Rising later then normal this morning I was greeted by the din of Crows celebrating, complaining or fighting; I’m not at all sure what they were doing. It gave me a good opportunity to practice photographing them against a clear sky, full sun and flying.
The important issue for me when photographing dark birds against a featureless sky is lighting; it must be correct. On a black bird I have found reflections of the sun off their sleek feathers will accentuate the details. Of course the trick is getting it right; I’m close.
Using the muti-point auto-focus is instrumental in capturing them. Manual focus is much too slow, I set the ISO and f value then let the camera set the shutter speed. After making that plan with a lot of practice it is working; including stopping the wings.
It took me a while to recognize the reflections off the feathers, it will most likely be similar for all dark flying birds (as well as objects I suppose). I enlarged the photo above, sometimes it works, other times not so much.
I am confined to a wheelchair which makes getting eye level with the subjects a bit of a logistical skill with a lot of planning. However when photographing flying birds there is not a lot of time to prepare; I have to be at the ready. These guy’s are on top of the camera in a flash, I set the camera to low speed continuous shutter. That makes it too easy to take hundreds and perhaps thousands of pictures in a short while. The result is hour upon hour of editing; it is one of my favorite activities but it gets old.
I’m a bit superstitious, I won’t bunch items in even numbers so I added this photo of a Red Squirrel. It won’t be in any high profile posts; I cut the legs off. That makes it unusable for me, but I didn’t have the heart to delete it, he’s one of my buddies on the Slough.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter