Dang you bird people...

Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
46
Location
Dallas Texas
I stopped at a park today to get a few shots of some flags for a class I am taking. While I was there I saw a bird that I wanted to try shooting. My biggest lens is a 70-200 and no TC.

After looking at a few of the post here I just about talked myself out of posting. But I figure we all have to start somewhere on taking bird photos. So here are a few that I got today.

All of them are in the wild and cropped since I could not get too close before they would fly off.

This is the guy that I saw and wanted the photo of. Since it's a rather public park with plenty of people around each day I expected him to not be so skittish. I did not have the camera up while walking towards him and just pulled it up and shot when he went to flight. It's a bit soft on the bird.

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The following two shots were a surprise. While walking to the pond this little guy was on the ground. I took a couple shots of him on the ground and then followed him when he took off.

#2
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#3
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Then the last bird of the day was a Hawk of some kind. I happened to see him sitting on a tree top watching the area. I got to about 75 feet from the tree when he took off. I did get a few shots of him in flight but he went towards the sun and was really back lit. Between the clouds and the sun they were not really that great.

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I am still learning on shooting birds. I was using my D300 on full matrix 51 points with tracking. (A sports setting that I have been working with) I am not sure what is best for shooting birds besides a BIG lens.

I have a few more bird shots on my blog from where we visited a zoo in the Palm Springs area on Sat. if you want to look at them then you can visit here http://www.timsappphotography.com/blog I have been using the blog as a running gallery.

There is one bird shot there of a small little owl that was quite a treat. He is blind and the zoo keeps him as a rescue animal. When we got there the owl was on the keepers hand and she was standing right inside the entrance to the zoo greeting everyone showing up.


Tim Sapp
 
J

Jonboy2312

Guest
Those are really nice! Although it seems to me like the focus is a bit off in the first one. My D2H does things like that when it's set to Dynamic Area AF. I prefer using plain ol' single area AF, and select the exact sensor I need on the fly. I don't know if the same applies to a D300, though...
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
5,425
Location
Houston, TX
When shooting white birds, spot-meter on the [brightest] white you can see then dial in about 1/3 to 1/2 -EV. This helps stop the whites from blowing and brings out more detail in the feathers. Also shoot using RAW and use CNX - the combination can "rescue" shots that would be "toast" if done in JPEG.

I started with a 70 - 200 and caught many acceptable images using TC17E II on a sturdy tripod & head combination using mirror lock up and a remote shutte release.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
46
Location
Dallas Texas
When shooting white birds, spot-meter on the [brightest] white you can see then dial in about 1/3 to 1/2 -EV. This helps stop the whites from blowing and brings out more detail in the feathers.

Thanks for this pointer. I have been trying a few different things this couple weeks to see what the camera can do. And having not really shot a bird before I was not sure of the best way.

Also shoot using RAW and use CNX - the combination can "rescue" shots that would be "toast" if done in JPEG.

I always shoot raw with the D300... But I have been using Lightroom and not CNX. I did adjust the exposure a bit in Lightroom and then did a unsharp mask on a layer. I guess I should try it with the exposure a bit lower next time.

I started with a 70 - 200 and caught many acceptable images using TC17E II on a sturdy tripod & head combination using mirror lock up and a remote shutte release.

Yeah a TC is on my list of things to get. But since I do mostly portraiture work it's not as high as other things. I also shot this with hand holding the camera. I did not have a tripod with me at the time as I was heading to work when I saw the flags and started off on this walk.


Again, thanks for the advice.

Tim
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Messages
2,747
Location
Titusville, Florida
I dont' care much for the 3d matrix either. I can only assume I"m using it wrong, but I prefer the single.
Off to a good start though, you'll learn to hate those white birds!! LOL
 
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