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In Flight

JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
building on the BIF discussion-- Share yours!

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  • xeniaxenia Posts: 640 Officer
    Had to go through a bunch of photos, but here are some of my favorite Birds In Flight.

    Swainson's Hawk just outside Everglades National Park


    Arctic Tern over the Gulfstream off Miami


    White-tailed Tropicbird about 80 miles off Ponce Inlet


    Black-capped Petrel about 60 miles off Ponce Inlet


    Pomarine Jaeger off Fowey Rocks lighthouse

  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 151 Deckhand
    Same thing I said to Redsgurl last week - how do you get the sharp focus on your flying birds shots ??  I read what she and another said, but I do most of that and my shots come out OK, but with soft edges and detail.  For those shots specifically, I use a Nikon D300s with Tamron 18-270.  My prosumer Nikons do about the same or a bit less.

    I did find that turning focus to infinity, then backing it off ¼" seemed to help some, but still room for improvement. 


  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 151 Deckhand
    OK, here's a bit of what I'm saying:



    This is one that came out quite well and I'm pleased with it.  Snow Goose, Bosque del Apache, NM



    Unhappily, this is much more typical.  Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache, NM
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    gogittum said:
    Same thing I said to Redsgurl last week - how do you get the sharp focus on your flying birds shots ??  I read what she and another said, but I do most of that and my shots come out OK, but with soft edges and detail.  For those shots specifically, I use a Nikon D300s with Tamron 18-270.  My prosumer Nikons do about the same or a bit less.

    I did find that turning focus to infinity, then backing it off ¼" seemed to help some, but still room for improvement. 


    you mention setting the focus to infinity. are you using manual focus? one thing hasn't been mentioned, shutter speed. it has to be fast. i see your issue on the cranes. looks like motion blur? what settings were you at? 

    it happens fast. i get a lot of throw aways when shooting in flight. 
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    xenia- great shots & some unusual species. for me at least 
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 640 Officer
    I use a Nikon D7200 with 80-400 lens now, but the above shots were taken with my old D3000 with 70-300 lens.  Speed is the key to flight shots, especially when taking them form a boat.  I set it on Aperture priority, ISO 400 and f6.3 on average, but will play with it depending on the lighting.  I want to have a speed of at least 1/1200 or better.  Remember, this our my better shots.  I usually have to delete 80% of my shots.  They don't all come out like this!
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    Speed. Lighting to drive the speed. And then ergonomics. The goose had plenty of light. The lens didn't have to work extra hard or stretch for that one. It's lovely.  The Cranes were early morning or early evening with limited lighting. And you were shooting across the limited light. In that instance,I would feed more ISO, open the aperture, to allow smooth transition for a more even distribution. Settings keep coming up here. What are you shooting? There used to be a program called epanda or something like that, where we could look at your EXIF data and make adjustments from there. It won't work here anymore. Is there another one we could use here? You have the eye. Just have to tweak the settings. ;)
    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    i go with a shutter priority setting. set a fast shutter & let the aperture & ISO "float" on auto. the main thing is a sharp image. 
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    I have never shot shutter priority. I need to try that.
    Ya know gogittum , I was thinking. Some lenses are notoriously soft. Have you researched the lens you use and see what people say about it? Im not sure what your settings are or the glass you use, but it may bear looking into.

    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    JWT said:
    building on the BIF discussion-- Share yours!


    This is really nice. Really.
    Xenia, nice series.

    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
     
    Today, I spent half the day in the yard waiting on the Hummingbirds to show up. Little things are hard to shoot! But after today, I will take this.
    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    redsgurl said:
     
    Today, I spent half the day in the yard waiting on the Hummingbirds to show up. Little things are hard to shoot! But after today, I will take this.
    little buggers are a big challenge! this is a great shot. what settings? (curious minds :):smile: )


  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    For those of a curious nature B)
    You know me, nothin fancy. Here ya go...
    F5.6
    Exposure 1/200
    ISO 200
    This was shot around 2-2:15 yesterday afternoon. Wasn't real bright.
    Feel free to ask anything else.


    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    thanks. i was curious about the wing blur. it is a good balance between the bur showing motion & being able to see the wing........... 
  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 151 Deckhand
    redsgurl said:
    I have never shot shutter priority. I need to try that.
    Ya know gogittum , I was thinking. Some lenses are notoriously soft. Have you researched the lens you use and see what people say about it? Im not sure what your settings are or the glass you use, but it may bear looking into.

    Sorry for the delay, I've been a little sidetracked at home here.

    I'll try the shutter priority - makes sense.  I usually shoot at ISO 100 and Programmed Auto - anything over ISO 400 seems to get grainy very quickly.  The lens I'm using - Tamron 18-270 has done well enuf other times, including the Goose, that I don't think the fault lies there.  Here's some examples:  (I love the goggle-eyed look the Ospreys get)


    The Osprey is about 100 ft away.....strongly cropped


    This Kestrel is an extreme crop but I think it came out well.


    Don't remember for sure, but not more than 30 or 40 feet


    Now, here's the frustration again.  I took several shots of this little guy - only about 20 ft away - and there was nothing nearby to fool the lens, but couldn't quite get the thing to focus.  Had the identical problem with the Nikkor 70-300.  This one Was fairly shaded under the trees.  All of these are with the 18-270.  I went to that lens originally because carrying and changing lenses on the trail was awkward at best......and most of my shooting is off in the hills.  I've been very satisfied with it overall.  Just.....???
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    The longer the lens, the more light it will need.  Under trees will need more compensation for the shutter depending of the aperture, say 5.6-7.2 or whatever it is, depending on the speed of your lens of course. And then the settings will be totally different for the out in the open shot. the Osprey verses the finch tell the tale.  As you see. More ISO for the under the tree guys than the out in the open guys. If you are shooting into the suns light, (read that again, slowly) the sensor will have a hard time capturing focus. Try to shoot across the sun's light. If it is overcast and you cant see the sun, take your sunglasses off and look up. Even though the sun is not visible your eyes will tell you where it is in a hurry. 
    Let's back up to basics. What metering mode are you shooting? Metering determines how much light there is, which drives the shutter, dependent on the aperture, and lighting will be provided courtesy of ISO. This all depends on what the sensor tells everyone at that moment.  Read this and decide which you would like to use.  https://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/basics/18/01.htm
    Now then. Lets move straight over to the programmed settings. read this. https://imaging.nikon.com/support/digitutor/d3300/functions/shootingmodes_a.html
    Look at the EXIF settings for your goose. Click on the file, right click and click properties on the menu.  Then, use those same general settings and see if you like the results. Get in the habit of looking at the settings for your images. for the images you don't like, compare the info and figure out what the issue was. Not enough light? Slow shutter speed? not enuff iso?..,etc..........
    Now then, after you read the links and make any adjustments you would like to try,  go outside with your camera and take a couple of images. Use moving cars for motion. Use flowers for color. etc......................
    Let us know how it goes..........................




    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,214 Captain
    Man, I'm glad you all are sharing these.  And posting to PC in general.  Absolutely love them!  Hasn't been enough of that on here.  Makes me want to get a good camera.  Thanks!!!
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    JWT said:
    thanks. i was curious about the wing blur. it is a good balance between the bur showing motion & being able to see the wing........... 
    The wing blur is ridiculous luck. This was shot at every bit of 300mm. In the hibiscus. Shouldn't have even been an image. I always focus on the eyes when I shoot. If the eye is good, I consider it a step in the right direction. 
    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    redsgurl said:
    The longer the lens, the more light it will need.  Under trees will need more compensation for the shutter depending of the aperture, say 5.6-7.2 or whatever it is, depending on the speed of your lens of course. And then the settings will be totally different for the out in the open shot. the Osprey verses the finch tell the tale.  As you see. More ISO for the under the tree guys than the out in the open guys. If you are shooting into the suns light, (read that again, slowly) the sensor will have a hard time capturing focus. Try to shoot across the sun's light. If it is overcast and you cant see the sun, take your sunglasses off and look up. Even though the sun is not visible your eyes will tell you where it is in a hurry. 
    Let's back up to basics. What metering mode are you shooting? Metering determines how much light there is, which drives the shutter, dependent on the aperture, and lighting will be provided courtesy of ISO. This all depends on what the sensor tells everyone at that moment.  Read this and decide which you would like to use.  https://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/basics/18/01.htm
    Now then. Lets move straight over to the programmed settings. read this. https://imaging.nikon.com/support/digitutor/d3300/functions/shootingmodes_a.html
    Look at the EXIF settings for your goose. Click on the file, right click and click properties on the menu.  Then, use those same general settings and see if you like the results. Get in the habit of looking at the settings for your images. for the images you don't like, compare the info and figure out what the issue was. Not enough light? Slow shutter speed? not enuff iso?..,etc..........
    Now then, after you read the links and make any adjustments you would like to try,  go outside with your camera and take a couple of images. Use moving cars for motion. Use flowers for color. etc......................
    Let us know how it goes..........................




    good point on the metering mode. it can make a big difference on how the camera reads the light & makes corrections in the more auto modes. i am not sure why gittum is having focus problems. the kestrel looks good. the rest are really soft. on the phoebe-the focus latched onto the post & it is clear. so the camera can focus! :) i would try a spot focus-on shutter priority mode. let the ISO float-Auto (aperature will automatically float on this setting) everything happens fast shooting outside so there is little time to select everything manually
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 640 Officer
    I think that Cassini's Finch is actually a Vermilion Flycatcher.  Where did you take that shot?  That species is common out west, but is a rare visitor to Florida in Winter.  Nice shots.  Love this thread.  Keep them coming!
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,193 AG



    A few from the past
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    Flash! I remember these. :)
    You need to come in here. And help Gogittum. You are the one that can figure out why he is having issues.
    Yes? Pleezzzeeeeeee.
    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • redsgurlredsgurl Posts: 541 Officer
    I know. A gull. But I just love this shot of it. It looks........ I dunno. Kinda like an owl from that angle.

    And of course a Spoonbill. My favorite marsh bird along with the Skimmer.

    Another friend of mine, this little Glossy

    Suz


    Capybara's are vicious and should not be let alone with small children. In-laws are another matter.............
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,193 AG
    gogittum said:
    Same thing I said to Redsgurl last week - how do you get the sharp focus on your flying birds shots ??  I read what she and another said, but I do most of that and my shots come out OK, but with soft edges and detail.  For those shots specifically, I use a Nikon D300s with Tamron 18-270.  My prosumer Nikons do about the same or a bit less.

    I did find that turning focus to infinity, then backing it off ¼" seemed to help some, but still room for improvement. 



     Birds flying is always a tough go, especially if coming right at you. AF-C (for Nikon) can help you alot. Also you probably want a decent depth of field to help secure a good focus. Of course if the subject barely fills the frame of your viewfinder, it is hard for the camera to sometimes get a good lock.  I may take a couple dozen shots of the Swallow Tail Kite only to get 5 that are spot on. It really is a numbers game when a bird is on the wing.
     In a sitting position, I was also told never to go full focus, in your case the 270. Always back off a little bit. Not sure of you f stops with that lens, possible an f4 but more that likely a 5.6.   I am either using my 300mm F4 or my 80-200 f2.8
     Shutter speed is king when shooting flying birds, most of the time I am hoping for shutter speeds around 1/1000th, to even 2000th of a second. You still need a decent f stop. For the f4, F8 would help, the 2.8 would be more like 5.6 If they are not obtainable, then all you can do is either raise your ISO or possible use a monopod.




    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,097 AG

    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,097 AG
    Here's an ugly one.  One that we usually delete but I still hadn't bothered to yet.  Ugly specimen, and ugly conditions - it was very foggy on the beach, causing teh washed-out look.  I thought this was interesting because it raises the question how many feathers can a molting bird lose and still be able to fly?  This ragged looking guy was still doing just fine.


    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 151 Deckhand
    xenia said:
    I think that Cassini's Finch is actually a Vermilion Flycatcher.  Where did you take that shot?  That species is common out west, but is a rare visitor to Florida in Winter.  Nice shots.  Love this thread.  Keep them coming!
    I went back and double checked and you're right - Vermilion Flycatcher.  Shot was in Blythe, CA in the winter.
  • JWTJWT Posts: 678 Officer
    awesome kite pictures! they have been scarce here for the last two years. one of my favorites!

    Mr..... that is one sad looking pelican! 
  • gogittumgogittum SW New MexicoPosts: 151 Deckhand
    edited March 12 #30
    You've all given me food for thought and I greatly appreciate it.  I haven't used the D300s too much lately - been mostly out on the trails chasing GeoCaches and using the B700 Nikon, which does quite well.  This is very rugged country and the big camera tends to get beat up pretty badly.  I'll bust the big'un out and get busy with it again.  I generally use it on Programmed Auto with spot exposure and focusing, trying to isolate my subject.  I'll try the shutter priority and see how it goes.  I did try aperture priority set on f8 for a while, for max definition and good depth of field but wasn't very pleased with it.  Can't remember why.  ISO is touchy - it doesn't do well at high ISO.  The 18-270 is a f3.5-f6.3 lens.  Pretty slow, but over-all it's done very well for me.

    You all well know that shooting birds on the wing is a "grab-your-chance" effort and not often conducive to setting up a shot, but we do the best we can. 

    Now for a show-off pair.......



    A couple of years ago, I was hiking just downstream of the "Upper Box" of the Gila River here and a big bird spooked out of a tree and flew ahead a bit.  I thought I saw about where it went, but in heavy cover it's not always easy to tell.  Glory be, but I found him again - big Great Horned Owl - this was a very big bird.  I got one fast shot off and he took off again and landed in another tree nearby.  I chased him down again.......



    This time he wasn't so understanding.  Look at that expression.  I'll leave y'all to guess as to his thoughts about me at this point.  :smiley:   These were with D300s/Tamron, f/6, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, 170mm, spot metering.



    These were right outside my kitchen window.


  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,193 AG
    >>The 18-270 is a f3.5-f6.3 lens.  Pretty slow, but over-all it's done very well for me.<<

    That means at the longer focal length you are at the f6.3 setting forcing you into lower light settings, higher ISO or a tripod/monopod set up.


    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
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