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My Tern Series

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Kevin Scott, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. While at Viera, using the 300/f4 afs and 1.7tc, I was attempting to track and capture this tern who was putting on quite a show. It was very aggravating as I couldn't consistently get focus lock on the bird. I think it was the combo that was causing the difficulty. I managed to get a few good shots and overall it was very fun trying. These are all from a single series except for the last shot which was from a different pass.

    All taken with the 300/f4 AF-s and the Nikon 1.7tc handheld, aperture priority.

    Scouring the waters below for the next victim.

    Target spotted

    Dive bomb

    Initial point of entry

    This shot I thought was kinda cool because of the splash but while sharpening at 100% I noticed the 2 little brown spots to the left of the splash. Upon further examination, I noticed that they're actually 2 little fishies who jumped out of the water to avoid getting eaten!

    And success! Hard to believe they managed to get their prey considering how small the fishies are and they spot them from the air. Makes me wonder if they hurt their eyes when they hit the water or close them to protect them. Things that make you go hmmmm.....
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Super catch on that series Kevin.

    Very good.

    Two little fishies :>)))) cool.
  3. Very nice series, Kevin. Nice and sharp shots! Love the impact shot with the lil' guys saving their behinds:biggrin: :biggrin: thanks for pointing that out. Handheld and with the 1.7 on top of that, impressive!
  4. A marvelous series! Great shots!
  5. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    Outstanding Kevin. Having shot those suckers before I know how tough it is to track them and to lock on to them. The entry point shot is prime.
  6. Thanks Gale, Frits and Phil! I thought it was kind of funny, too, about the little fishies. Sure looks like they're jumping but it could be they were blasted out of the water from the impact of the bird.
  7. I was glad to get as many keepers as I did. It was certainly frustrating trying to lock focus on this little sucker! I kept trying different focus settings and none seemed great. As soon as he'd leave the sky and the background got busier, the camera just gave up. Very difficult then to get re-tracked!

    I think my days of 300+1.7tc are over for trying these kinds of shots. May have to start borrowing your 500/wimberly combo and try to get used to shooting flight shots on a tripod. That's even harder for me! :wink:
  8. Hi Kevin,

    Great photos of the fishing dive.

    To begin to answer your question...
    Many of the diving birds have a nictating membrane which is like a second clear eyelid that they can close before hitting the water to add protection for their eyes. Not sure if this particular tern has them.

    I understand that many Pelicans eventually go too blind to continue to hunt from hitting the water too many times, one of their leading causes of death.

  9. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Another excellent series with that 300 f4 + 1.7 TC Kevin. I too have tried to shoot these guys, and I know just how hard it was for you to get this series.

    Very well done. :wink:
  10. Outstanding series here Kevin!
  11. Interesting information, Bob. I can see where they'd cause damage because they really hit the water with a lot of force.
  12. Well Kevin One Good Tern deserves another...

    two little fishies.. cool... Guess that Nikon Glass is pretty good stuff?
  13. Hey Eric! I'm really happy with my Nikon glass. There were so many options to consider when I first started but based on guidance from others, I've ended up with all Nikon glass.

    Maybe if I move up to a 500 I'll have to consider one of the less expensive alternatives, but for now I've very pleased with the glass I've got!
  14. radz


    Nov 12, 2005
    This excellent series shots!!
  15. I assume you used the D2X and that you did not shoot in high speed mode. If that's the case, how well do the images hold up under cropping? Do you think the smaller lens (compared to 500mm) make it easier to get the shot? Nice images.
  16. You know yesterday out with helmet we saw a Tern diving on something in the water as well.. Not even close enough to get a shot of it, but a interesting site to see...

  17. Hi Muril,
    Yes, I used the D2x...it's the only camera I have. The eagles were shot in HSC mode, the Green Heron was in "full frame" mode. Typically I'm always in HSC mode but I was able to get so close to the Heron that I had to switch.

    I find that even in HSC mode, I have great latitude in cropping the image for posting shots here. Provided the shot doesn't suffer from camera shake I can crop pretty severely and still get an ok shot. I typically won't crop too much though as if it's higher ISO then it gets kinda grainy, at least with dark birds. Backgrounds can always get a dose of Gaussian blur to camoflage it.

    As for smaller lens vs. larger lens....I think I'd rather have the 500mm, at least for the areas that I frequently shoot. There were occasions, when using Harry's 500mm, that the 500 was too long but that's not usually the case. Still considering the 200-400 but since I'm in no position to buy immediately, there's no pressure.
  18. These are excellent Kevin!
  19. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Join the club. :rolleyes: 
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