Bird Photography...


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agape01

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Feb 13, 2003
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#1
I hope that it would be alright for the MODs to allow me to ask shooting questions on a related topic in this sub-forum.

Anyways, here it goes. For shooters that love to shoot birds, what are the important things that one must know in shooting birds in flight? I'm sure that CSers like Harlequin, Avatar, Chngpe01 can help me to answer bird shooting questions.

Thanks... :)
 

#3
Wai said:
The first thing you must know is that....

.....you got to own a 600mm f4 :D
Sorry but I would have to disagree with that. Some of our very dedicated bird shooters like Arthur, JoeYao, Garion, etc... don't shoot using gigantic lens and still acheive very good results in their photography.

To me what's more important is the PASSION. Bird photography requires alot of patients, sacrifice, and learning (about the behaviour of the birds, and caring for the birds and the environment on the whole). It is only passion that can sustain anyone to continue shooting birds for a long time to come, and only time in the field would help you get the results of excellence.

Would like to wish you all the best agape01, and welcome to the brotherhood :)
 

mervlam

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Apr 26, 2002
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#4
agape01 said:
I hope that it would be alright for the MODs to allow me to ask shooting questions on a related topic in this sub-forum.

Anyways, here it goes. For shooters that love to shoot birds, what are the important things that one must know in shooting birds in flight? I'm sure that CSers like Harlequin, Avatar, Chngpe01 can help me to answer bird shooting questions.

Thanks... :)
Get a good field guide for identification of birds. They also provide factual information of birds.
My recommendations would be:

1) Lim, K. S., Gardner D., Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide of The Birds of Singapore, Sun Tree Publishing, Singapore ,1997 (The only field guide wholly devoted to birds of Singapore)

2) Strange, M., A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Malaysia and Singapore, including Southeast Asia, The Philippines and Borneo, Periplus (HK) Ltd, Singapore, 2000. (A photographic guide, my personal favourite)

Kinokuniya has a nice section for ornithology.

Some birding sites in Singapore suitable for photography includes Sungei Buloh for water and shore birds, Pulau Ubin, Botanic Gardens. Having a pair of binoculars would be useful for spotting birds. Btw, perching birds are easier to photograph then birds in flight (for obvious reasons ;p )

I haven't got to photograph birds yet. Haven't got my teleconverter and my exams are coming.... :D
 

ccplim

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#5
MountainMan said:
Sorry but I would have to disagree with that. Some of our very dedicated bird shooters like Arthur, JoeYao, Garion, etc... don't shoot using gigantic lens and still acheive very good results in their photography.

To me what's more important is the PASSION. Bird photography requires alot of patients, sacrifice, and learning (about the behaviour of the birds, and caring for the birds and the environment on the whole). It is only passion that can sustain anyone to continue shooting birds for a long time to come, and only time in the field would help you get the results of excellence.

Would like to wish you all the best agape01, and welcome to the brotherhood :)
Fully agreed with you! Although big guns do help in achieving better results, it is the passion that really counts.

To achieve good results in bird photography, you need POP (Patients, Observation, Practice).

For bro agape01, I welcome you to the world of feather! Good luck and looking forward to seeing your pictures soon :)
 

ironargon

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Mar 27, 2004
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#7
Like to offer some humble opinion,

1. Yes, you do need big and fast glass, think 70-200mm F2.8 with 2x TC should be a good enough combi.
2. Lots of patience and anticipation, and luck.
3. Birds must be in flight? There are plenty of candid moments...

What are you looking at?


Pondering ...


Bird portraiture



Okay, at least must have one flying.


http://ironargon.t35.com
 

blimmer

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Apr 1, 2005
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#8
After seeing your bird pictures, I dont know where I stand..


taken today at botanic gardens

Any more tips with regards to capturing birds on digital film?
thanks
 

skfoo

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Mar 15, 2003
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agape01,

I enclosed some links that will address your queries:

http://www.vividlight.com/articles/704.htm

http://www.vividlight.com/articles/2303.htm

http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1403.htm

Treat them as guides and not as final words in bird photography. Some birds are easier to approach in other countries. End of the day, you will need to find out for yourselves which techniques and equipments suit your shooting style. The only way to find out is to spend more time in the field shooting, get to know the equipments you are using and understands the subjects.

Cheers! :)
 

ironargon

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Mar 27, 2004
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#10
Blimmer, not to worry. Just stand behind the viewfinder and snap :)
 

blimmer

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Apr 1, 2005
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#11
ironargon said:
Blimmer, not to worry. Just stand behind the viewfinder and snap :)
I did and you can see how bad my shots are haha

pardon me if I'm hijacking this thread

Panning is the technique of moving your camera in conjunction with the subject to freeze its motion. This is a technique that can render a moving subject's eyeball perfectly sharp no matter the shutter speed in use. This is accomplished by moving the camera with the subject, which also means taking advantage of Nikon or Canon's focus tracking.

Panning success starts with being sure you're using proper long lens or handholding techniques. With that established, "test" yourself by looking through your lens and actually panning, to check the background (if you have the luxury of time). With that established you're ready for the subject. Ideally you want to track the subject in the viewfinder as it travels by and photograph it coming up to you until it's right in front of you. Then continue to follow the subject but cease shooting once it's past the "front profile" view.

As an example, let's say you're photographing Horned Puffins from a boat. They're flying circles clockwise so you're tracking them flying left to right. I personally select the center AF sensor and lock that onto the eye of the subject, so there's more space in front of the bird than behind. I prefocus the lens on an object that approximates the distance I think the puffin will be and wait. When the puffin begins its approach, I bring the lens up to my eye (using proper handholding technique), place the center AF sensor on the bird's eye and depress the shutter release so the camera locks on. I follow the puffin as it flies left to right, firing as it approaches and discontinue shooting but still track it until the camera is no longer firing.
- from vividlight.com

How does one pan without moving the camera too much? I cant seem to handle this while capturing birds in flight even with the FZ20's O.I.S. :embrass:
 

2100

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Mar 3, 2004
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#13
I think the most impt thing is just to shoot, shoot and shoot. It's the same for other areas of photography. Also, building up on stamina/endurance is advantageous. After working out for a couple of months, i am finding out that my gear is not so heavy already.
Also, the passion. Must have enough GO to wake up at 5.30AM, or if you are siao enough bring your gear overseas to enjoy wildlife out of SG (and the gear is gonna be heavy)...etc...

Your D2X is already a good platform to start. I only have D70 and entry level lens, too bad i have to concentrate in other areas.

Anyway, sometimes don't have to shoot or have good cam, big mamas to enjoy birding lar. You can go with binos, $200-300 can get you a real decent set. I have just gotten 2 binos for me and my in-law just to enjoy. Anyway birdwatching it probably pays if you live near to lots of wildlife all year round, maybe SG perhaps a bit difficult lar. ;p
 

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