i use the Vultures as props.

There’s a number of Vultures flying around the slough, it seems nothing bothers them. Not the wind, smoke or cloudy skies, they just deep on keeping on. I take a lot of images of them the keeper ratio is a bit less fair to me; it’s around .5% one keeper per 200 is about my average.

One reason is they are normally flying very high against a light colored sky. When that composition is set up it is destined for doom, a light colored background turns a black bird in the foreground into a shadow.

They are graceful fliers appearing as if they are high wire performers holding a long balancing stick. As they fly through the air it is easy to identify them as they wobble while airborne.

Vultures are they type of bird that from my perspective is easier to photograph during the noon hour while the sun is directly overhead. The early morning then dusk cast far too many shadows at weird angles. The mid day sun is much more predictable for the way they fly. A constant change of angles, swoops and turns affords me an opportunity to wait them out until they are in an agreeable light.

I use my 100-400mm sigma lens which I handhold using a relatively fast shutter speed and ISO set as low as possible for the conditions. I wait until the Vulture turns as the one in the photo toward the camera, with luck they turn in such a way to appear at my eye level which is more common than is imagined.

This image is successful capturing the big bird in a position making it appear closer and almost at eye level.

I take a lot of pictures of them and Seagulls for two reasons. First they are always around making a really good photo an actual possibility. Second I track them for practice, I still take a picture for reasons other than a stellar photo. It doesn’t matter if the picture is a keeper all I want from it is where the focus point is and if I fixed it on the bird. In the days of film it would have been too expensive for performance of this procedure. But seeing as how a disc will hold one thousand or more images it is well worth the effort.

Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter

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