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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:39 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Wrexham
Still being new to all this photography mullarkey, I've been over the moon with some of the shots I've taken and how sharp they've turned out.

Little bits of info that you learn from forums such as this, are starting to get stuck in the photography department of my ageing pea-brain!!

At other times though, I just can't do what I'm trying to do.

Take today for instance.

I was down by the riverside, taking advantage of the much improved weather we've had around here the last day or two! I was stood next to a pool of stagnant water in a little side eddy off the main river.

There were a few pond skaters about 4/5 yards away that I was trying to get a shot of with my 55-250mm.

Up until now, all the shots I've been happy with, have all been stationary or at very close range so was easy to eventually get the shot.

These little <ahem...> blighters, wouldn't keep still long enough to get a focus lock & take the pic of them!! They might only have moved a couple of inches away, but by the time I'd refocused, they'd skip off again.... :roll:

I gave up in the end and walked off muttering obscenities to myself....

What would've been the best approach to getting a decently sharp pic of them?

I've thought about it since I got home and remembered a post on here about someone saying to use servo mode(?) to focus on moving cars/bikes etc.... Would that have worked for these little **#@~'s...???

It's not the fastest lens either, so I couldn't achieve a really fast shutter speed I think I would've needed as I was zoomed in a lot....I think I was at 1/80sec!!

Help or suggestions very much appreciated :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:49 am 
Hi Rex_Ham,

Yes, you need to change the AF mode to AI-servo so that the when you half-press the shutter, the camera will continue to try and find focus. If you're in one shot AF the camera will only focus once and you're likely to miss the shot.

The particular terms above are for Canon DSLRs but they all have the same features. I think the Nikon continuous AF mode is called AF-C.

Good luck!

Mark


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:43 pm 
Quote:
The particular terms above are for Canon DSLRs but they all have the same features. I think the Nikon continuous AF mode is called AF-C.


AF-C in Sony too


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Hi Rex_Ham, in theory, continuous AF modes should track moving subjects, but the fast and erratic nature of insects - if I've understood that's what you're talking about shooting - means you'll be lucky to track them. if you are trying to shoot insects, then you'll need a lot of luck and patience - but by watching them, you may spot some which sit still for a while and they're your best bet - if you're not talking about insects, I apologise!

Best of luck,

Gordon

PS - I'm moving this to the wildlife section...


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:39 pm
Posts: 47
Location: Wrexham
Hi Gordon - thanks for the reply!

Yep, pond skaters would be classed as an insect...and as you say, awkward to get a picture of....

I think it would've been purely luck if I'd got one.....if I'd stayed there long enough....in the end, I ran out of patience!

I just wondered if there was an 'art' to it..... :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:46 am 
OH lol. I thought you were talking about skaters :P


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:15 am 
this might count as cruelty to animals but tie a a string around a beetle or a bee then take pictures as they try to fly away...

make sure u let them go afterwards.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:03 am 
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Location: Wrexham
0eyvind wrote:
OH lol. I thought you were talking about skaters :P


LOL!! I know I'm still pretty crap at this at the mo....but even I should be able to manage to get a shot of a nice big HUMAN pond skater... :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:27 pm 
If you are half-pressing the shutter to see whether you get an accurate focus and then press the shutter you run the risk that during that short wait your subject has left that focused spot again so if you did that... don't! Just press the shutter all the way so the camera immediately focuses and takes the photo. If it didn't catch the right focus so what? And if it did you have a good shot.

You could also set a smaller aperture to increase your DOF to increase your chances of a sharp shot. You may need a higher ISO to keep the shutter speed short enough.

Another option is to use a tripod and point the camera at a certain spot, focus, and wait until a critter enters the frame and 'CLICK'! You could perhaps use the same technique hand held when you can expect them to enter the frame fairly quickly again but its success rate will be lower.

And then there's always brute force. Set the camera in continuous mode and keep following a critter while the camera fires away. It's not as if you are wasting expensive film. You're bound to have a couple of focused shots in such series.

Ben
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When in doubt..... Press the shutter.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:39 pm
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Location: Wrexham
Good ideas Ben - thanks.

I was doing what you said first - and it was a big no-no!!

I'll try your suggestions next time I'm in that situation - cheers!


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