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  #1  
Old 1st January 2011
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Birdsville Spitfires

Some believe that R. J. Mitchell’s design of the Spitfire was inspired by watching seagulls.
At least the wings do resemble those of a gull - or more like a Stuka's, don't you think?


Standing tall and alone above the rest, the stately figure of Air Chief Marshall Leigh-Mallory watches over 242 Squadron on the mess deck!


The muster room telephone rings, Bader takes it ... a tense pause … then the order they’ve all been waiting for – SCRAMBLE!


Squadron Leader Douglas Bader and his wingman “Freckles”,
roar above the flight deck as he leads his squadron skywards to do battle with the hun!


The Rolls Royce Merlin engines scream their power at the heavens
as they climb above the English Channel into a bright September sky.

Earphones crackle -
“Glass Jar Tower to Blue leader, intercept formation approaching Dover heading one two seven at one thousand feet - Over.”


“Roger, Glass Jar Tower, Wilco and out!”
“Stay on my wing Freckles, and keep your eyes peeled for Gerry, he’ll come out of the sun.”


The battle hardened Canadian grins as he scans the sky around them.
“Roger, Blue leader, I’ll watch it Sir,” answered the cheery redheaded Canadian!


“Yikes! …there they are Sir, at twelve O’clock."
"He-111 bombers with a bf-109 fighter escort ... Let's go get 'em Sir!"


Bader wheels the Spitfire into the wind, pulls a tight left turn to climb above and behind the marauding formation!


Please know that I disclaim all responsibility for this drivel - it came to me by way of an apparition claiming to be the reincarnate
of a WWII British fighter ace. It suggested the dialog for this dubious series.

To humor it and to avoid being hexed, I beg you to indulge its fantasies just this once for my sake, puhleeze! -


I'm sure we’ve all had enough of this - haven’t we!
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  #2  
Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Nice set.

And of course the gull is the greatest flying machine ever, able to scrape a living in the confusion between sea and sky.

Nick
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

That was a fantastic series. The photos do really conjure up a story to go with them. Better than Biggles.

That was a lot of Ravens all together.
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Birdsville Spitfires

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandora View Post
I'm sure we’ve all had enough of this - haven’t we!
An interesting and humorous start to 2011 - thanks!

David.
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Birdsville Spitfires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
Nice set. And of course the gull is the greatest flying machine ever, able to scrape a living in the confusion between sea and sky. Nick
For me the ubiquitous seagull is the most magnificent bird in the sky.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross the fiddler View Post
That was a fantastic series. The photos do really conjure up a story to go with them. Better than Biggles.
That was a lot of Ravens all together.
The Ravens image of course is a composite comprised of individual shots captured on one occasion when there were many. Biggles came to mind when composing the text!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ1609 View Post
An interesting and humorous start to 2011 - thanks! David.
Thanks again, David. It was fun putting it together.
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Brilliant series, beautifully shot and tied together with the theme. Very well done.

I'd really welcome your tips on shooting birds in flight. I didn't have much success with the E520 and its one or three point C-AF but am going to try to get the hang of it with the E-5. What's your approach to get these outstandingly crisp results with full birds in clear focus?
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Fantastic set of images, particularly No4 which i think is stunning. Thanks for sharing. ATB Martin
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makonde View Post
Brilliant series, beautifully shot and tied together with the theme. Very well done.

I'd really welcome your tips on shooting birds in flight. I didn't have much success with the E520 and its one or three point C-AF but am going to try to get the hang of it with the E-5. What's your approach to get these outstandingly crisp results with full birds in clear focus?
Thanks for your generous comment, Keith.

Most were taken with the E-520 + Zuiko 70-300mm
Some shot with the C-5050z (imo, one of the finest P&S digital cameras ever built)

Camera settings were:
Shutter Priority @ min 1/1250+
C-AF
AF Area: (3 point is actually 11 point and focuses on nearest object.)
Auto ISO
Pattern Metering
Exposure compensation -0.7 (remember, gulls are white)
Set for Continuous shooting
Large Fine JPEG

I would recommend a dockside location close to fishing trawlers where flocks of gulls are constantly hovering and swooping competing for food. As you know, gulls watch us closely for signs of us eating, hoping for handouts or leftovers that provide us with plenty of photo ops.

Slight under exposure is better than blown whites and can be readily corrected in Photoshop.
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Some great BIF shots and the storyline works well. Thanks.
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Quote:
Originally Posted by fridgemagnet View Post
Fantastic set of images, particularly No4 which i think is stunning. Thanks for sharing. ATB Martin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee man View Post
Some great BIF shots and the storyline works well. Thanks.
Thanks to you both for your very kind comments.
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Old 1st January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandora View Post
Thanks for your generous comment, Keith.

Shutter Priority @ min 1/1250+
C-AF
AF Area: (3 point is actually 11 point and focuses on nearest object.)
...
Set for Continuous shooting
Thanks. These parts are I think the key area for me, apart from actually managing to track the bird at 200mm or more! I must make a more determined effort.

I note you're using continuous shooting: roughly how much of the take do you expect to be in focus? (using single shots - old habit from film - hardly any of my attempted birds-in-flight have been in frame and in focus!) Also, bearing in mind the Depth-Of-Bird, are you shooting 'em on the small side in the frame and then cropping in quite heavily for the finished pic? Or do you manage to fill the frame and have sufficient DOF even at that fast shutter speed and the apertures it implies?

Sorry for all the questions but, you see, it is going to be one of my 2011 resolutions...
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Old 2nd January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makonde View Post
Thanks. These parts are I think the key area for me, apart from actually managing to track the bird at 200mm or more! I must make a more determined effort.

I note you're using continuous shooting: roughly how much of the take do you expect to be in focus? (using single shots - old habit from film - hardly any of my attempted birds-in-flight have been in frame and in focus!) Also, bearing in mind the Depth-Of-Bird, are you shooting 'em on the small side in the frame and then cropping in quite heavily for the finished pic? Or do you manage to fill the frame and have sufficient DOF even at that fast shutter speed and the apertures it implies?

Sorry for all the questions but, you see, it is going to be one of my 2011 resolutions...
Keith - Seagulls as you know are prudently wary but not afraid of us so they often hover within range of a 40-150mm,
which I sometimes use when gulls are in close proximity. 70-300 may be too long, even at the short end.

Framing too tightly results in missing body parts so it is best to shoot wide enough to allow some latitude, but not too wide.
The trick is to zoom out to locate your target, then zoom in for a tighter frame, but not too tight.
Use a lamp post, railing, your wife's head against which to brace your camera with IS1 switched ON. (Tell her she is serving Art )

On the question of exposure, Shutter Mode determines aperture and Auto ISO sets itself to compensate for the light (EV). Low light situations don't favour birding.
In Auto ISO the E-520 is programmed to account for these factors and sets itself to the lowest ISO value possible, which btw will never exceed 800.

On the question of DOF, telecentric lenses give us an advantage as even at wider apertures (eg., f/4.0-5.6) they render deeper focus than conventional types. That said, DOF decreases dramatically as focal length increases, which is another reason not to frame too tightly.

I look forward with interest to seeing more of your gulls and whether you found this useful.

Cheers,
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Old 2nd January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Great series of shots Mark

I very much enjoyed viewing them and had a chuckle at the accompanying text

Great stuff

Greg
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Old 2nd January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

Thanks Greg ... it was me just being silly!
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Old 2nd January 2011
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Re: Battle of Britain

I had fun reading it as well as looking at the pictures .. thanks

The thread title drew me in because I commented when in ToysRUs looking for something for my youn nephew that I hadn't seen Airfix spitfires for years ...

Hmmm someone was listening because I got one for Xmas so now having gone and got £30.00 of paint and glue for a £5.99 kit I have my own WWII challenge ... if it ends up any good I may even take a picture of it

Regards
Andy
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