Jump to content
Whatbird Community

In Flight


Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...

I get lots of practice for flight shots with the woodpeckers going to and from the feeders but I still only get about 1% keepers, if that, and some of those keepers belong in the Almost Good thread. This could be a much better photo if I edited out the bottom of the feeder in the upper right hand corner, which is easy to do, and I admit to thinking about doing just that. The missing tail in the shot is another story though.

In Flight, or Almost Good? 

*tosses the coin*

DL6A2734

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, lonestranger said:

I get lots of practice for flight shots with the woodpeckers going to and from the feeders but I still only get about 1% keepers, if that, and some of those keepers belong in the Almost Good thread. This could be a much better photo if I edited out the bottom of the feeder in the upper right hand corner, which is easy to do, and I admit to thinking about doing just that. The missing tail in the shot is another story though.

In Flight, or Almost Good? 

*tosses the coin*

DL6A2734

 

How do you focus for these shots without an object at the same length to use as a proxy?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

How do you focus for these shots without an object at the same length to use as a proxy?

I use different settings for birds in flight than perched birds. I am fortunate enough to have two separate back buttons for focusing, which makes switching between the two just a matter of moving my thumb from one to the other. One button is set with expanded/multiple focal points in continuous mode, and the other button is dedicated to a single, centered focal point in continuous focus mode so that I just have to remove my finger from the button to lock my focus when needed.(you may need to find your manufacturer's appropriate names for these features because many of them differ, but I don't care what you call them as long as you know what I mean.)

Using multiple/expanded focal points, continuous focus, and burst mode while pressing the focus button continuously, I focus on the bird at the feeder. As long as the bird stays on this side of the feeder and stays the closest point of contrast, the AF stays locked on the bird regardless of where it is in the frame. When the bird gets ready to take flight, I press and hold the shutter button while still holding the focus button and try to track the bird as it flies to the tree. If the AF's tracking works effectively and I can follow the bird effectively, the focus will stay locked on the bird and follow it as it flies. I am sure your camera can achieve similar results, but it might not be as simple as switching thumb position. Custom settings that you can access with a quick turn of a dial, if you have that option, might be an option for birds in flight if you lack the second back button for separate focusing options that some cameras like mine have.

I hope that makes sense and I haven't overlooked something in my explanation. If things don't make sense, let me know. If you apply any of this and end up with more keepers than I do, well you know those other hand gestures I mentioned earlier that you'd be worthy of, this would be one of them.  👏👏👏 

Not what you thought, eh? 🤣

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, lonestranger said:

I use different settings for birds in flight than perched birds. I am fortunate enough to have two separate back buttons for focusing, which makes switching between the two just a matter of moving my thumb from one to the other. One button is set with expanded/multiple focal points in continuous mode, and the other button is dedicated to a single, centered focal point in continuous focus mode so that I just have to remove my finger from the button to lock my focus when needed.(you may need to find your manufacturer's appropriate names for these features because many of them differ, but I don't care what you call them as long as you know what I mean.)

Using multiple/expanded focal points, continuous focus, and burst mode while pressing the focus button continuously, I focus on the bird at the feeder. As long as the bird stays on this side of the feeder and stays the closest point of contrast, the AF stays locked on the bird regardless of where it is in the frame. When the bird gets ready to take flight, I press and hold the shutter button while still holding the focus button and try to track the bird as it flies to the tree. If the AF's tracking works effectively and I can follow the bird effectively, the focus will stay locked on the bird and follow it as it flies. I am sure your camera can achieve similar results, but it might not be as simple as switching thumb position. Custom settings that you can access with a quick turn of a dial, if you have that option, might be an option for birds in flight if you lack the second back button for separate focusing options that some cameras like mine have.

I hope that makes sense and I haven't overlooked something in my explanation. If things don't make sense, let me know. If you apply any of this and end up with more keepers than I do, well you know those other hand gestures I mentioned earlier that you'd be worthy of, this would be one of them.  👏👏👏 

Not what you thought, eh? 🤣

Here's few other things to consider that I didn't mention because they weren't relevant to the focus question.

A fast shutter speed of 1/2500 isn't always fast enough to prevent motion blur in the wings when shooting birds in flight. I was shooting at f/7.1 with ISO 1600 and my 1/2500 shutter speed left the wingtips blurred. I like the effect of a bit of blur in some shots, and hate it in others. I usually strive for completely frozen wingtips but settle for what I get.

The shorter your focal length is, the easier it is for you to keep the bird in the frame but it makes it harder for the AF to stay locked on the bird. The more you fill the frame with the bird, the easier it is for the AF to focus and track the bird, but it's much harder for you to follow the bird as your field of view narrows the more you zoom in. Note that I use the term 'zoom in' to indicate magnifying the subject and not the direction the lens is moving.

Taking advantage of a deeper depth of focus with a higher numbered aperture can help because the closest point of focus might be the closest wingtip and a little bit of wiggle room can always help when it comes to trying to getting the whole bird in focus. That is all relevant to the distance of bird. I deal with feeders about 25-30 away usually, more distant birds would have more depth of focus simply because they're further away.

Okay, I am done editing, hopefully my edits before posting means I don't have to edit anything after posting. I proof read all my posts and still see something to edit after posting most of the time. Hopefully I got it right this time.

 

Edited by lonestranger
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Ruslan Balagansky said:

Leaves something to be desired, but I'm pretty happy with this one.

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/620247571

image.thumb.jpeg.f8e2cc125496a43794b014eb4206b163.jpeg

Do you use a filter on your lens, @Ruslan Balagansky?  I ask because your background reminds me of an effect that I used to encounter when I used lens filters in the past. Once I realized that the effect was a result of the filter, I removed the filter and stopped recommending them like I had in the past. I used to use filters to protect all my lenses, now I just use the lens cap when I need to protect my lens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, lonestranger said:

Do you use a filter on your lens, @Ruslan Balagansky?  I ask because your background reminds me of an effect that I used to encounter when I used lens filters in the past. Once I realized that the effect was a result of the filter, I removed the filter and stopped recommending them like I had in the past. I used to use filters to protect all my lenses, now I just use the lens cap when I need to protect my lens.

Nope, no filter. Warm, sunny conditions, though.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Turkey Vulture started circling low over the freshly cut hay field and provided a closer than normal photo opportunity this morning.

DL6A3250-2

 

DL6A3243-2

 

DL6A3272

 

It got to the point where it was so close at times that it was hard to frame the shot and keep the bird in the frame, so I salvaged a poorly framed shot with a tighter than usual crop.

DL6A3273

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...