Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill - Page 2
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Old 09-30-2012   #11
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Default Re: Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill

Thanks for more very useful tips Jim
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Old 09-30-2012   #12
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Default Re: Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill

I just went to an air show to practice whith this in mind. The aircraft flight line is most times more predictable than a bird which makes practice useful. I also attempted using both eyes open as suggested earlier, and found it difficult to make the initial acquisition.
Might continue to work on this,
Best wishes.
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Old 09-30-2012   #13
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Default Re: Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill

very useful tip, thanks a lot
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Old 09-30-2012   #14
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Originally Posted by golfer View Post
I just went to an air show to practice whith this in mind. The aircraft flight line is most times more predictable than a bird which makes practice useful. I also attempted using both eyes open as suggested earlier, and found it difficult to make the initial acquisition.
Might continue to work on this,
Best wishes.
One thing I've found to be helpful is instead of tryign to find hte bird for the autofocus to lock onto, pick a spot about hte same distance away roughly like a treeline, do a quick focus on that, then quickly move lens to where bird is flying aNd it will be mostly in focus and much easier to get camera to lock focus onto the bird, and you'll see the bird in focus. If you just instead try to locate bird, the camera won''t be focussed in right distance, and it'll be blurry and have hard time lockign onto bird

IF there's no treeline or object approximately where bird is, just use hte groudn to get a 'prefocus' distance and then swing it up to bird- this prefocusing stops a lot of the lens hunting too and when you half press the shutter it will almsot always instantly lock focus onto bird

Big birds are easier
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Old 10-01-2012   #15
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Default Re: Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill

Great tip, Jim.
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Old 10-01-2012   #16
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One thing I've found to be helpful is instead of tryign to find hte bird for the autofocus to lock onto, pick a spot about hte same distance away roughly like a treeline, do a quick focus on that, then quickly move lens to where bird is flying aNd it will be mostly in focus and much easier to get camera to lock focus onto the bird, and you'll see the bird in focus. If you just instead try to locate bird, the camera won''t be focussed in right distance, and it'll be blurry and have hard time lockign onto bird

IF there's no treeline or object approximately where bird is, just use hte groudn to get a 'prefocus' distance and then swing it up to bird- this prefocusing stops a lot of the lens hunting too and when you half press the shutter it will almsot always instantly lock focus onto bird

Big birds are easier
Yes - this is exactly what I meant by pre-focusing. I will usually just use the ground at the distance desired. I will often point the lens and focus on the approximate distance without even looking thru the viewfinder. I will usually do the pre-focus and then set the lens down and wait for the bird to arrive. Sometimes I will pause on the way to bringing the lens up to my eye and pre-focus. You still need to find the bird with the viewfinder and focus on it to complete the initial acquisition, but the initial focus will occur faster if you have pre-focused.
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Old 10-01-2012   #17
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. You still need to find the bird with the viewfinder and focus on it to complete the initial acquisition, but the initial focus will occur faster if you have pre-focused.
I find also that I can zoom out the lens after prefocusing in order to give a larger field of view for the intitial focus contact, then zoom in on bird once focus has been established- I use a Sigma 50-500 OS which is a pretty nice lens, but it does hunt quite a bit, plus the fact that it weighs abotu as much as a baby elephant with a weight problem, and I find it hard to get a lock o nthe birds in flight unless I've doen htis prefocus- it seems if the bird is al ittle in focus when moving hte lens aroudn to find it. then this lens doesn't hunt asm uch, but it still usually focusses out hten back in again if I don't have the focus prettyy spot on the bird when I fidn hte bird- I generally use spot focus or single point focus to avoid zone catchign objects in the foreground- spot focus is pretty difficult though
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Old 10-01-2012   #18
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Default Re: Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill

and by the way Jim- just had a look at your site- went through the 'crazy action' gallery and wow- lots of nice and crazy shots- what lens and camera do you use? The detail i nthose shots are fantastic
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Old 10-01-2012   #19
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and by the way Jim- just had a look at your site- went through the 'crazy action' gallery and wow- lots of nice and crazy shots- what lens and camera do you use? The detail i nthose shots are fantastic
Thanks for the kind words.

I haven't updated my site in quite a while, particularly the Crazy action gallery. The images in that gallery wer made with 20d, 1D2n, & 1D3 cameras. All the images in there were made hand held. Most of them were made with a 500mm or 500mm + TC combination. I am now using a 1D4 with the 600mm IS II with and without teleconverters. I have many more current images that are better than the ones in the gallery. One of these days I will put some of them on my site.
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Old 10-04-2012   #20
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Default Re: Photographing Birds in Flight #3 - Acquisition Skill

thanks


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