Osprey - IN FLIGHT...

April 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

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Capturing Birds in flight... depends on your goal - wings stopped or blurred... and ability to accurately track and predict the movement. The settings on this image is:

400 mm x1.6 (crop factor) = 560mm Equivalent, plus about a 35% crop out (digital enlargement & framing) for a total of about 800mm total.
 
1/800 at f/5.6
Manual
ISO 200
Partial
 
The goal was to focus on the eye(s)... or as close to the head as possible, and to keep as much of the bird IN FRAME as possible.
 
Large birds are usually easier, as they are usually slower and predictable... you just have to watch, and be positioned to 'follow' them in camera.
 
Personally, I shoot with BOTH EYES OPEN, and often glance out of my 'off camera eye' for anything else moving, and where the critter is most likely going to be (or is)... especially if I lose tract, which sometimes happens.

I've found the best 'place' is usually within about 50 to 100 yards of 'their nest' or 'search grid' (hunting territory). For predators, it's usually the same day after day, though different critters have different size areas they patrol, most raptors are usually limited to a few hundred yard circle... and usually around where they usually feed. They move only if their feed, nest, or life is threatened. This is true for most predators... though other critters tend to cover more space, and can be far more challenging.
 
Blending in, not appearing as a threat, and not infringing upon their life is important. Having a good telephoto, extenders (when necessary and possible)... and using a crop sensor (rather than full frame) to give you a bit more boost in distance can all be helpful factors.

With things like WiFi, it's sometimes possible to set up REMOTE cameras... even controlling them remotely. This often only works in limited situations, with limited focal points... such as bait, food, or even a nest. Upside, amazing shots are possible. Downside, you can't just leave or pull your equipment when ever. There are many tools out, and even some camera bodies, that allow remote control. You just have to set things up in the right place... and be patient. Ultimately, the first problem is you can't change focal length in most cases, or pan & tilt, so position is key... as important as 'the settings.'

I've found that most critters will 'get used to' you being around, and will continue living as if you aren't there, so long as you're quite... don't move around a lot or quickly... and don't appear to be a threat to them, their mate, or their young.

Any questions?

 


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If you have any questions about photography, please feel free to ask. I might not know the answer off the top of my head, but odds are I can either help you find the answer or know someone that knows the answer. After nearly 45 years of playing with hundreds of different cameras, both film and digital, I probably don't know specific 'make and model' info... but I UNDERSTAND PHOTOGRAPHY, and the PRINCIPLES & CONCEPTS of capturing and creating good to great images.
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