Capturing flying small birds

Many times before I go out with my camera I make a plan of what I want to accomplish. Saturday I made one to capture small birds in flight, I’ve attempted it before realizing it takes a lot of practice. Modern cameras are capable of taking multiple frames per second, mine will do 7 or 3. Some can do many more, up to 11 or 12. The issue I have run into is the ability for the camera to gather information quickly enough. After taking a considerable number of images the camera will pause while it clears the cache.

That is how images such as the one above are created, I’d prefer the Blue Jay had its wings out in motion. However it took less than one second for it to exit the frame, maybe 12ips would have enabled the first wing motion. This image is actually a bit humorous it’s not often we see a bird in flight with folded wings, unless it’s a Crow.

Another issue is displayed above, it has the correct composition but the focus is terrible. I no longer use single spot while photographing flying birds, the small area center priority with 8 multi-points is better. This morning I began to use the center priority large area, it has real potential for me.

The image above is better but the bird was not co-operating by not raising its head looking forward. But then again he may have lifted it a split second later. The composition is just OK, I resist having that houseboat as a backdrop. I must remember the goal is capturing the birds in flight as a practice exercise.

Nearly to the “good enough” level I managed to capture the photo above just a bit out of focus. The highlights are in the composition with the outspread wings, head lifted and the backdrop not too awfully disruptive. There is a lot of blue on that old boat.

Again this is an image that is close but not qualifying for a blue ribbon, I like the composition. The focus is an issue in this as well, I used the small center priority where I should have used the large. It’s more forgiving in that it will follow what the initial point was set as long as the shutter remains pressed.

Hummingbirds for me are really tough, I used the large center priority for the image above. The only good thing is the bird is in focus, the wings are stopped outstretched and it is away from the feeder. The rest of the composition is not to my liking, the backdrop deck and the feeder should not be in the photo, I prefer to appear in a natural environment.

I’m happy with the picture above, the bird is a bit too close to the border but with the stake upright near the center it seems to work well. The background is a bit busy, I would have done better to set up at a different angle.

However the photo is a keeper for me, but without the multiple frames per second this would be impossible to capture. If I was capable of more frames per second I may have been able to catch one more sequence of wing motion. Then again I may have ended up with just one anyway, and it would have been this.

Jacques Lebec Shutter Flutter

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