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Old Jan 30, 2006, 3:49 PM   #1
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This past Sunday, I went to one of the local mountain lakes (Silverwood Lake in SoCal) in search of Bald Eagles. Somewhat skunked in that the only ones I saw were soaring a few miles up the mountains and one in a distant tree perch. I used a tripod and 4X digital zoom but way too muddy and no detail so I deleted them.

On the way to the lake (about 30-miles from home), I found a pair of Red Tail Hawks that claim a large area of some nearby 'farm land'. I see them just about every time I travel the road and usually am able to pull over near/under them for a series of photos. I've been trying to not only get some sharp focus shots with good light but to have a burst sequence of them taking to flight. The following is one BIF that I was able to capture using my FZ5 with a TCON17 (1.7X teleconverter lens) and using my RDS (Red Dot Sight) sight attached to the camera. Still not the sharpness I want and it has a lot of motion blur on the wings but still a fairly good photo for my newbie stage of digi photos...



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Old Jan 30, 2006, 4:24 PM   #2
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I like it....good job


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Old Jan 30, 2006, 5:25 PM   #3
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Good job, Dave! Not bad at all. The exif indicates only 11x zoom so I guess it must have been fairly close. Or did you crop some?
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 5:33 PM   #4
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That one looks really good! Nice shot. Jim
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 5:38 PM   #5
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nice framing... that RDS thing must really work! i may have to look seriously at it myself! the motion blur is just a matter of shutter speed... you need at least 1/1000 or faster to freeze the motion entirely, and that can be hard to do unless you have very good light... even at 11x, with the TCON-17 on, you were shooting atsomewhere near 630mm equivalent, so the bird was a fair distance off...
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 5:59 PM   #6
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Thanks, guys! Compared to my earlier attempts, I'm proud to see that I am making some progress. Of course, I won't mention that it wasn't until a few hours after taking this shot that I noticed that I had left the setting on M - macro from earlier in the day! Ooops, I just did..

Using the TCON17 and if time permits, I try to take photos with different zoom settings in anticipatiion that the subject may take flight and I'll need a slightly larger frame of viewto possiblyhelp capture the take off. I had taken aim at this one sitting on a phone pole cross arm (about 75' away and 70' or so high) and kept waiting with the shutter half depressed for a twitch. The first twitch was only to fluff up the feathers. I'll post that sequence later. The above photowas the middle of three tracking with the RDS after it had taken flight and was flying around looking for a new, undisturbed perch (~200' up in distance)

It was about 2-3 hours before sunset so it wasn't the best lighting. I'd have to say the Macro mode did OK for getting a good photo. The shutter speed was off, though for the circumstances.

One of my first, over-processed attempts that I'm comparing to:

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d73/Telecorder/BIF-Red%20Tail%20Hawk/RTH-BIFNIFM-cropped.jpg
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 6:03 PM   #7
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squirl033 wrote:
Quote:
nice framing... that RDS thing must really work! i may have to look seriously at it myself! the motion blur is just a matter of shutter speed... you need at least 1/1000 or faster to freeze the motion entirely, and that can be hard to do unless you have very good light... even at 11x, with the TCON-17 on, you were shooting atsomewhere near 630mm equivalent, so the bird was a fair distance off...

Squirl-

I'd have to say that the RDS has increased the percentage of subjects somewhere in the frame to nearly 85-90%. Sometimes I have a KFC (Kentucy Chicken part) with barely a wing of no wings but, all-in-all, more with a subject in the frame than not...

Normally, I try to use settings that will give me at least 1/500 or better shutter to get rid of the motion blur in the wings but I was totally in the wrong settings - lucky me that my FZ5 and Macro mode made up for most of my oversights!
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 6:37 PM   #8
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That is a pretty decent result Telecorder.Sounds like yourSunday was about like mine.....I got completely skunked on the Eaglesbut also got some Red Tail Hawk shots, not as close as yours though.

On the FZ5, the M is for Macro?
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 6:39 PM   #9
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Duuh, yea, M=Macro for close ups... :lol:

I guess that's what I was trying for but not really the intent of the Macro mode as anticipated by Pany, I suppose....

:roll:
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 6:56 PM   #10
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Welllll.....maybe we got this all backwards. Use macro for distant shots to make them appear close and zoom for close stuff??Fora majority of the shots of opportunity I try, Idefinitely need more glass and resolution (installing and getting proficient in PS wouldn't hurt either.:-))
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