Road Train !!!!!!!!!!

by Russell McMahon

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19

First off, birds are jittery little creatures, and much of the time need to become accustomed to you before they will let you get in close and capture one of those amazing, highly detailed, frame-filling shots. "Hanging around" for a while will give birds time to get used to you, realize your not a predator, and be less likely to fly off the moment you start ...


16

There are several custom function options available to the 7D which can be configured to assist with tracking moving objects: C.FnIII -1 AI Servo Tracking Sensitivity You want this set to "Slow" - this will stop the AF system trying to refocus on anything that briefly passes between you and the subject you are tracking - handy with birds where branches etc ...


15

Be Ready! First thing first, when you can, always keep your eye trained on the subject through the lens. Birds are quick, alert, and attentive, and when they do something interesting thats worth capturing, you rarely have time to bring the camera to your eye, frame, focus, and get a shot. So its critical that you are watching the bird through the lens as ...


12

I think using blinds is a more advanced technique; you need to spend time learning how to track birds and what their behavior is so you can plan out what shots you are trying to get. Don't just point and shoot, think about what you're trying to say with an image; it could be showing the bird to others, but you'll find images are more effective when they're ...


12

Setting up a blind (a hiding spot) and a defined perch you want them to go to often yields the best results. Setup a feeder for the kind of bird you want (even in the wild). Shallow, running water also encourages them. Setup a single perch close to the feeder, birds will often land here first. This is where you take your shot. You'll want have a good ...


11

Your example is made up of images from two different situations. It is extremely likely that no lens / camera on earth could achieve the sort of image shown in that situation without "cheating" by using some sort of processing - and probably multiple images - to deal with bar removal. You CAN achieve extremely good results when you have control over where ...


10

Disclaimer: This is second hand information, so YMMV. While I was guiding a tour in Ecuador, I met a photographer who spent almost 10 years chasing hummingbirds for a book. We spent an hour or so talking about how to photograph them. Here are the basics: They are too fast to freeze with a high-speed shutter. Use flash with an ultra-fast discharge speed. ...


9

You will want to use an automatic continuous/servo mode to photograph birds in flight (BIF). Most modern cameras support some kind of servo mode, even entry-level cameras. Using servo mode is only part of the solution to tracking BIF, however. More advanced cameras offer additional AF features, such as multipoint AF Expansion or Zone AF that will use more ...


7

A lot of these suggestions are no different from general (and especially portrait) photography, but it's always worth repeating them: Don't forget to "fill the frame:" with the 400mm reach it's tempting to take pictures of birds that are far away, but to get detail you still need to get close. Focus on (and expose for) the eyes! If the wings are a little ...


7

spotting scopes can be useful and you can get publication-caliber images from them with practice (just check the birdwatching magazines). The downside is the lenses are relatively slow (F8 or slower) so they are useful in good lighting conditions but not nearly as good in marginal conditions. They are manual focus, and setup/use can be cumbersome and doing ...


7

It is great that you know what you want to shoot and have a respectable budget. The issue with what you are asking is that you will not be able to satisfy all those requirements at any price. The most critical is that bird photography takes long lenses which are they also need to be bright when you want to shoot wildlife in low-light. Honestly, it's hard to ...


7

That's a complicated want list with things that are fundamentally in conflict. Here are what I think are the key thigns you're asking for: Canon Body landscapes and people (wide angle zoom) flowers and occasional macro-style shots birds and critters (big, powerful telephoto) Body $2000, lens $2000 (max, $1500 preferred). So, $3500 total. Lightweight. ...


7

I wrote about this on my blog recently: http://www.chuqui.com/2013/06/getting-started-in-bird-photography-choose-your-weapons/ For someone getting started, it's not really true that you need a big, heavy, expensive camera set any more. There are some really nice, moderately priced cameras with what are called "superzoom" lenses. There are limitations to ...


6

There is no one lens that can do everything you want because wildlife and landscape require almost the exact opposite lens properties. I have the 18-135 and I love it as a travel lens - but it's not a good wildlife lens. For wildlife you want a long focal length and fast accurate auto-focus, long lenses tend to be big and heavy so they aren't very ...


5

Continuous auto-focus is almost always the right choice, but it's also just the first of many decisions you need to make. (warning: ultimately the answer is going to come down to "know how your gear will react in a given situation" and "practice practice practice"). To successfully get shots like this reliably, you need to learn how your camera functions ...


5

From a camera perspective the Nikon D5000 and Canon 600D are both perfectly usable and powerful enough for wildlife photography. However, neither one has a kit lens that would be useful for wildlife, especially birds. As a very general rule of thumb, 300mm is the minimum for larger game, 400mm for larger birds, and you can never have enough focal length for ...


5

Hummingbirds perch and rest: capture them then. (f/6.3, 1/125 sec., ISO 800) To evaluate the possibility of capturing the birds in flight without a flash, I invite viewers to decide for themselves whether the wings have been adequately frozen in this picture (f/5.6, 1/3200 sec, ISO 800). In response to a comment, @rfusca has suggested this answer be ...


5

According to the respective lenstip reviews, the 50-500 is produces somewhat better image quality than the 150-500 counterpart. However, it is bigger, heavier and about $600 more expensive. The extra 100mm of range on the wide end is not likely to be a particular advantage to you, but I guess could possibly be useful. In short, if weight and price are not ...


5

I'll take a stab at giving you some hints. Remember that nearly all photography stores will let you try out gear. This is key when selecting bodies and lenses. If you've researched and found 2-3 lenses you might be interested in coupled with a body or two, go to the store and check the combinations out. Maybe you will find that what seemed ok on the paper is ...


5

This is nothing to do with your settings; you just need a longer focal length - or in other words, a new, bigger, heavier, significantly more expensive lens. As a very rough rule of thumb, you'll want a focal length of around 400mm (full-frame equivalent) in order to do birding shots, or a lens which can go to about 250-300mm taking into account the 1.5x ...


4

Having used both, I'd say the 50-500 is the one you want from those two unless weight is an important factor. It's a bit sharper and offers less distortion at the long end, it's also smaller and therefore easier to handle in tight spaces like a blind. Most important however, the AF is faster. That said, you might want to consider a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 EX with ...


4

Counter-intuitively, shutter priority mode is often not the best way to go when photographing birds in flight. The auto and semi-auto modes often get confused and meter for the sky. A good solution is to set your camera to Manual, point it at the grass at your feet (preferably sunlit grass, not shady) and set the camera to expose that correctly. Adjust the ...


4

I shoot small birds at a bird feeder with a 70-200mm f2.8 + 2x teleconverter on a 1.5x crop-sensor Nikon DSLR (effectively 600mm). If you're also shooting small birds, my experience may be helpful. I keep the camera on a tripod, with the ballhead loose so I can swivel quickly and easily. Holding the camera for any length of time is difficult not just ...


4

Here is a relevant 1:1 snippet from near the middle: Nothing looks out of expectation here. You can definitely see the softness of the lens a bit, and it looks like the picture was overexposed. The lens sharpness for this detail with this size sensor is reasonable enough. The overexposure is making the tops of the flamingos look more white than pink. ...


3

At the risk of contradicting everyone, the one with the longest zoom will be better for non-professional bird photography. On your list, that is the L810 but I would recommend a camera with more controls over that one, such as the Nikon P510 which I just reviewed and has a 42X optical zoom reaching 1000mm. It is available for $429 USD. Why? Because what ...


3

I love going to Papa John's Park over off of Bluegrass Parkway. If you're able to travel and getting up early, you can go to Birnhim just south of Louisville near bardstown. They have some awesome woods and trees. May sound silly, but when I got into photography several years ago, I got a season pass to the Louisville Zoo and had some awesome learning ...


3

Very good advice given so far. I'll add that practicing and mastering the technique of panning will let you capture birds in flight (BiF). You can practice on moving cars or similar subjects. I am not familiar with the Nikon D7000, but some cameras (Canon's 7D in particular) have advance auto-focus tracking modes and zones, which let you lock on and follow ...


3

I'm surprised that no options that can take a teleconverter have been mentioned. There are many extensive answers here, however I think one lens in particular might fulfill most of your needs (landscapes excepted, as you will probably want something fairly wide angle for your general landscape photography). The Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS (Mark I, not Mark ...


3

I you're going to be standing on the ground with cages on poles like in the image you posted then you're out of luck. In order to throw the cage bars out of focus to the extent to which they don't show up in the image your lens will have to be very close to the cage (touching if possible). You'll need a wide aperture lens with a fairly close focusing ...


3

A crop camera (1.6x) and Sigma's "Bigma" lens (50-500mm), would get you a respectable 800mm reach and value. In the end, learning bird behavior, approach techniques, and perfecting your patience are probably going to be the best benefit no matter your gear.



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