Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 12, 2010, 4:24 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 24
Default Birds in flight tips and tricks

Hi,

someone asked for some advice on birds in flight with the FZ cameras. This is a very difficult subject to photograph, but not impossible. I hope to add to this thread as it goes along but please add your experiences as well.

Settings:
I use the FZ18 and tend to use Aperture priority set at the lowest number I can get (which I understand would give you the highest shutter speed available (Please correct me if I'm wrong). I use the central area high speed burst mode (The singe grey rectangle with the H next to it)

I use Mode 2 for the IS.

I usually set the ISO to 100 (but higher if needed because of the light)
I normally have it on burst mode.
I don't use a RDS.


Technique:



This hummingbird was the product of waiting most of a morning in Brazil by a flowering tree. we saw the birds coming and going, one would chase away any others who tried to feed off "his" tree. I concerntrated on the flowers at the edge of the tree and pre-focused on one particular bunch that I saw the bird coming to. Finally he visited annd I rattled off a quick burst. - getting this shot.






This peregrinex Brbary falcon is a falconer's bird. This one was much more difficult to capture because it involved trying to track the bird in the evf and anticipate where it would move to. at this point I think he was just moving a bit slowly, trying to decide where to go for the lure. Basically this was a lucky shot!








This red kite photo was taken at a feeding station in Scotland. Basically at 2pm all the kites (dozens of them) are fed a meal of diced chicken and the sky is litterally full of the birds. This poses its own problems because you need to pick a bird and track it to give the camera time to lock on focus. And anyone who has tried knows that the EVF lag can be a real killer when trying this technique. The trick is to keep the bird in the centre of the frame and pan with the bird so that the focus can lock on, then shoot off a round of shots using the burst mode. Expect many missed shots, but I got a few good ones. We went there again last week but the sky was really grey and overcast and all I managed was sillhoettes. You need a good sunny day for this.





This herring gull in contrast was easier to shoot because it was literally hanging off the side of the boat we were on, so reasonably stationery.


Happy to answer any questions.
My BIF set:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601...7616302692802/
-- show signature --
kittykat23uk is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 12, 2010, 5:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Raghu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ambattur, near Chennai, India
Posts: 3,656
Default

Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing your technique. I have not been much successful with birds in flight. I will try using your tips.
Raghu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 6:27 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,487
Default

Thanks so much KittyKat...great pointers and will use on next outing...the shots are awesome! Thanks again!
LTZ470 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 7:59 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Chris0383's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern Connecticut
Posts: 254
Default

I definitely like this discussion and will ad 2 pics myself.

Some thoughts:

We do need fast shutter speeds for these type of pictures and the lowest aperture priority will give the fastest shutter speed. Could you post the Exif data that shows the actual shutter speed achieved.

Would putting the camera into Sports mode be useful? Would using shutter priority also help here and setting it to the highest speed that will allow adequate light?

Your pictures speak for themselves though as they are real nice. The humming bird is spectacular and I'd love to see it at the fastest shutter speed possible that would provide adequate light. I see looking at my Exif data that the camera does its best to provide the best shutter speed and that's a good thing.

My Canon SX110 had a software hack that would allow very fast shutter speeds to freeze water drops and wonder if there is anything like that for the Panny's.

Snowy Egret

Exposure time: 1/1000
F-stop: 4.0
ISO speed: 80
Focal length: 49.3000
Focal length (35mm): 278
Flash: Not fired
Exposure mode: Auto
White balance: Auto
Orientation: Top-left
Light source: Unknown
Exposure bias: 0.0000
Metering mode: Center Weighted
Exposure program: Aperture priority

Hooded Warbler

Exposure time: 1/800
F-stop: 6.3
ISO speed: 200
Focal length: 70.7000
Focal length (35mm): 398
Flash: Not fired
Exposure mode: Auto
White balance: Manual
Orientation: Top-left
Light source: Fine weather
Exposure bias: 0.0000
Metering mode: Center Weighted
Exposure program: Shutter priority
Attached Images
  

Last edited by Chris0383; Apr 12, 2010 at 8:14 AM.
Chris0383 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 10:40 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 24
Default

Hi all,

sorry had to keep this morning's post quite short. Back now. So here's the exif

Hummingbird (fork tailed woodnymph)

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/800) Aperture: f/4.0 Focal Length: 57.4 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: -0.66 EV Flash: Off, Did not fire
more details here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601...57616302692802

Peregrine X

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000) Aperture: f/3.6 Focal Length: 40.8 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: -0.33 EV
More details here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601...57616302692802

Red Kite

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000) Aperture: f/4.2 Focal Length: 82.8 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: 0 EV
More detail here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601...57616302692802


Herring gull:



Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)- note this low ish speed- the shot was only achievable because the bird was hanging faily stationery!
Aperture: f/5.6 Focal Length: 45.2 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: 33/100 EV Flash: Flash did not fire
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8773601...57616302692802


Also this thread give other tips and tricks. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=34806596

Last edited by kittykat23uk; Apr 12, 2010 at 10:42 AM.
kittykat23uk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 11:43 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Chris0383's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southern Connecticut
Posts: 254
Default

I read thru every post there and here is what I gathered.

Use a shutter speed of 1/800 to 1/1000; and the lowest f-stop should get you there using A-Priority.

Use center weighted metering.

You can rig up a red dot sight but there is no guarantee the camera will be in focus; but the focus beep my assist you there.

So my question now is:

Is there a chart that tells you what shutter speed the camera resorts to for a given f-stop and I may have to add ISO also? I'm seeing at least SS of 1/800 and 1/1000 in the data for various photos.

It may be safe to say A-Priority may be the way to go but if ISO is lowered also, then the shutter speed may be slowed to an undesirable speed.

There is one way to find out. Get out there and try various settings, collect data and try and make a chart.

Oh! and have some fun!! That Osprey carrying the fish is incredible.
Chris0383 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 12:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,487
Default

This was about 400 yd shot...
LTZ470 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 3:04 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 24
Default

Nice and sharp there!

a few more musings from me. With photographing BIFs (Birds in flight) I think finding the right location can be half the battle. Larger birds are obviously easier to track because not only are they a large target, but they are generally a slower moving target as well.

So, local parks, ponds etc, where there are tame ducks and gulls around are a good place to try. Falconry displays are also good for practicing on some swifter targets. As are wetlands if you want to try getting some flocks of birds.
kittykat23uk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 3:53 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,487
Default

Great tips KittyKat...I have acquired a couple of more TC's to try including the Oly TCON 17...The E17ED I got a couple to try I think they'll work some magic on these BIF shots...you've got great common sense and have honed your technique well...thanks for sharing!
LTZ470 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2010, 5:30 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 51
Default

That gull shot is amazing!

It feels like you can reach out and touch it.

Great job.
__________________
Cheese.
Noob with an FZ35 - and loving it

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheeseboy2/
Comments appreciated.
cheeseboy is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:15 PM.