I wrote one blog early today with planning on writing this one immediately after. I got a bit delayed when I began to track the small birds then made the decision to work on my small bird in flight project. Each day I work on it my skills improve, today is the most successful day I’ve had relative to my deletion ratio. I took 54 images deleting 20, the remainder are keepers.
Unlike the Blue Heron I wrote of yesterday the smaller birds don’t seem to telegraph their intentions. The birds I photographed today are mainly sparrows feeding on the ground. I was relying upon the mean little dudes to cause a ruckus chasing the other sparrows into the air. My plan worked well for those on the ground, those on other structures were a bit more difficult.
I’m not sure if it’s cheating but I’ll confess anyway that I spread a handful of wild bird seed on our resting bench next to the water. The image above is of a Red Headed Sparrow taking to the air, I stayed focused on it until he began to take off. I used the large auto focus grid with 45 focus points; the center point being the main point.
With the shutter set to 7 frames per second some folded wing shots are to be expected. 7fps is fast for me however it is not the fastest shutter available; far from it. One of my son-in-laws owns a Sony capable of 30 shots per second, my camera crawls compared to it. But that frame rate is fine with me as I capture many interesting shots and it gives me the chance to stop shooting after two or three snaps.
I remain using Aperture Priority which allows the camera to set the shutter speed in relation to the ISO. I set the f-stop and ISO the camera sets the shutter accordingly. I use AI servo as well taking advantage of the camera staying focused on a moving bird. In the event a bird is flying directly towards the camera the focus will not keep up on each picture and it at times will appear to meld the facial features together.
All in All I had a good session today, I saw a few Hawks, Crows and Ducks but did not take images of them as I was set up for small birds in flight. My skills are improving daily it’s interesting the amount of information one is able to gather from a few hours in the field. The trick is recognizing what I had just done, remembering it then putting it into practice. The sentence “How in the heck did I do that?” is a common refrain ringing between my ears.
My abilities are much stronger than my disabilities.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter
#photography with disabilities #bird watching