A little bit of Prime Time
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.
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.
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