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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Weeeell, I was thinking hard about posting the following birds of prey in the thread for "feathered friends" but I decided against that. And screening through the other threads here I thought that a proper "definitive thread" for these kinds of birds was in order.
So let me kick this off with some shots I captured at the Nuremberg Zoo just yesterday.

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Bearded Vulture 31604 by Thomas, on Flickr
Captured with Nikon AF-S VRII 70-200/2.8 at 200mm, f2.8, 1/60 sec. Available in full resolution: just click through the image and choose the action "view all sizes".

And another vulture captured my eye with the intriguing structure and color gradients in his plumage:

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Vulture 31595 by Thomas, on Flickr
Captured with Nikon AF-S VRII 70-200/2.8 at 200mm, f2.8, 1/125 sec

This was a majestic vulture. But especially with large birds of prey I find it quite depressing to see those animals kept from circling the wide sky, soaring in the lift of some unseen thermal.
So the shadow of the wire mesh reminds you of the cage he's in...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:54 pm 
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All 100% crops. (Not the best pics, but pleased I saw them)

Kestrel from a few days ago

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Couple of a Buzzard, from a few weeks ago.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Bald eagle at Hawk Conservancy Trust. Not a typical portrait angle but I love the way the feathers spread out here.

Looks like exif got eaten there. Erm...
Canon 7D, 100-400L@275mm, 1/500s, f/8, ISO200
Harsh sunlight meant I had to choose between the light or dark bits as this was pushing the dynamic range to its limits if I want both. So this close head shot meant I could keep to the light.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:37 am 
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Very good, popo! Looks up close and personal, albeit at 440mm equivalent focal length you must have been standing pretty far below the eagle.
How did you manage the dark background? I would have expected the shot against the sky.
And you did not have problems to shoot through the fence?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:14 am 
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The bird was tethered and there's a low fence in front to keep people back. At the time the bird was bending its head back so I wasn't low down myself. The bird's shelter (like an open shed) was behind which blocked the sun so appears dark.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:38 am 
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Thanks for the insight, popo. And again: great, great shot!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:59 am 
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At the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam. Only the first owl was thaken in an enclosure, the rest was taken during a bird show.
All with a 80-200 af-d on a d700.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Great: Birds in flight!
Just one Q, Pim: Why did you choose to shoot at f/8? A little more background-isolation would have served the shots well. And your zoom is certainly sharp enough at f/2.8...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:13 pm 
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I don't know if those are cropped much if at all. If not, at those magnifications the depth of field is already very small and with a fast moving subject the focus hit rate will be low. For the stationary subjects though it would have been interesting to see a bigger aperture shot.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:12 pm 
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@Popo and Thomas,

I shot these birds at f8 beacause of my inexperience with these moving subjects (I mostly do buildings). So with these being my first shot's of flying birds I figured that at f8 I might have more keepers. I don't know if it was me, but I had trouble keeping the focus on the moving birds. I had my d700 on continious mode and adjusted al the tracking features accordingly. As for cropping, yes all these images are cropped. Next time I will try a more shallower dof. It's a pitty that they have only two shows of about 45 minutes each day, but then again, if it's better for the birds.

Thank you for your comments

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Until you get the focus better, having more DoF from smaller apertures helps. Tracking a bird isn't that easy!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Major Lewis - Burrowing Owl at Hawk Conservancy Trust

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:58 am 
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Great shots everyone, I haven’t been posting much here lately, this looks like a good place to get started again.

This Peregrine put an abrupt end to one of my recent shorebird photo sessions

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:32 am 
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Kokanee are spawning in the the river by my house. Eagles and Turkey Vultures are out in force. The Vultures are very shy and it hard too get close. Add in challenging lighting conditions and it was hard to get a good shot. Got a decent one of an eagle a few days later though.

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IMG_7747 by jucoco, on Flickr

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IMG_7881 by jucoco, on Flickr

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Mission Greenway Oct 2011 by jucoco, on Flickr

Just more excuses to splurge on that 100 - 400L :-)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:37 am 
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Popo your eagle shot is just stunning! The detail and sharpness makes me very envious. Schultze love the owl shots. Especially the one flying towards you and those orange eyes. Makes me wonder if there is any bird shows in Western Canada! Imma have to google it :-)

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