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  #16  
Old 9th March 2014
birdboy birdboy is offline
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Very impressive shots Ian is there much cropping going on and were these taken with SAF or CAF? Thanks John
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  #17  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Yes, great stuff Ian, and encouraging to see these results with the 75-300 having just got one. I would also be interested in your focus settings. I had a brief try on the red kites that abound around my Oxfordshire village, but they were too high most of the time. I tried CAF, then nine point rather than one. In the end it seemed like SAF with 9 points would probably work best.

Nice sharp results at 300mm too. I did some tests in Oxford on Friday, and reckoned mine was best kept at or below 280mm for maximum sharpness, but I haven't tried tweaking Raws yet.
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  #18  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Excellent shots Ian you certainly got the hang of it, well done. Now I know how difficult this is I can really appreciate the skills involved.
Birdboy, Andy gave us all a suggested set of settings maybe he'll be willing to post them on here but yes he did suggest using CAF but not CAF + tracking.
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  #19  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

As has already been said, great day and big thank you to Ian and Andy for organising. Mike, Ross and Chris form Fens Falconry put on a great display and advising what to expect from each display, to give us best chance for getting the picture.
Great to meet everybody from the forum and put faces to names.
Andy set the day up by giving a presentation of camera settings and technique, many thanks for that, really appreciated.
Very enjoyable day had by all
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  #20  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Yes, many thanks indeed to Fens Falconry and to Ian for arranging this brilliant event, and for providing such perfect light!

I was pleased to see how my derisory BIF skills improved during the day from "nice tree" and "yes, the sky was uniformly blue" at 13.00 to actually getting a few decent bird shots by 17.00, and I'll post a couple later. The advice and encouragement was very much appreciated.

Many thanks also to the rest of the group - everyone clearly had a good time and there was some pleasant banter which I'm sure enhanced everyone's day.

All the best,
Mark (second row, far right in the first photo)
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  #21  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Thanks Andy and all the staff at the Fens Falconery for such a great day. Managed to get a few 'Keepers' but learnt so much about action photography and how your camera's works.

For the group shot I am the guy in the Black shirt at the end with something in his eye!
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  #22  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Great images Ian! #1 Particularly so! I am still smiling and on a bit of a high after yesterday.
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  #23  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

A quick reminder of where to find the Fens Falconry day gallery: http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/1761

And here are some more from yesterday:











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  #24  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

I used a variety of different settings as recommended by Andy, although not some of the more technical ones (C-AF lock and Shutter Response, for example). The owl head-on low to the ground was pre-focused and shot at 10fps, selecting the shot that was at the correct focus point. The kestrels in the clear blue sky were shot with C-AF and all points active. Some of the flying shots were using a single AF point and some grouped. I used manual exposure a few times to reduce the load on the camera's number-crunching as well. I certainly learned a lot and it really helped to be there and to put the theory into practice.

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  #25  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

I'm just going through the pictures now and think I have worn out the X key (reject) on the keyboard! Got some nice owl in tree pictures though. Will post to gallery later.
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  #26  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Some perspective here I probably have 20-30 shots that I felt were keepers and I'd guess that half of those are not actually crisply in focus but good enough for Web viewing or even small prints. I actually shot nearly 1200 frames! The good news is that the E-M1 on two batteries using a grip only showed one bar down on battery level (3 hours and 1200 shots).

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  #27  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

I've been reviewing all my 1300 images and the keeper rate is fairly low. It was a steep learning curve for me as this is not what I normally do, my BIF shots are usually of wild birds at some distance so to have missiles flying past at only a few feet away was a new experience. Strangely my greatest difficulty was with the larger, slower birds, maybe because I was trying to use my 75-300mm at too greater focal length (300mm is mandatory for most wild birds). Technique wise I've never got to grips with C-AF but was determined to have ago yesterday but with limited success, reverting to my usual settings later, so I failed in that mission! I did sneak a few shots of the Lanner with my Canon 7D and 400mm but have to say that the E-M1 won the day - Canon going up for sale soon!

A few from the day:

Steppe Eagle:





Lanner:





Peregrine:







Harris Hawk:





My Ural Owl BIFs were rubbish but I like this static:



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  #28  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

No.2 does it for me, David

I know what you mean about being close up and a bit personal, may I add - one bird passed so close to my head I felt it may have grazed a few hairs I had no idea where it was until it was 10 feet in front of me!

Ian
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  #29  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day (move to permanent thread)

Andy did make a point of not shooting 'bums' so of course I produced quite few like this!



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  #30  
Old 10th March 2014
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Re: Falconry Day

I not only got bums but an odd trailing toe as well!

Had a go with Snapheal on no.2 to lose the post and jesses, not perfect but if you didn't know they had been there. Also did a bit more sharpening which Snapheal excels at:



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