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A little bit of Prime Time

Hello.

Well today, I was to meet some insurance guys at a property here in Menai Bridge but it has been cancelled until tomorrow.  So, what to do?  Paperwork or a spot of Bird Watching.....Guess which won!!! Lol

I have been looking at the "Web Book" post by Ian Wilson and I thought I would try out some of the tips I read in that fascinating publication.  So Camera in hand along with my new 400mm Prime lens, off I went to the  "Skinnies"  bird hides just outside of Bangor.

Cheers.

So to start with, some fairly easy shots. These are all taken close to the feeders on the site. I wait and see the perches that the birds use before going onto the feeders. This Blue Tit awaits his turn before going on.

A male chaffinch also waits.

The female too. I think you may agree that shots like this instead of them actually ON the feeders, do look more natural.

A Great Tit also waits his turn.

This Greenfinch looks almost red in the sunshine

Here, the same bird in different light.

A little Wren was seen in the undergrowth, they usually pop up to have a look around before going close to the ground again.

So off he flies and gets back down to ground level.

I go round to the other hide (there are two here). The sun is now behind me

and to my delight, the Egrets are very busy flying here, there and everywhere

A good time to practice those "in-flight" shots that I read about in that Web Book Ian went on about.

All these shots, (well most of them) were taken at 1/1000th of a sec, well within the reach of most Bridge cameras.

I think the only advantage the DSLR has over the Bridge Camera is the shots per second that are acheivable.

This series of shots were taken at 7 shots per second.

I think you will agree that they are "frozen" well enough for this type of shot.

Another Egret comes in, watched by a Heron

Which leads me onto my next task. The Herons in flight. Here we see one lurking around looking for food

In the distance, another one flies by.

They seem to be coming from all directions

Even one catching me by surprise. That's the trouble with a prime lens, sometimes, it's just too big!!!

One comes into land rather clumsily

When another makes a very graceful attempt at landing. Notice how "thin" a Heron actually is, most of him is wing!!! Take the wings off a Heron and you are left with a rather "Skinny" bird indeed.

Another one lands close by

Another capture of a Heron coming towards me. These shots were taken on "auto-focus" with centre spot focus.

So if the bird if flying away from you or towards you as this one is....As soon as you hear the peep, get that shutter pressed because withing a 1/4 of a sec, it will be out of focus.

When the birds have actually landed as here, you have longer to take the shot but try to get a good "pose" Again, at 7 shots per sec, you can pick and choose when you get back to your PC

Once the bird has landed, you have a lot more time to compose a shot, I always like to see the bird "looking" into frame, as this one shows.

Panning can be tricky but with some practice, you can get some good results. By the way, most of the birds in this set, apart from Tits and Finches, were about 200yards away and the shots cropped to suit.

So shots coming towards me done, trying out some flying "away" now, once focus is achieved, get that shutter pressed. At this distance, you do have a little more time but over half a second, you will have lost focus.

Here, look at the legs.....that's where the focus was set.

Here again, focus is set on the legs.

With the bird coming towards you, try to focus on the face and eyes, that's what folk look at and is usually the "centre of attention" in most cases.

In this shot, I cropped and kept the reflection in. Again focus is on the face. So that's my practice over for today. Not too much success with the panning but I am working on that. When I feel confident enough to put up some panning shots, I will.

Back at the other hide, I close all the shutters and tidy up but not before I capture this Mallard coming in with the sun behind him.

So there we are,  an  "off-chance"  day off work put to good use.  I am still getting used to this new lens, it weight and getting used to working hand-held.  Panning still needs some work.  Straight forward shots,  I am more than pleased with.

I hope that you enjoyed my day off and that you liked the shots.  As I said, most were taken at 1/1000th of a sec, so well within the capabilities of a good Bridge Camera.

I hope you picked up a few tips that I myself picked up from the Web Book posted by Ian.

Thanks for popping by.

Cheers. 

25 people like this.

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 19:27
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So you got it saved eventually.  Worth the effort.  Really cracking photographs. Crisp and sharp and good enough for any professional publication. You have set a high standard.  

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 19:29
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It's not finished yet!!!!!!  Still doing it John.  cheers M8y

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 19:32
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hi steve  i bet you were pleased that a spot of bird watching won  what a cracking set of photos superb

tony

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 19:38
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fabulous absolutely gorgeous stuff

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 20:36
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Very impressive Steve. And such a variety.

I came across 3 egrets on Saturday not realising what they were I thought they were gulls,'till they flew off.

Monty.

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 20:36
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Great set of pics Steve - really liked the last one!

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 20:46
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A great set of photos Steve...very well done.

Incidentally we saw a Red kite over Huby today (near Knaresborough)...didn't know we had them here. No photo though ...I was busy driving at the time.

Jim

'Bokeh' Competition entry:- http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/697372

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 21:04
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Great shots Steve,glad you like the web book Smile

 

 

Flickr Page

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 21:05
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What a great time you had Steve and got some brilliant shots too!

A Heron flew over my garden today, no camera to hand, just a blink and he was gone, probably eyeing up somebody's garden pond and fish!

Maybe I should wear a camera on my head. lol

Mwah

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 21:25
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Certainly more productive than pushing paper Steve that's for sure!

Great stuff, particulary like the Egret shots.

Well done mate, now back to work tomorrow Smile

 

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Date Wed, 28/03/2012 - 22:25
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glad photography won, some super shots Steve and some good info as well, thanks Smile

gallery http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/62093 ;

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitedove7/

still checking on you all every now and again !!!

 

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 05:58
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They say people deserve what they get and I'm sure you do, practise makes perfect and you can't get more perfect than that apart from the one Heron surprise shot But! we forgive you that one lol. I would love to have taken one of your photo's m8 Brilliant all rounder that's you, a like from me, best regards you are the tops, Leon.

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 06:33
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So size does matter then Steve. Well done mate great shots.

Dave.

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 07:03
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 Wonderful bird shots Steve. Looks like you're getting the hang of that mighty impressive piece of kit you've got. Lovely natural nature photography. Thanks for sharing Steve. Alison x

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 07:51
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wonderful blog !!!!!!

every day is a new beginning enjoy yours...smile and the world smiles with you - cry and you cry alone :-) 

 

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 07:52
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Ooooh Alison !! you say the nicest things to Steve ! 

Glad your still enjoying that new lens Steve.

   

 Aut inveniam viam aut faciam 

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 08:28
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Hi M8T you are certainly getting to grips with this lens and Ghoosh it shows to a briillant blog Steve and like has been mentioned so sharp. Steve you never disappoint with your photoblogs and long may it continue take care M8T will speak to you soon best wishes BoB.

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 09:11
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Great blog Steve.  My fave shots are the big one of the Heron in flight and the Mallard at the end, but they are all crackers.  You certainly are getting the hang of that prime.

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 10:59
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Absolutely brilliant! However, I have rumbled your secret Mr Ransome. It is this. You know what you're doing!

Jan.

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 12:06
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What a great way to make up for a cancelled meet, love how you catch these birds inflight, I'm sure my s4000 does around 7shots per second I will check later, really like this blog very informative as I'm not very good with birds lol big big like Smile

thats much better than the one i took

http://www.myfinepix.com/gallery/704678

please take a look at my latest blog Smile

www.Facebook.com/TPphotography66

http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/704678/504104

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 14:12
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Hi Steve,

Beautiful blog, some really lovely pics in there.

Jean Wink

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 14:31
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Cracking shots Steve, that little wren is adorable Smile

 

http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/505179/448305

photography- cheaper than owning a dog and you get just as much exercise!

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 16:31
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Wow Steve, great set of pics. Glad I'm not the only one having trouble loading blogs, over 4 hours on my latest 'Portmeirion' blog.

Mike

My Portmeirion_Wales blog: http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/2002/449361

My 'Black Country Living Museum' blog: http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/2002/446726

My 'Moel Fammau mountain' North Wales blog: http://www.myfinepix.com/blog/2002/443725

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 16:41
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A terrific blog Steve with a great set of images. Well done and thanks for posting.

 

Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32238909@N04/

 

 

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 16:58
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Brilliant blog Steve.

All sharp clear photos - brilliant action shots of the Egrets.

Looks like that lens is worth every penny paid!

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 17:34
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Excellent blog as always, Steve! Very educational with good tips for most of us that need a bit of help! Glad the birds won out over doing paperwork! Thanks for sharing...

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 22:26
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I am wondering which camera you have used to shoot these wonderfull pictures! I am affraid i never can reach that level of quality with my X-S1; is it a DSLR you are using for this Steve?

Most of the pictures look stunning. Very well done Sir!

 

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Date Thu, 29/03/2012 - 22:31
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Some belting shots there Steve, what's the 400mm your using? Got a chance of the Sigama 50-500, would suit me better than a prime. That 400mm certainly produces a sharp image, watch your highlights though...

Stu.

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 09:01
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Great stuff Steve!

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 10:08
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superb my friend ! one tip tho try using evf and under exposing by 1/3 of a sto or even 1 on the birds that are pedominantly white then you'll retain the detail

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 11:02
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Yeah yeah, show off... Pah!

I've decided I'm REALLY not happy with my 100-300 lens, the shots I'm getting through it all seem to have a bluish tinge, and sem to be on the soft side Sad Just can't afford to replace it at the moment...

Have a nosey at this lady's birds / bird in flight pictures Tongue

Kaz

Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish. John Jakes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52498776@N02/

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 18:18
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 Great blog, action packed! With bridge camera there is shutter- lag which is frustrating.Fantastic job with new prime lens.Looking forward to see more action& more species.Thanks for sharing.

I had been to your flicker a/c & had great time looking at photos of Spain,feathered friends & Squirrels-Great gallery.

This time will pass.

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 19:02
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Ah thanks Pinakin.  Glad you liked the Flickr stuff.  The photos are bigger on there and I like the slide-show facility.

Cheers.

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 20:25
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great blog steve one day i will get flying birdies like these

 

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 21:39
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Great stuff, Steve - a pleasure to view.

Best Regards,

Steve

My Gallery:

My Blogs

 Latest Comp.

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Date Fri, 30/03/2012 - 23:01
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Great stuff Steve.  

I see that, like me, you're having a bit of a problem with the harsh sunlight at the mo', great for upping the shutter speed but still blowing the whites.  Ah well....still better than being stuck indoors 'cos of the rain....lol.

Liked.

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Date Sat, 31/03/2012 - 06:45
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Such a wonderful set of photos Steve,   Thanks   for sharing them with us.  I wish I had your talent. Pam x

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Date Sat, 31/03/2012 - 15:42
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Wtg Steve...loved the shots....not that good at capturing them in flight....hopefully with the new camera i be better lol ....thank you for sharing xx:-)

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Date Mon, 02/04/2012 - 10:46
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Great use of your time. I agree, paperwork should come second!! Great blog with a wide variety of shots. A like from me.

Ray

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Date Tue, 03/04/2012 - 18:00
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Super blog steve. Really enjoyed it Laughing out loud

Martin 

Regards

Martin 

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Date Wed, 04/04/2012 - 10:13
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I'm speechless. They are just amazing! And you know what, you're kind of rubbing salt to injury when you call some of your shots "easy peasy"! Smile

 

Bryan L.

"Few Women Admit Their Age, Few Men Act Theirs." Big smile

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Date Fri, 06/04/2012 - 14:47
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I really can't add anything new, Steve.  Great blog--I was especially pleased to see the wren.  They are such chipper little birds.  As for the heron, we have one (or more) harrassing the fish in our pond.  Although I had to scare it away two days ago, I grabbed my camera on the way out the door. Of course, the bird flew off when it heard the door knob turn.  I "liked."

judypw

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Date Sun, 08/04/2012 - 06:02
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Hi Steve,

these shots are quite simply `stunning` the clarity is outstanding, the shot of the mallard coming in to land was breathtaking, you have a great camera and lens my friend, i used to have a canon 60d but had to sell it last october due to serious health problems at the time, i have had the canon eos 20d, 5d, 400d, 450d, 500d, 550d, 60d and a lttle Canon A640 since 2005, at the moment i have a canon powershot sx40 hs with a stupendous 35x fixed zoom lens which equates to being 24mm to 840mm the lens is astonishing Steve, it can capture almost anything you want, its picture quality is fabulous for it being a `bridge` camera, unfortuanately it cannot match the eos slr`s picture quality but is a happy compromise at the moment, although i have a fantastic little fujifilm f600 exr digital cam Canon will still be my number one favourit brand, i am getting better now by the day and have set my sights on the hopefully up and coming eos 70d i know i am gonna buy it lololo, i have kept my lenses so the Canon 70d body will do, anyhow thanks for your nice comments on my recent posting `Auld Alloway Kirk` steve and would appreciate it if you would look and comment on some of my other pictures in my gallery if you want especially my cat pictures, well thanks for reading this Steve, happy snapping my friend and keep them bird shots coming.

Allan.

 

VOYAGERc1

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