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taking photos of birds in flight

 
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I just took some terrible photos of a bird.

I want to learn how to take good photos of a bird.

1. my focus was off.  I used autofocus and thought I had got the bird in focus, but no such luck.  There's a lot of busy background, so I think the camera thought I wanted to focus on that.

I'm also wondering what the servo focus does - would this be the kind of thing I would use it for?

2. lens stabilization - I think it's on... but maybe it wasn't.  I have to find out how to check this as the EF-m lenses don't have a button on the side like most lenses.

3. my shutter speed was too slow.  I set it to 500 (then had to up the ISO to compensate).  It didn't capture the motion as well as I had hoped.

I think I figured out what I did wrong.  Now, how do I do it right?
bird1small.JPG
taking photos of birds in flight
taking photos of birds in flight
bird2small.JPG
taking photos of birds in flight
taking photos of birds in flight
bird3small.JPG
taking photos of birds in flight
taking photos of birds in flight
bird4small.JPG
taking photos of birds in flight
taking photos of birds in flight
bird5small.JPG
taking photos of birds in flight
taking photos of birds in flight
 
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long lens, fast shutter speed is what you need,
i remember in college people in photo class would practice focusing on cars going down a road and on other things that move like runners at track meet and such
i'm not sure how fast modern consumer cameras lenses can focus, but you probably want to have a 300 to 400mm lend at least to get a professional quality photo depending on how far you are from subject.
 
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I saw a peregrine falcon hit a pigeon, only because I had spotted the falcon on a perch and waited to see what it would do. Rather than just watch the show, I fiddled with a camera that was absolutely not up to the task. The photo contained a small piece of feather, but not from the falcon. It was one of the many feathers that went flying from the pigeon on impact.

We can safely assume that the pigeon didn't make it. :-)
 
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With my 180mm macro lens, manual focus is the only way to get these shots. The lens is not build for fast focusing. So you it requires very good distance estimation. Still only 1 out of 10 shots are good.
 
bruce Fine
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I shot this with nikon 300 2.8 probably at 1/1000 sec on fujichrome 100
reflections are from taking digital from print of photo
flight.jpg
flight
flight
 
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