Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Shooting Birds in Flight - Advice needed


This topic is locked.

Reason : duplicate thread

canonfan46 8 1.1k United Kingdom
17 Dec 2009 2:14AM
(Posted previously in wrong forum.)
Hi all, having just got a new 7D, I have found the "Camera User Settings" C1, C2, C3,

I assume that these are custom shooting modes that I can set to my own preferances so that I can quickly switch all the important settings to suit a given situation such as a bird in flight suddenly presenting an oportunity.

If any wildlife shooters have the time would they give me a quick rundown on how they would set up one of their "User Settings" for this situation.

The following is a list of the possible presets and how I have set mine. Pointers would be appreciated if you think I have choosen the wrong settings.

Shooting Mode = Tv
Shutter Speed = 1/800
ISO = Auto
Exp Comp = +1
AF Selection = all 19 points
Picture Style = Standard
WB = Auto
Metering Mode = Centre weighted
AF Mode = AI Servo
Drive Mode = High Speed Continuous

These settings are probably wrong but I would like to know where and if possible, why.

Any advice would be appreciated

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

thewilliam 9 6.1k
17 Dec 2009 2:37PM
Shooting with a camera does have a lot in common with using a shotgun. You could do a lot worse than going to a clay-shoot to practice.

I had to cleanse myself of my sniper training, then learn to "pan" the gun slightly ahead of the target and keep it moving after firing.

Without doing this, the settings above won't do you any good!
canonfan46 8 1.1k United Kingdom
17 Dec 2009 3:14PM
sniper training.........wow..........
during your training did you train with blanks?
thewilliam 9 6.1k
17 Dec 2009 3:40PM
Trouble with blanks is that they don't make a hole in the target. There'd would be no way of knowing whether our shots had been accurate.
John_Wannop 13 95 Wales
17 Dec 2009 4:07PM
Set camera to M

ISO- keep as low as possible.

AF selection- Center only.

Metering mode -Spot


AF Mode = AI Servo.

Drive Mode = High Speed Continuous.

Shutter mode- Depends if you want to freeze the action or have a bit of motion blur, I normally use 1/400 - 1/1200 Sec.

Use a mid tone to set your exposure.

Keep an eye on the changing light as you will changing your aperture and ISO very often to maintain the right exposure.

And a lot of practice.
WildLight 10 145 3 United Kingdom
17 Dec 2009 4:31PM
The settings I generally use are:

Shooting Mode: Av
Aperture: f/8 (if possible, if not then open it up a bit)
AF point: Center
WB: Cloudy (for a nice warming effect) or Auto for a more accuracy of colours
AF mode: AI Servo
Drive mode: Continuous (on its highest setting)
Metering: Spot

If shooting against a bright overcast sky then add a stop or so of compensation to make sure the bird is well exposed.

Like John said, you can use shutter mode to give a bit more blur to the wings and background which will give a great sense of speed. Something like 1/100 and very good panning technique will create some superb speed-emphasized results.

Look for mid-tone or dark backgrounds which will make the bird stand out and make exposing the bird a lot easier.

Remember, practise makes perfect!

lawbert 11 1.8k 15 England
17 Dec 2009 4:36PM
What sort of birds in flight are you looking to capture in flight
Large birds, or small songbirds?
canonfan46 8 1.1k United Kingdom
17 Dec 2009 8:12PM
Thanks all, some very good pointers but not surprisingly, not everybody agrees on one set.
But its interesting to hear how others see this set up.

Lawbert, as I am only a beginner I just go for a wander in nthe country side and see what pops up. I would imagine that small songbirds in flight would be extremely hard to photograph because you would need to be relatively close, which would make them impossible to follow.
andytvcams 15 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
17 Dec 2009 8:33PM
Two. Threads ?.
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
17 Dec 2009 8:51PM
Duplicate thread answers continue in this one Shooting Birds in Flight - Advice needed