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BIF My First
Posted By: Damn Brit, 07-11-2009, 02:21 AM

Well apart from a couple of hummers.

I saw this kettle of turkey vultures hanging out in the thermals high up in the Oakland Hills. It was 1.30, bright and sunny but hey, you got to take them when you get the chance right.
I wouldn't mind some comments from you more experienced birders.

K20D and DA 55-300 f/8

Last edited by Damn Brit; 12-27-2009 at 12:25 AM.
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07-11-2009, 05:58 AM   #2
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First one and last one are my favorites, Gary. I have no comment to give on birding itself, I've only gotten a handful of decent bird photographs, and don't really have the equipment or patience for it.
07-11-2009, 06:20 AM   #3
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These look good to me, Gary. Try as I might, I struggle with BIF; a good cature for me is a matter of luck.

Looks to me like you quicker of eye and hand than I, since all of these look pretty darn sharp.

Jer
07-11-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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Gary,

Very nice shots...and yup, best you can get with the sun and angles you have when they are directly overhead like this. Something you notice is why birders generally consider 400mm as the minimum focal length for birding. With your 300 zoom you prolly could add a 1.4x TC and, of course have to MF but it will get you much closer.

But, hey, you at least got the shots. A few years back I was out for a walk and took a short cut behind a nearby Embassy Suites where what do I find? A grounded Red Tail Hawk. The thing was obviously in distress from something because it would not take off no matter how close I got. Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me so I never got a single shot. But the thing was the biggest RTH I ever have come across, a good 4' tall. Beautiful as could be. I called our ASPCA/Animal Control as they handle injured creatures of all sorts. but by the time they arrived the bird moved on somewhere. We looked everywhere but it apparently had regained it's senses enough to get moving.

I am awful at birding shots, but I do practice on hummingbirds as well as finches around out place. Plus now I never am sans camera, which of course means I am never gonna find such an opportunity again. Gotta story about me and what seemed like a 47' moose I met up with in Yellowstone back in '76 that is really funny....no camera then either...sigh...so good for you getting the shots!

07-11-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Every now and then I try shooting birds in fly, but rarely succeed. I like the last two a lot!
07-11-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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You want my thoughts... crop, crop, crop. Unless the environment is particularly interesting, you need to make the bird bigger. If you can (and if you get the focus right on a K20D you have a lot of pixels to crop from), try to cut down and focus more on the bird.

Other than that, you had bad luck with the light, but that is the one thing that is very hard to control -- that's why BIF can be so frustrating at times. Neither the subject nor the environment are possible to control to any real extent. The best thing you can do is position yourself so that the light falls relatively favorably (by picking the time of the day and location) on birds when they show up. Takes a lot of time and patience though.

And yeah, 300mm is a little on the short side. I use a 400/5.6 and have to crop my shots 50% or more most of the time.
07-11-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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You did better than I do. Great effort.

Ray
07-11-2009, 10:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
First one and last one are my favorites, Gary. I have no comment to give on birding itself, I've only gotten a handful of decent bird photographs, and don't really have the equipment or patience for it.
QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
These look good to me, Gary. Try as I might, I struggle with BIF; a good cature for me is a matter of luck.

Looks to me like you quicker of eye and hand than I, since all of these look pretty darn sharp.

Jer
QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
Gary,

Very nice shots...and yup, best you can get with the sun and angles you have when they are directly overhead like this. Something you notice is why birders generally consider 400mm as the minimum focal length for birding. With your 300 zoom you prolly could add a 1.4x TC and, of course have to MF but it will get you much closer.

But, hey, you at least got the shots. A few years back I was out for a walk and took a short cut behind a nearby Embassy Suites where what do I find? A grounded Red Tail Hawk. The thing was obviously in distress from something because it would not take off no matter how close I got. Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me so I never got a single shot. But the thing was the biggest RTH I ever have come across, a good 4' tall. Beautiful as could be. I called our ASPCA/Animal Control as they handle injured creatures of all sorts. but by the time they arrived the bird moved on somewhere. We looked everywhere but it apparently had regained it's senses enough to get moving.

I am awful at birding shots, but I do practice on hummingbirds as well as finches around out place. Plus now I never am sans camera, which of course means I am never gonna find such an opportunity again. Gotta story about me and what seemed like a 47' moose I met up with in Yellowstone back in '76 that is really funny....no camera then either...sigh...so good for you getting the shots!
QuoteOriginally posted by gawan Quote
Every now and then I try shooting birds in fly, but rarely succeed. I like the last two a lot!
QuoteOriginally posted by sawtooth235 Quote
You did better than I do. Great effort.

Ray

Thanks for your comments guys.

07-11-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
You want my thoughts... crop, crop, crop. Unless the environment is particularly interesting, you need to make the bird bigger. If you can (and if you get the focus right on a K20D you have a lot of pixels to crop from), try to cut down and focus more on the bird.

Other than that, you had bad luck with the light, but that is the one thing that is very hard to control -- that's why BIF can be so frustrating at times. Neither the subject nor the environment are possible to control to any real extent. The best thing you can do is position yourself so that the light falls relatively favorably (by picking the time of the day and location) on birds when they show up. Takes a lot of time and patience though.

And yeah, 300mm is a little on the short side. I use a 400/5.6 and have to crop my shots 50% or more most of the time.
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.
Hopefully that is a place where they hang out often so I'll go back at different times to see.
In the meantime, here's a crop of the last one. At least I have myself a benchmark to work on. I don't really want to get that close though, they are so ugly, even their mothers can't love them.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 12-27-2009 at 12:25 AM.
07-12-2009, 07:22 AM   #10
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Well done Gary BIF are difficcult or so I keep tellingn myself - You gotta convince those birds to stay away from the Sun !
07-12-2009, 07:47 AM   #11
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BIF aren't that bad, just take a lot of practice.
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