staying focused; or trying to.

I am honestly getting closer to figuring out focusing on this camera. I use the AV (aperture priority), I set the ISO and the f stop the camera sets the shutter speed. I plan on moving on to the other modes when I have a command of focusing. My issue with it all is losing focus while I’m following a bird in flight. The challenge isn’t following the subject so much as following it and activating the center focus point. I took 385 pictures this morning after changing the settings.

My goal is to perform as little editing as possible, the image above is a RAW photo untouched. The settings are f8, ISO 800 and the shutter speed for this one is 1/640. As I stated above the shutter speed is based on lighting conditions and controlled by the camera. I have the metering mode set to evaluative metering, it concentrates on the center point but takes the perimeter into account. The shutter trigger is set on high speed continuous; I fiddle around with that a lot. Although I prefer low speed (3 frames per second) the 7 fps high speed offers more opportunities for that unbelievable photo.

The image above is relatively untouched, I use Lightroom which allows me to adjust contrast, shade and highlights. Basically it allows to merely clean up the image, or if one chooses it may be utilized to completely change the picture. This image as the one above it have minimal editing, I am happy with that result. With the correct camera settings editing hundreds of pictures is a snap. But are they the best settings possible? That I am not sure of.

This image is a totally untouched picture of a Mud-hen. Although not the best composition my intent of showing this is how clear the end result is with no editing.

This is the same picture with extensive editing and cropped dramatically taking me all of a few minutes. The major editing tools did not have to be used, which satisfies my goal.

So good for the successful part, as we know taking bird in flight images has a low keeper value. My goal has always been if I may use 10% of the shots I consider that to be a successful outing. I hit that nail on the head with this endeavor; of the 385 experimental images this morning I am able to use 38; 350 were deleted.

I used the manual select: Zone AF, I could not be sure what the camera was focusing on although I had the center point on the head of the subject. It kept losing focus and switching to the background, however in a few it lost focus of everything leaving the entire frame a blur. It’s not a camera flaw it’s part of my learning curve.

All in all I’m relatively happy with the results but feel I am able to do better. I am still learning the camera by slowly going through every mode and button on it. Tomorrow (if the rain lets up) I will switch from Manual Zone AF to Auto selection AF. The difference is this mode will lock onto the subject and not confuse it with the background; hopefully the manual (book) is accurate. As it ends up Manual Zone AF may be the better option, if not I will use the Manual Select mode; after all it performed fairly well. With either mode I will have to improve upon my skills however.

Jacques Lebec Shutter Flutter

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