Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Little Birdie Told Me

Freezing the motion of a bird in flight is not always easy. It takes a fast shutter speed of at least 1/1250 sec, and a steady hand. But there are times when showing some motion gives a feeling of life and movement in an image. This image was taken with a relatively slow shutter speed of 1/15 sec while panning as the bird flew by. I took many many many, and did I say MANY?, shots on this early morning in Bosque del Apache in New Mexico in order to get this one successful image.

It is important to know that everyone, whether a professional photographer or not, needs to take many shots in order to get what they seek.

The camera was mounted on a sturdy tripod with a ballhead and the Wimberley Sidekick attached. If you are not familiar with the Sidekick, check it out on the web. It is inexpensive, lightweight, packs easily, and enables you to easily pan or track birds in flight. In fact, I use it nearly every time I have the camera on a tripod, unless I am shooting with a wide angle lens.

Panning is a skill that just takes practice. Try to pan smoothly from one side to the other, keeping the subject in the same part of the viewfinder throughout the pan. Also, start panning before you trip the shutter, and keep panning even after you release the shutter button. That helps you to get a good panning shot.

1/15 sec at f/36, ISO 100. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lens on Canon 5D Mark III body. Gitzo tripod with ballhead and Wimberley Sidekick.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice."  --Vladimir Horowitz

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