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Dragon Monster...In Flight!

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by stealthman_1, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Finally was able to nail some with the 400 f2.8 AFS-I
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  2. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    Cool... Nicely done.
  3. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    That critter looks like it could lay down ground fire!

    Nice capture.
  4. tojor


    Jul 27, 2005
    Great DIF shot.
  5. Thanks...
    These aren't your beautiful colors variety seen mostly here. I don't even know what they are but we have a huge hatch this year and where I swim my dog there are literally clouds of them. Which you'd think would help in photographing them in flight, but not so much! The places I've been most successful in photographing them in flight have been spots they were moving through, which means more strait flying and less erratic maneuvers. I've also found that using a vehicle as a blind isn't bad either. Both Sat and Sun I got some of my best shots either shooting over or from inside my SUV. I got the idea to shoot from inside on Saturday as I went to leave the lake. Loaded the dog, loaded the gear, jumped in the front seat, shut the door and within 30 seconds, there hovers a Dragon within a foot of my window. I could have filled a frame at 17mm! Of course the camera was in the back seat, but it made me rethink how to shoot the 400mm, which I have had previously zero luck with for the most part. Another improvement with the 400 was strapping a 4 pound Kenesis bean bag over the lens...actually hanging under the lens so it doesn't interfere with the manual focus ring. With no VR and shooting off a monopod anything to help stabilize the lens helps sharpness. Another trick I realized was to set the D3 to maximum front focus. As you want them coming or at least angling at you and you have zero time and their too erratic for the AF to normally track them, front focus bias gave me more in focus shots. A very good weekend shoot.:biggrin: Several people asked what I was shooting and I got some pretty blank stares when I told them I was shooting DIFs! Oh, one more thing...I shot with the SB800 in manual at full power as well and I think it helped a bit. One guy told me...
    "you can't shoot in broad day light with a flash..." Oh well....
  6. I am very impressed, have enough trouble when they are swaying in a breeze, and you are yanking them out of the sky!! Cool.
  7. LOL!!!!!!!!!

    excellent work! I was trying to catch some in flight with the 70-300 vr on auto. No luck yet. I think the trick is to pick a spot with sky background and prefocus on something nearby so the lens has less hunting and travel when something comes up.

    Trying to identify some I took via Flickr I did not really come across any in flight so anything decent must be pretty rare. There's tons of extreme macros that are great but one wonders if the thing is still alive.


  8. I have had very, very poor results if the Dragons are not in a sky background. They just do not stay on the sensor long enough in flight for it to pick 'them' vs. the background. MF has been spotty in the same situation and what I've gotten that was relatively sharp, the Dragons don't stand out as much as I'd like. Another issue is I've generally been shooting at f9 to f13 which doesn't leave the most pleasing bokeh in the OOF areas. Maybe I'll try shooting large aperture again, but only having a couple inches of DOF I think will be a very difficult challenge to overcome.
  9. Very nice DIF shot, Tim!
  10. Ron S

    Ron S Guest

    wow in flight, too cool!
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