Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:36 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: bird photography
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:26 pm 
hi all i need some help and tips, basical;ly i will be spending a day at a falconry center taking pictures of the birds they have and need some tips and advice to get the best shots from the equipment I have.
I have
sony a390
tamron 70-300(cheaper version)
sony 18-70
tripod

i plan on taking some static shots and flying shots so any help or advice on how i can get the best from my current equipment would be great as i am a novice at this but would like to capture some shots of owls and hawks in flight.

many thanks
james


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 825
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
If the center is small or enclosed, you probably don't need a lot of zoom - either lens would be about equal - if larger, the zoom will probably help you more - though how much daylight you have will affect your performance as neither lens is particularly fast. The zoom could be good for closeups too.

In general, the tripod probably won't do much good - birds don't sit too still, so long exposures are out, and you don't have any really heavy lenses that couldn't be handheld - I'd think you're best just handholding and maintaining maximum movement and flexibility.

I'd probably recommend sticking with either P mode or A mode, since you're not too familiar with this type of photography - the one thing I'd recommend is watching your shutter speed and making sure if shooting any moving birds that it be at 1/500 or faster. If shooting a sitting bird, you could likely get away with 1/100 or so without too much problem. Use spot focus mode - it'll probably be best so you can ensure you focus on the bird - in general, try to always focus on the bird's eye, as that's the best spot to make sure you have in focus. I'd set your focus to AF-S mode - single focus - continuous isn't as useful unless you really know how to shoot moving or flying birds - with single AF, you can half-press the shutter to lock focus where you need, then fully press to trigger the shutter. I'd also put your drive mode in 'continuous'...your camera isn't super-fast on frame rate, so in continuous mode, a quick press of the shutter will still get you one shot...but holding down the shutter will let you take a few - as many as you want or need by just holding the shutter down. I'd recommend shooting often - take multiple shots of each bird in each pose - if you have slower shutter speeds, there will inevitably be moments a bird flinches, moves, blinks, darts its head - and you'll get some blurry shots. Take 3 or 4 shots of each pose, and one of them is more likely to come out right - take only one, and if the bird moved in that moment, that's one shot in the garbage that can't be corrected.

Hope that helps.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8028
Location: UK
For static photos, I'd suggest A mode. The depth of field can be less than you think, depending on how close you get. Following example was taken at f/11 and just about gets the eyes and beak into focus.

Image

If you're much further out then you can get away with bigger apertures. Do review at the time, and/or take shots at wider and stopped down to hedge the output.

Like Justin said, they do tend to move around, and the longer exposures will open up a motion blur risk, plus I'm sure some of their eyelids are synchronised to my shutter. Taking several shots will help you get a great one.

Oh, if the bird is quite contrasty like the harris hawk above, lower ISO will give you more dynamic range to keep the detail in both dark and light areas. When I first took the above shot I had auto ISO on, and I found I was borderline clipping the highlight detail (beak). Reducing to ISO400 solved that for me at the time.


For flying birds with unpredictable paths, I'd suggest S mode set to 1/500s or even faster if light allows. I would use continuous AF and continuous shooting, centre point AF. Keep the bird centred and crop to frame if needed when you get home. Expect a significant number of duff shots. If they fly repeatedly on a predicable flight path, you can try manual pre-focus instead and wait for them to go into the target zone.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:43 pm 
thanks alot both of you for the tips and advice. this is something that is interesting me more and more(bird photography) and i think i will persue it further.

thanks again guys

james


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 825
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
No problem - if you do get addicted to it, I'm afraid I have bad news for you - it's going to start hurting your wallet. You're going to want a longer zoom lens, then a faster continuous frame rate body, then a faster longer zoom lens, then a higher-res body, then a long prime lens, then a new camera body with even faster continuous frame rate and more focus points, then a faster long prime lens...

It keeps going on and on. Fair warning!

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:17 pm 
haha i think its already started im already looking at my next body and lenses.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 8:38 am
Posts: 357
Here's an interesting, humorous and informative film on Bird Photography. It is broken up into the three parts:

Part 1:
Image

Part 2:
Image

Part 3:
Image

Type in bird photography in to youtube and find a lot of good footage and people talking about it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 1012
Location: North of the 49th parallel
Interesting set of videos there Capital, pretty dedicated guy.
Some members from a bird forum that I belong to travel the world to add to their “life-list”.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group