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Flying High

By JonnyNI  
I took this shot in the back garden with my D90 & 18-105 lens. Although I'm quite happy with it this was the best out of about 100 shots. If anyone can give me any advice on improving or getting a higher percentage of reasonable shots please feel free comment. Critique also welcome.

Tags: Flight Blue In Tit Bird Wildlife and nature

Voters: Niknut, Cor, micksurrey and 26 more

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Comments


Eastlands 6 760 4 Northern Ireland
16 Apr 2012 5:41PM
Keep at it as this is a superb image, the good thing about digital is that you can fire off loads of shots and like the rest of us if you are lucky you might get one or two really good images. It is very difficult to keep all of the subject pin sharp but you have done very well to get detail throughout and wonderful capture of the wings. For wildlife photography you will probably need to consider a larger lens ( something like 70-200 mm or more ) which I know is not always easy as they can prove expensive but if you look around you might get something suitable, John.

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senn Plus
6 5 1 Belgium
16 Apr 2012 5:52PM
excellent catch !..
Fefe Plus
6 23 31 United Kingdom
16 Apr 2012 6:20PM
Love the light in the wings, Great shot!
Diane
saeidNL 8 3 Netherlands
16 Apr 2012 6:25PM
Excellent capture,very well done,
saeid
ugly 9 9 57 United Kingdom
16 Apr 2012 6:39PM

Quote:Keep at it as this is a superb image, the good thing about digital is that you can fire off loads of shots and like the rest of us if you are lucky you might get one or two really good images. It is very difficult to keep all of the subject pin sharp but you have done very well to get detail throughout and wonderful capture of the wings. For wildlife photography you will probably need to consider a larger lens ( something like 70-200 mm or more ) which I know is not always easy as they can prove expensive but if you look around you might get something suitable, John.
A great image on the wings..

I agrre about lens...
I think you need a tad faster on shutter speed or pan with bird more..
The head has a little bit of movement in it that why it a little blur there..
You are over 75% there now just get out there and take lots more images...
Well done...

Dave
JonnyNI Plus
6 1.7k
17 Apr 2012 6:39AM
Thanks very much for the comments everyone. As far as the lenses go I also have a 70-300 whiich I use for my ststic bird shots but when trying to catch them in flight I tend to rely on a shorter focal length and the crop tool. lol. Will spend a bit of time with the longer lens and see how things go. Thanks again for the advice guys.

Jonny
17 Apr 2012 9:02AM
Great image. Keep at it!
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 9:43AM
This is a great attempt. In-flight shots are seriously hard: doubly so with small birds because they move so fast.

The problem with using a short-ish focal length and cropping is loss of resolution. To take a frame-filling shot of a small bird like this usually needs a lens in the 500mm range. Unless the bird was flying very close to you, your shot at 100mm has something like five times the width and five times the height. The area of interest is only a twenty-fifth of the frame so, when you crop down to that, your 12MP camera has suddenly become a 0.5MP camera. Resolution suffers, and quality with it: the blur on the head is almost certainly a resolution problem, possibly combined with the head being slightly out of focus. (But, at 105mm, f/8 should be giving you more than enough depth of field to get the whole bird sharp.)

How to improve? First, recognise that you're trying to do something extremely difficult and one good shot out of a hundred might not be so bad. The key to improvement is practise and I suggest you start with something easier. Larger birds fly more slowly so practise on gulls and pigeons until your hit-rate goes up. Pan with the bird, use tracking autofocus (Canon calls it "Servo AI" mode; I don't know about Nikon) and continuous shooting mode to take three or four shots at a time. Practise using longer focal lengths, which makes panning more difficult because you need to be more accurate. As your skills improve, try again with the smaller birds and you should get better, more consistent results. But this kind of stuff is always rather hit-and-miss so practise pressing that delete button, too! Smile

By the way, I think that "ugly" didn't notice you're already at 1/3200s and it's not possible to go much faster than that!

Dave.
aeras 5 6 Cyprus
18 Apr 2012 1:36PM
Sometimes I feel I have a nice shot and then when I review it again after a couple of days I find things that I don't like. I totally agree with Dave , the subject moves quickly and it is too small for your 105 to reach.
Other than that the fact that the bird is showing its rear , and the legs show like that makes the picture less attractive.
I would try to catch such a bird with its wings up , coming towards me and not going away from me.
Of course is easy to comment on ones picture when you see it , and another when one tries actually to shoot it Smile

Take care

Charles
27 Apr 2014 8:11PM
Lovely, have to agree with the experienced people here, as I'm notSmile But I do have a 100-500 Sigma lens for my Nikon D7000 - needing LOTS of practiceSmile

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