Swallow-tailed kites

Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
420
Location
Central Florida
Recent encounter with hundreds of Swallow-tailed kites.


1. Old Bald Cypress trees serve as the roost.

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2. The are snoozing or preening at the start of the morning ... and preening looks like feels good.

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3. Some will leave the roost to take on some water. They also will clean their bottom-side and feet in this same manner (different approach and departure angle). Any suggestions for AF and/or EV settings for this type of shot would be greatly appreciated. I was using group AF with this shot (lots of blown whites and lots of missed points of focus with similar shots).

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4. Pulling up after a drink.

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5. Looking well feed ... soon they will begin their migration to South America.

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6. And then they are all airborne and riding thermals up to go forage for food.

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Thanks for looking, Jack
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
4,579
Location
Alaska
Excellent set and supporting text. Shots no.3, 4, and 5 are really excellent.

Yes, group AF is excellent for BIF shooting but can be problematic with birds diving, landing, etc, on either water or ground. Group focuses on whatever is the closest object falling under one of the points in the group. So unless you put the bottom of the group on the bird as it approaches water/ground, it will lock onto the water/ground in front of the bird. Shooting D850/500 I've had success recently on BIF using automatic focus point selection. It will still wander off and lock on the water now and then but often only for a frame or two out of a long burst. But when I get frustrated I just go back to single point which is WYSIWYG.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
420
Location
Central Florida
Excellent set and supporting text. Shots no.3, 4, and 5 are really excellent.

Yes, group AF is excellent for BIF shooting but can be problematic with birds diving, landing, etc, on either water or ground. Group focuses on whatever is the closest object falling under one of the points in the group. So unless you put the bottom of the group on the bird as it approaches water/ground, it will lock onto the water/ground in front of the bird. Shooting D850/500 I've had success recently on BIF using automatic focus point selection. It will still wander off and lock on the water now and then but often only for a frame or two out of a long burst. But when I get frustrated I just go back to single point which is WYSIWYG.
Thank you and Thank you for the response Dan. Next time out I'm going to try to put the bottom of the focus group points on the head ... and I'm setup to use single point too (only recently been using group AF). The aoutomatic is great when they are clear of the water and especially when they are overhead and close ... and the focus points do dance around. I have started using Group AF and Automatic AF because of the good people on this site ... THANK YOU to all! -Jack
 

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