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10-18-2018, 10:36 PM - 2 Likes   #16
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I kinda cheat...The area I have set up for birds is under a large pine which is most always shaded. Unfortunately these days I get very ill if I get in the sun even for 5 minutes. So I put a Dodecagon with the flash in it to compensate for the low light and a big lens. If anyone wants to give me any pointers for this please do. One frame...One...at a time with that, lol.

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10-19-2018, 05:34 AM - 3 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I concur wholeheartedly with Urs, and with his gallery how can you argue?
It's usually not possible but getting the birds close is extremely helpful. Do some research, find where certain birds are likely to be and when. If you're lucky enough to live near a migration hotpoint, find out when that is and go.






Great shots from both of you. I also completely agree with and follow the same strategy for photographing birds. I use a K-3 with the 55-300 PLM for closer shooting (under 250 mm) in good lighting and switch to my DA* 300 with and without the teleconverter when I need distance & sharpness and the slower autofocus (compared to the PLM) is not a concern. One bit of advice for someone starting out and wanting to get some good practice is to setup a bird feeder stocked with seeds that attracts native birds. This will bring in a lot of good photographic subjects. Another suggestion mentioned in this thread is waterfowl, either semi-tame or wild in nearby parks. I am having issues posting pictures on the forum. Once I get it resolved, I will add some.
There is another thread on the forum: Thematic, The yard birds thread. To the OP you can check this out. There are a lot of great pictures from a lot of folks all over the world.
10-19-2018, 08:13 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the advice, and some great pictures. I always thought photographing birds was just a matter of staying awake in a hide, but now see it involves a lot more!

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10-19-2018, 09:03 AM   #19
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In the C3 (No. 16) Menu in my camera (K-3 II), I also set my "1st Frame Action in AF.C" to "Release-priority" and the "Action in AF.C Continuous" to "Auto" or "FPS-Priority".

10-19-2018, 10:05 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
In the C3 (No. 16) Menu in my camera (K-3 II), I also set my "1st Frame Action in AF.C" to "Release-priority" and the "Action in AF.C Continuous" to "Auto" or "FPS-Priority".
Ok, thanks. I've adjusted those and will give it a shot. Too windy today to try anything!
10-20-2018, 08:07 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuggie76 Quote
Ok, thanks. I've adjusted those and will give it a shot. Too windy today to try anything!
It has been windy here, too (upstate NY). Good luck!
10-20-2018, 06:29 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
It has been windy here, too (upstate NY). Good luck!
Thanks C J, I was at Letchworth today, it was rainy!
11-07-2018, 07:16 AM - 2 Likes   #23
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With my K-3, DA*300mm and 1.4x TC my settings in good light for active birds are F8, 1/1000 sec and TAv so that the ISO floats. In terms of getting close, different birds have different challenges.
Some skulking sparrows won't flush until you are a few feet away but they hardly ever come out from behind anything (recent experience with a Nelson's Sparrow, no pics so far).
Warblers and other songbirds can be very flighty and often obscured by vegetation, but when they are preoccupied with feeding or singing on territory they are not as nervous. Migration time, especially at hot spots where they are refuelling, is when you can often get them at eye level. I get focus as best I can and shoot in short bursts.
Shorebirds often move along a shoreline as they feed. Other birds may move through a meadow or woodland or along the edge of a trail like this as well.Get ahead of them, sit down low (for shorebirds) and wait for them to come to you.
Duck are bigger and slower but often too far away. For winter duck I get out when the lake is partly iced up and they may be forced to feed in the leads closer to the shoreline.









11-07-2018, 08:06 AM   #24
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Thanks Jacamar. I've found a Kingfisher at a local pond, it's sunny today so I'll try out your settings.
11-07-2018, 08:24 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuggie76 Quote
I've found a Kingfisher at a local pond,
I find Kingfishers (Belted) really tough. They have perches that they use out of habit but they scare off very easily. I had one hovering in front of me a couple of weeks ago but I couldn't get my camera up fast enough. Good luck!
11-07-2018, 08:33 AM   #26
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Thanks jacamar, I've only seen it once and failed miserably! But practice makes perfect! Maybe.
11-07-2018, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urs Quote
I almost always use single point in AF try to focus on the eye and then recompose (prefocus on the tree or whatever is close)
I'm in the same camp, where the bird is stationary or not moving much. I use back button autofocus - that way your prefocus doesn't get thrown off when you press the shutter button.

Camera technology will eventually be able to detect automatically the appropriate focus point (face detection in Live View already works quite well), but for now I prefer to leave multipoint AF for birds in flight.

I sometimes use a cheat method with single point AF. Often there isn't time to move the focus point or to recompose. You focus on the eye with the pre-chosen single point (usually the centre point) and by the time you have moved the camera to recompose, the bird has moved. If there is a chance of this happening, it is often better just to shoot without recomposing and crop afterwards to get the composition you were seeking. A sensor with 20mp or more allows plenty of scope for cropping.

Here's an example. I shot RAW+jpg. Here's the jpg straight out of camera.

I focused on the eye using single point AF, centre point. The eye of the Rainbow Lorikeet is dead centre in the image. No way I would compose like this for choice.

Here's the final product after processing the RAW file and cropping to get the composition I wanted.


Of course, ideally I would have recomposed before shooting. But since I was going to have to crop the image anyway (especially as the lorikeet was looking away from the blossom), and there was plenty of scope for cropping, it didn't really matter that much. Better to get the shot with the bird in focus than take the risk of missing it while I recomposed.

Some photographers think this isn't quite Marquis of Queensberry rules, so don't tell anyone.
11-07-2018, 07:43 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Some photographers think this isn't quite Marquis of Queensberry rules, so don't tell anyone.
I thought everyone did it that way from time to time. A warbler often gives you less than a second to get the shot. When you deduct the time it takes to focus there's no time to recompose.
11-07-2018, 07:54 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jacamar Quote
I thought everyone did it that way from time to time.
I'm comforted to hear that Steve!

Last edited by Des; 11-08-2018 at 01:20 AM.
11-08-2018, 05:48 PM   #30
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From someone who doesn't do a lot of bird shooting.... Set the shutter speed using at least twice your focal length, set the aperture to f8 or f11 if you can, adjust ISO to match lighting conditions. Turn on manual focus, and activate the depth of field preview (on the camera on-off switch on the K-3 series) and aim at your predetermined target point. Find the range of acceptable focus, then set the lens in the middle.

I'm now able to ignore all the variables except composition at possibly the sacrifice of a bit more noise in my image.
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