White Pelicans in IL

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May 11, 2005
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Chicago, IL
I wasn't aware that White Pelicans migrated through Illinois, but here are a few from today taken with a D2H and 300mm f/2.8 AF-S VR on a monopod. If you care to offer some suggestions to help me improve, please feel free.

1/3200th second @ f/5.6 ISO 400
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1/2500th second @ f/5.6 ISO 400
View attachment 88906
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
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Boaz, Alabama
Frank,

For birds in flight you did the first thing correctly and that is to keep your shutter speed fast as possible. Both images look very sharp and the placement in the frame is excellent. With the second one being a semi backlit situation it is going to be tough to keep the those bright white leading edges from burning but I don't personally think it's an image killer. Honestly they both look pretty darn good!
 
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Thanks Andy, I appreciate the honest opinion. I am not hanging my head over these images since I shot these with my gear on a monopod without any type of swival head. As these birds climbed in altitude, I just arched back to aim higher. Pretty crude, but that's the best that I could do. The skies were changing constantly from sunny to cloudy and back.
 
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Boaz, Alabama
Heck no I wouldn't be hanging my head either!

Have you ever tried just handholding your rig for flight shots? I use to own a very heavy 500/4 lens and handheld it all the time for flight shots and was always very pleased with the results. ( I'm about to purchase another one hopefully) I think you would be pleasantly surprised. Yes, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom but it can be done with excellent results and it's a whole lot less aggravation when you just don't want to lug a tripod around.
 

Commodorefirst

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May 1, 2005
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Missouri
Frank,

I have gotten to the point where I handhold a lot of my flight shots. I find the movement of following the bird is more natural handheld vs on a tripod. On a tripod with gimbol mount your body moves a different direction than the bird is flying, where holding by hand you swivel with the bird.

One thing I also do on blue bird days is shoot with centerweighted metering and perhaps -.3 ev that keeps the blinkies or blown whites down on my white birds, even during midday sun

Lots of flying white birds here on my family site shot that way:

http://homepage.mac.com/wadedowdy/Photos/PhotoAlbum61.html

note the gull flip sequence was shot matrix metering, and you can see the blown whites, but this was nearly 4 years ago, and i have learned a whole lot since then,

and some on my select site too, but not as many flying birds, but lots of white ones!

http://homepage.mac.com/wadedowdy/photoart/PhotoAlbum40.html


I generally shoot white birds either with spot metering metering on the white and +.7Ev to keep them white instead of grey, or I shoot in center weighted and leave alone or minus -.3

sometimes I do shoot matrix and -.7 to -1.0 EV.
Cheers, and these are good shots! work out that 300!

Wade
 
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Thanks for the tips Wade. I am certainly open for suggestions to improve. I'll be out there tomorrow if the WX holds up.
 
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Thanks SJ, yes the lens is a thrill to shoot with. I found these Pelican on Lake Nelson in Batavia (1 1/2 miles west of Randall Road and 1/4 mile south of Main Street on Lake Nelson Road). It's about a 25 minute drive from your home. It is north of I-355 and west of Orchard Road.
 
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Apr 13, 2005
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Saltillo, Ms
Great shots, Frank. I was surprised to see some white pelicans on reelfoot lake last year. I never knew that they came up that way. Go get some more shots of them.

I sure do wish I had a lens like that.
 
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Oregon
I have been to places in Oregon twice in the last year where Browns visit, missed them both times. Nice images and good timing:)
 
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Thanks Rex...it's one thing to own the lens, it's another to learn how to set up the camera so the images are decent. I hope to do better on my next visit, either tomorrow or Sunday...my EN EL4 batteries are charging right now!
 
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Thanks Gary, today was a great starting point for me and I hope to improve with each opportunity in the future.
 
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Richmond, Va
sure look good to me and I enjoyed some of the advice given here too. I will have to try some of those tips too.
 
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