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Old Dec 27, 2006, 9:27 AM   #1
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Hi,

There are some great shots of birds (etc.) on this forum. My question is: what are your shooting preferences for focus points and metering? I have been leaving my focus point on center...and spot metering. I know differenct circumstances warrant different settings, but in general or "on the fly" what are the more experienced photographers on this forum doing. DONNA
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 9:46 AM   #2
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Hi Donna....Happy New Year!

I have recieved advise from others, more accomplished than I, on this forum, and have been trying it out. (with pretty good success, I think).

What seems to work for "in-flight" is "continuous focus" with "dynamic focus area" (Nikon words). What that seems to do, is as the bird drifts out of the center focus area, the camera follows it and continues to focus on the object. Also, while half depressed, the camera will continuously alter the focus, as the bird changes its distance from the camera. I think, center, spot metering is right, as pretty often the bird is significantly different than any of the surroundings regard proper exposure.....I've also tried using full manual exposer so that as the bird does drift away from the center metering area, the camera isn't shifting metering info based on the sky(or whatever it is "looking" at at the moment of exposure.) This seems to work well, after you've found the right shutter/fstop combo, you can just leave that alone and concentrate on focus and framing.

Hope this is helpful.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 9:52 AM   #3
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Yes very helpful Kita! As soon as myholiday company leave and I get a minute to myself I am going out with my camera...Donna
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 10:49 AM   #4
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Kita said it right! I shoot in CF, Dynamic... another thing I do is switch from 11 smaller points of focus to 7 larger area's... I'm not sure what your camera options are on this, but it's the way to go in my opinion. Don't set your camera up to do ANY in camera sharpening - your computer software (whatever it is) will do a better job. learning your PP software is also very important... I always do my USM and sharpening last and start out in levels of highlighting and darkening and then cropping etc... You'll figure out a workflow that works for you and before you know it you'll be a wiz. :-)
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 11:59 AM   #5
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Sounds to me what you are currently doing should work fine for non-flight shots, Donna. I often use fill flash with the flash compensation toned down to at least -11/3 when shooting small birds at closer range. Another helpful tip when shooting birds with high contrast such as chickadees is to adjust your exposure compensation to -1/3 to -2/3, especially if your are not shooting in RAW. I agree with Mike about the importance of learning how to use your post processing software well. Also, his suggestion for work flow sounds good to me, too.

Bob
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 5:25 PM   #6
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Great advice, thanks...no in camera sharpening...wow I had cranked my up!The images looked soft...I guess I used to seeing my point and shoot pictures. Also, I meant to say I have a 30D, if that help with answering my questions. Donna
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