Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

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  #1  
Old 23rd November 2009
crimbo crimbo is offline
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help with bird photography



Well folks the black guillemots are feeding in Lerwick small boat harbour again...I want to try and get a decent image...was using the 40-150 in a 620 with auto ISO...several times focus lock was not achieved...should I put C-AF on and multiple shot?...should I use the 70-300?...any help gratefully received
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Old 24th November 2009
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Re: help with bird photography

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Originally Posted by crimbo View Post


Well folks the black guillemots are feeding in Lerwick small boat harbour again...I want to try and get a decent image...was using the 40-150 in a 620 with auto ISO...several times focus lock was not achieved...should I put C-AF on and multiple shot?...should I use the 70-300?...any help gratefully received
Hi crimbo,

Shooting birds in flight is not as easy as we feel it should be. The first thing is focus lock must obviously be achieved whether shooting S-AF or C-AF. Things to consider -
1. What is focus pattern you are using. Centre target is not normally suitable for a moving object. I would recomend using the centre cross targets.
2. Accurate focussing depends on the camera being able to see sufficient contrast to lock onto. What is the background against which you are trying to capture the bird. If it is dark with a dark bird, or vice versa, you may not be able to focus lock.
3. Focus acquisition time is also affected by the light gathering performance of the lens. The aperature size will also effect this. Use a higher ISO setting to allow you increase the aperture size.

I would recommend you try this for birds in flight

Camera Settings
1. Mode - Aperature Piority
2, C-AF
3. f 6 - 8
4. ISO 400 or 800
5. Cross AF Target (5 point) centre
6. Single shot until you get used to the settings
7. Not sure about your camera but look up Wrotniak and check to see if you can set the camera to ignore sudden focus changes. I can on the E3 and am pretty sure it is available on your camera.

Note use settings 3 and 4 to get an acceptable shutter speed - say 1/800. This obviously will vary depending upon speed of wingbeats etc.

Shooting method
Track and focus on the bird and ensure you get the confirmation beep before fully releasing the shutter. This is important even when you go for burst shooting later as this will ensure best focus throughout a sequence of shots.

Once happy with these settings and the method, go into burst mode and see how you get on.

Note: Olympus recommends that you switch off IS in the direction you are panning. I do not and see no reason why this advice is given - but I could be wrong.

Good luck and I hope the above helps
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Old 24th November 2009
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dbutch dbutch is offline
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Re: help with bird photography

Get an underwater housing by the looks of things

Dave
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Old 24th November 2009
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Re: help with bird photography

Dave is right about underwater shots. There is very little chance of getting goods shots otherwise as there is too little contrast and too much reflection.

Where it stands a better chance of working is if the water surface is shaded or what about a polarising filter?

I thought you wanted general advice but perhaps I am wrong.
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Old 24th November 2009
crimbo crimbo is offline
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Re: help with bird photography

thanks folks...it is about getting a good image of the BG's underwater...polarising filter... thats an idea...but dont fancy getting in the water with them!
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Old 24th November 2009
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Re: help with bird photography

Chris,
That will help to reduce the reflections from the water but you may still have an issue with contrast. I will be interested to see how you get on.
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Old 25th November 2009
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Nick Temple-Fry Nick Temple-Fry is offline
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Re: help with bird photography

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Originally Posted by crimbo View Post
thanks folks...it is about getting a good image of the BG's underwater...polarising filter... thats an idea...but dont fancy getting in the water with them!
Still water, polarising filter, sun above (difficult in shetland at this time of year) or behind you. The higher you are (relative to the water) the better (looking down not across).

If you can arrange all of that... Great challenge and worth doing

Nick
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