Seems like I have been away from blogging for ages. I was away from the computer but I never put the camera down. Matter of fact I attended a photo workshop and have shot more frames in the past 2 months than I did all summer long.
Nikon released their latest big zoom the 200-500 AF-S prior to my workshop but I didn’t order it until after I got back home. I’ve taken it on 2 outings since it arrived last week and will share a some examples from todays shoot.
This first shot of a black swan is sooc the f5.6 delivered a pleasing bokeh.
A heavy crop on the mirror image of the ring necked duck and the white swan closeup doesn’t show alot of distortion. Though I hope Adobe will be adding the lens correction profile to Lightroom soon.
I haven’t tried the “Sport” mode that was added to this lens so far. That’s on the to do list next time out. The biggest surprise I had was too much lens compared to what I am used to with the 80-400mm. Never thought I’d say that! It’s a nice lens and will be an everyday part of my kit but it won’t replace the 80-400 however it is a great compliment to it. All of the shots in this post are DX format shot with D7200. Next outing will test its performance with full frame D610.
Other reviewers have stated that this lens design leans towards hand held shots. It can be done and can be used at lower shutter speeds than most long lenses allow you to shoot but IT IS heavy and the 95mm barrel is more than a handful for smaller hands. A quick mention the 200-500 performs well with the TC-14E III although it is a slow focus and manual focus is better suited for birds in flight.
Thanks for taking time to stop by and listening to my thoughts! It would be great to hear thoughts from others who have been using this lens. Until the next post… go take more photos!
Valles Caldera volcano bowl, Jemez Springs, New Mexico We drove up at sunset hoping to see elk feeding in the volcano bowl. We saw one elk coming down a ridge on the ride back to the hotel, it was too dark for a photo.
I had one of those ahh-ha moments during practice photographing bif’s this past week.The stress I’d felt when I first began this exercise wasn’t there, the mechanics were making sense and I felt relaxed for the first time. After watching some birds fish it dawned on me that they don’t get their target catch every time they just kept trying. And, that was the ahh-ha moment for me, I didn’t have to get every shot perfect I just have to keep at it.
I took time to observe their behaviors and anticipate their next move and I chose the moments I felt would be good for a photograph. I was in a zen place, I’d found my groove and it felt good, I was enjoying being outdoors immersed in nature not stressed over getting the shot. The purpose of the day became about the experience not getting the shot 😄 Were all the shots winners? Most certainly not but it doesn’t matter.
This is the final post on my bif quest for now, once the gimbal head arrives and I test it out I’ll post an update so until then…
I’ve heard it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. With that in mind 8 of the past 10 days I’ve been photographing birds in flight. Hundreds of frames have been shot and I certainly have a better grasp of the mechanics needed for the task. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of the images to me. I know, you’re thinking “well there should be…”.
Each outing I tried different combos of bodies and lenses, trying hand held and using a tripod, seeking a combination to obtain the best results. So far the 610 in dx mode with the 80-400mm has the fastest focus responses and makes the sharpest image. Manual focus isn’t an option with these eyes and hand holding this combo it would be the bomb but alas a tripod is needed.
Moving from aperture priority to manual with Auto ISO was by far the best camera setting choice I’ve made during this process. There’s actually less thinking involved when you are in the middle of all that movement, go figure, lol.
As mentioned in my last post I believe that a Wimberley Gimbal tripod head will improve my ability to capture spectacular bird in flight photos and I still believe that to be true so, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Here’s a couple examples of this weeks practice. Can you tell which is a try from early in the exercise and which is from today? Should I continue getting up early or do you think I grasp the concept of photographing birds in flight and I can sleep in in the mornings?
Anhinga in flightSnowy Egret in flight
Tricolor Heron in flight
And just so you know my head wasn’t always in the clouds here are a couple of my favorite bird shots from this week that were closer to the ground.