Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 8, 2009, 10:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Trojansoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hot Springs, AR
Posts: 3,723
Default Red-Shouldered Hawk in Flight

Yesterday afternoon when I got out of the car after work, I heard a hawk screaming for help in the woods behind my house. It was being harassed by a large flock of birds I could never identify, although there were also crows mixed in with them. Sky conditions were lousy with heavy clouds. I watched for a while till the hawk made its break for it, probably about fifty yards away (maybe more), up high. I shot a burst of about a dozen shots. These shots are not great; I had do a lot of work with Lightroom to bring up the light, and that washed out the sky. I played with sky substitution in PSE 7 using the clouds filter and painting over with a low-opacity blue. No sharpening was done, and that's what impressed me with the K-7's focus tracking. These are heavy crops (all about 100%). All come from the same burst. Sky differences come from my playing with different adjustments on the sky in PSE 7.






All were shot with the Bigma at 500mm....ISO 400, f/10.0, 1/640, + 0.3 EV..SR is on.

Paul
Trojansoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Oct 9, 2009, 9:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
snostorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Chicago Suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 2,770
Default

Hi Paul,

These are some very good captures! For some reason, I've heard a lot of reports lately of smaller birds attacking hawks. There's one pic circulating in e-mails of a Kingbird clinging to a fleeing hawk's back in mid flight, and apparently it held on, pecking the hawk's head for about 20 yards. I guess it's not so easy to be a predator these days. . .

I've come to many of the same conclusions that you have. I think that the K20 focused quite a bit better on small subjects at greater distances than the K10, and also did better at AF C. I've subsequently found that the K-7 ups the bar in both categories again. I've been consistently surprised with the quality of extreme crops from the K-7. I take a lot of snaps of far away birds just hoping to get an ID, and have found that more of these can stand up to printing at 5x7 or sometimes bigger. For this reason, I'm a lot less casual about shooting at greater distances, and really try to get something exceptional.

BTW, a suggestion for the PP in these shots -- you might try a softening brush at 0 hardness, and maybe 10-15 opacity on the outside edges of the bird. I think it would make it blend with the backgrounds better.

Scott
snostorm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 2009, 9:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Trojansoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hot Springs, AR
Posts: 3,723
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by snostorm View Post
Hi Paul,

These are some very good captures! For some reason, I've heard a lot of reports lately of smaller birds attacking hawks. There's one pic circulating in e-mails of a Kingbird clinging to a fleeing hawk's back in mid flight, and apparently it held on, pecking the hawk's head for about 20 yards. I guess it's not so easy to be a predator these days. . .

I've come to many of the same conclusions that you have. I think that the K20 focused quite a bit better on small subjects at greater distances than the K10, and also did better at AF C. I've subsequently found that the K-7 ups the bar in both categories again. I've been consistently surprised with the quality of extreme crops from the K-7. I take a lot of snaps of far away birds just hoping to get an ID, and have found that more of these can stand up to printing at 5x7 or sometimes bigger. For this reason, I'm a lot less casual about shooting at greater distances, and really try to get something exceptional.

BTW, a suggestion for the PP in these shots -- you might try a softening brush at 0 hardness, and maybe 10-15 opacity on the outside edges of the bird. I think it would make it blend with the backgrounds better.

Scott
I have seen that kingbird/hawk shot that's floating around the net. The funniest similar thing I've seen I didn't get a decent shot of....a scissor-tail flycatcher that got between the wings of a great blue heron and flew along pecking the back of the heron's head. They covered at least a hundred yards and the scissor-tail was still chasing when they went over a line of trees.

I've several times seen a flock of crows trap a hawk in the pines behind my house. The hawk will usually just hunker down and scream for help.

Thanks for the suggestion on processing. I was wondering what I could do to soften those edges.

Paul
Trojansoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 2009, 4:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Keltech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Andover, Massachusetts
Posts: 2,178
Default

Paul, very nice pictures! Knowing how hard it is to follow and shoot fast moving birds with a long lens hand held these shots are commendable especially with a 4# lens.

Lou
Keltech 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 1:12 AM.