed a challenge. You did well too maintain focus. If I recall from one of your prior posts you use single point focus is that right? Historically every time I try different modes I end up back at single point based on higher hit ratio. Lately I've been doing some testing with different focus modes in a controlled situation and in this kind of situation using multiple point dynamic mode is not good. I've done tests with this type of scene with little contrast between the target and BG. With 9 point dynamic I can move so far that the target isn't even in the viewfinder any more and the camera does not refocus. So I guess that explains the higher in focus percentage with single point

  6. #6
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    This is awesome, Monte. Just to witness much less to capture. I'm surprised the eagle didn't invert and present its talons as they typically do. Maybe still young enough that it hasn't learned that tactic yet.

    Shooting with this type of background is indeed a challenge. You did well too maintain focus. If I recall from one of your prior posts you use single point focus is that right? Historically every time I try different modes I end up back at single point based on higher hit ratio. Lately I've been doing some testing with different focus modes in a controlled situation and in this kind of situation using multiple point dynamic mode is not good. I've done tests with this type of scene with little contrast between the target and BG. With 9 point dynamic I can move so far that the target isn't even in the viewfinder any more and the camera does not refocus. So I guess that explains the higher in focus percentage with single point
    Yeah...I tried them all and return to single point at the end of the day. With LONG setting engaged for the tracking. All this high end equipment and still using settings that were available on the first DSLR"s. The one thing the D4 does extremely well is track a subject with this setting. I have tried the 3D tracking and all the different dynamic settings with the different number of focus points etc. Not to mention a buffer that is impossible to fill.

    The thing is about the single point setting is that I get a very high percentage of keepers, oftentimes 100%. So I do not really have the need for the other settings. Possibly a wedding, landscape or portrait photographer may use all the bells and whistles but for me I like the simplicity.

  7. #7
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Very fortunate indeed. Those are some spectacular photos..and from a kayak no less. In VT, bald eagles are still rare, but they are getting more numerous every year. I'm in awe every time I see one. I really enjoyed your photos

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    Re: Osprey Attack

    One thing I haven't done is to switch to the Long setting in focus tracking. Will do that without further testing based on insider information

    It seems we have a lot in common photographically speaking. I also believe in keeping it simple and most importantly going with a setup that yields predictable/repeatable results. It seems a shame to have a camera body like a D4 and not to use all the bells and whistles. But in these situations it's worth it just for the fps and buffer capacity. When you need it (frequently in AK) the ISO performance is awfully nice too. And though not thought of as a birding lens, the 200-400 is THE lens to have for these situations.

    Nice job once again.

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    I hope not to hijack the thread but can you guys tell me what you mean by the Long setting in focus tracking? I shoot Canon but maybe it's not just a Nikon thing.

  10. #10
    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    These are really nice shots Monte.

    Bruce

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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I hope not to hijack the thread but can you guys tell me what you mean by the Long setting in focus tracking? I shoot Canon but maybe it's not just a Nikon thing.
    No idea what Canon would call it but when you are in continuous focus mode, it is the delay before the camera refocuses when the focus point moves off of the target.

  12. #12
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    I hope not to hijack the thread but can you guys tell me what you mean by the Long setting in focus tracking? I shoot Canon but maybe it's not just a Nikon thing.
    On the D4 there are 5 settings you can choose from to set the amount of time the camera waits before adjusting focus in response to sudden changes in distance or objects that might move in front of the subject. Setting #1 is short, #5 is long.

    I have played with them all including shutting it off but find the long #5 setting holds the focus longer on the moving subject and not jump to the background if you slightly miss the target for a brief moment while tracking with AF-C and holding the AF-ON down (or depressing shutter halfway if focusing with the shutter button).

    If you do happen to miss the subject and focus on a branch or the background this will not help you. In fact it will work against you as you can imagine it will hold the focus on longer for this as well. To counteract this until I have acquired focus on my intended subject I continuously bump the focus until I lock on.

    I can only relate my experience using this and feel it works best for the way I shoot. I hesitate to recommend this as I have read comments from others who say you should use the #1 or short setting for fast moving subjects. Maybe this is just one of those settings that is relative to each persons style and possibly other settings they may be using. Because I never go below 1/1600 possibly makes this work better?

    I would like to hear others views on this AF setting and how they use it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Monte, great work (especially given the circumstances).

    Regarding everyone's comments about autofocus and "speed" settings, etc...

    Canon calls it "Al Servo Tracking Sensitivity" and on my 7D it ranges from -2 to +2, the negative being the slower setting. I have mine always set to the slowest setting. I use it the same way mentioned, where I use BBF to bump focus if I miss the target or if I want to select a different subject.

    It's important to note (for anyone that may not know) that the speed setting only affects how long the AF waits before focusing elsewhere when you hold the focus button continuously, it does not change the actual speed of the focusing. Therefore if you let up and refocus, it focuses as fast as normal on whatever you put your focus point on, but if you hold down the focus, it will be less prone to lock onto obstructions or go off target to sky, etc.

    I do not believe the setting should have any negative effect on fast subjects at all, in fact I believe the slower setting helps with faster subjects since you will be prone to lose the target from your focus point so you want it to give you a chance to reacquire. Hope this helps someone.

  14. #14
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Great Action Shots. Looks like you responded incredibly fast, considering how fast it all happened and how exciting it must have been to photograph.

  15. #15
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    Re: Osprey Attack

    Nice work Monte. I saw an Osprey chasing an Eagle once at the marsh I photograph at, but much too far away for my lens.

  16. #16

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    Re: Osprey Attack

    I kayak the tidal rivers of the upper Chesapeake Bay and see the Osprey vs. Bald Eagle battles frequently. I am stunned that you were able to capture the images.....particularly like the last of the juvenile eagle.

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