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A Spectacular Day: Swans, (H)Owls, Northern Harriers and Bill Dewey - all in one day

Discussion in 'Birds' started by andreasb, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. as I'm sure you have seen from Bills Post, I had the distinct pleasure to shoot with him Friday morning. Amazing amount of Swans but boy is it hard because it is so dark in the morning, weather looked grim but got better with some sun to help out. We need all the help up here with light, it is so dark here right now - we are pushing high ISO's, and it shows on my pictures.

    We had great opportunities with the Swans and Owls, sadly most of my shots mostly are dim and out of focus, I really dont understand why, not sure if the cold weather has something to do with it, will have to call Nikon for help to discuss what could be the reason. After the Firmware upgrade moving flying targets continue to be a challenge, and I will probbaly ask Nikon to take a look at my combo of lens and D2x to help figure out what the problem is.

    Here are some of the shots that sort of came out (lot's of PP):
    Swans (of course)
    NIKON D2X    ---    500mm    f/4.0    1/1000s    ISO 640

    Short Eared Owl sitting
    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/5.6    1/320s    ISO 200

    Flying Short Eared Owl series
    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/640s    ISO 640

    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/640s    ISO 640

    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/640s    ISO 640

    Flying Short Ear Owl
    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/8.0    1/250s    ISO 100

    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/6.3    1/1000s    ISO 200

    Fighting Griffins? One wonders where the had the notion of Griffins from after seeing these shots?
    NIKON D2X    ---    500mm    f/4.5    1/2000s    ISO 200

    NIKON D2X    ---    500mm    f/4.5    1/2500s    ISO 200

    Rest of the shots that are OK are up on http://www.pbase.com/andreasb/swans_owls_and_harriers_with_bill_dewey&page=1
  2. Wow, these are darn good Andreas. They are very sharp. Those owls are pretty hard to follow for me anyway. I love those last two shots. I am glad you got to see the owls with Bill. I went yesterday and the weather was horrible. There was no light at all. I hope to make it back with good light. Sorry I could not go with you guys.
  3. Andreas, I love those frames too. How did you do that? I really like that you could put the exif info on them also.
  4. Andreas, well done. I have nothing to critique but only praise to offer. Any of them I would proudly call my own if I were you.


  5. Thanks all for the kind words, the frames are made with a special very unstable alpha version of Rory Hills Ditto javascript program, it is not ready for general consumption just yet, but when it works it looks great!

    I really had to sharpen these hard and as you see no cropping....
  6. Excellent Andreas. The last two, and the #2 shot are my favorite of this bunch. Those Owl's have such piercing eyes.
  7. Holy smokes - some of those are darn good Andreas. Let me know how you make out with Nikon...
  8. Well, now everyone can see why I didn't post my "2 birds in one shot" shots, that one with the talons looks as good here as it did when we were chimping it.

    We sure did have the better of the 2 days, Andreas, it was great seeing you again. And now I really owe you and Rory one in getting my butt in gear up to your area as well. Pretty cool that we have found this Owl, or Wol as Paul says :wink: , area and that it is seeming to be consistent. This would be awesome on a day with Blue Bird sky, eh?

    Man, I like that Talons in the Air shot.......i'm jealous....
  9. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    I haven't seen the originals of course, but these look plenty sharp to me. I'd say that you did have a spectacular day. :smile:
  10. Great shots, Andreas. The last 2 are spectacular.
  11. I took over 300 shots of the owls that day & only a few where close to being in focus, I have PP's quite hard to get this out of them.

    Here is a case in point: 25 meters (75 ft) TC14, ISO 200 at 1/200, F7.1. taken with High Speed Crop, most with AF-C some with AF-S, on a Gitzo 415 with a fully locked down Wimberley, with me bracing the camera and lens. I took about 20 of these shots. At least one of them should be really sharp, none of them are. I just don't get it. It was quite cold around freezinga and very humid, does that affect the lenses this much?

    Here is a 100 % crop, any opinions? Suggestions?
    NIKON D2X    ---    700mm    f/7.1    1/200s    ISO 200
  12. Bruin Backer

    Bruin Backer Guest

    Lets all sing together....

    Happy Birthday to Phil. 47 Years young today.

    Congrats PHil and Have a Great Birthday.
  13. Thank you, thank you, Brain :smile:
  14. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Now that is weird. You do seem to be having focus issues. By any chance did you try manual focus on any of your shots?
  15. Andreas
    Soemthign seesm wrong if that is your keeper rate, I knwo prior to the FW release I had troubels shootign BIF but it is much improved since then adn static shots are spot on sound liek either the camera or lens is due for a trip to Nikon, did you try your lens on Rorys camera to see the results might be a quick way fo pinpointing the problem
  16. Thanks Mike, I have not been up to Rorys yet with this one. I did some tests at home though and I think that a lot of this shake related somehow. I tested several speeds and I finally set the D@X to Hi 1 ISO and about 1/1000 of a seconds. with JPG and Noise reduction to High the shots come up quite sharp, before that that they start to exhibit the same problems as the Owl.... This on a Gitzo 415 with a full Wimberley or large Ballhead...

    I think my X will take a trip to LA after New year to see what they can find just so I can eliminate the camera from this, but it does not seem reasonable to me that I would have to shoot at these kind of speeds to get reasonably sharp shots. And it is so dark here now thata we have to go up to HI 1 to get sharp shots....
  17. James...If you go to atncentral.com you will find all kinds of nice frames there that look similar to the ones Aundreas has.
    A similar exif is a script that Joe Colson put together. It is on of his threads if you look for it. It was resurected not too long ago so it should be easy to find.

    Hope this helps you.
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