flying birds

I’m not sure how to go about choosing a photographic niche because there is so much out there to take images of. I believe it may be like everything else in this life a combination of luck, opportunity and sometimes passion. I suppose there are times when one actually chooses a niche.

I am impassioned with taking pictures of flying birds I find it challenging then upon taking a good image of one I am motivated. I will practice on any bird at any distance for practice with the intention of deleting most of them.

Today it was all about the Terns, it’s hard to tell why they have come out in force lately displacing the Seagulls. Terns are fast, making photography difficult on a calm day, not so easy on a windy day as today was. They had a 25-30 mph wind at their back and they took advantage of it.

Track, Focus then shutter each must be a pronounced step to avoid a high deletion rate. It’s best to not make a snap if any one of those steps is skipped. Still at that numerous images will result in being “soft”, “missed” or only part of the subject in the frame.

On the other end of the spectrum are the slow flying birds; flying against the wind makes the slow birds easier to capture. They are making little headway when the wind is at this velocity much to my advantage. Keeping the Sun and Wind to the back as well as keeping an eye on the camera settings are the first steps to improve ones chances.

Tossing in a large dose of luck along with a camera able to take 7-12 images per second increase the odds substantially. When using the multiple shots per second mode one should expect racking up huge numbers of images. My camera is capable of 7 per second, I normally use it with 3. It’s not that the other 4 per second is a problem, I find 3 allows me more control with the ability to take one or two shots only.

Unlike hunting with a shotgun there is no reason to lead or follow the bird while tracking them. The focus point must be literally spot on, aiming for the eye with the minimal number of focus points takes a lot of practice. However it is not an issue that can not be resolved with determination and desire.

Taking pictures of dynamic subjects is for me a fulfilling pursuit. After adding the pictures to the editor to find detail so distinct it makes one see the bird as if it were alive. That is the reward; pictures so very fine they are good right out of the camera. There is no need for a novice (like me) to purchase expensive equipment. Use of what we have to begin with will suffice perfectly, many people use their cell phone camera and do quite well. The equipment doesn’t matter too much but knowing the basics of photography does.

Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter

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