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Old Mar 30, 2005, 10:29 AM   #11
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Thanks a bunch eric, and I appreciate you offering some pointers to Houston, as I mentioned you in my own comments to him. I was writing my comment to Houston as you were writing and when I posted I saw your post -- interesting timing to say the least. :lol:

You asked how much of the frame this is. I'm away from home and don't have the original with meand I'm not a very good guesser but I can tell you that I was across a highway and down about 50 feet and the birdhad just taken off from a telephone pole. I was using the 400mm.



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Old Mar 30, 2005, 9:35 PM   #12
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sounds like it was a good size in the frame. Nicely done. I've been about 30 feet from one of these before, but I only got a decent butt-shot 'cause it was flying into the wind and away from us.

Normcar is right about the tripod (or lack there of.)
It's a tradeoff 'cause the good shots will probably be better, but you'll als probably get less of them. Since ultimate quality doesn't matter, get more good ones! I still remember those days when I shot without a tripod and they were very liberating. Wish the 600mm was lighter (or I had the arms of a weight lifter.)

He is usually right on the glide being slower, but there is one (obvious) time when this isn't true. Many raptors do a power dive to get their prey... and that certainly isn't slow.

His idea of figuring out the exposure and doing manual is an interesting idea. I've never tried it, but I just might some time. But make sure you calibrate your camera's LCD to your monitor. Take a shot of something reasonable, copy it to your PC and view it on both at once. Adjust the LCD brightness to match (as closely as possible) the monitor. This way you'll be able to look at the LCD and get a decent idea of how well it's exposed. This is really easy to do, I actually recommend most people do it.
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 10:11 PM   #13
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Eric and Norm, you guys are the greatest. I don't know how I'll ever be able to repay you for the time you've spent posting help for me. I guess I'll have to bring back some decent pics to post. First I've got to digest all this info. I read your posts at work todayand whenI got offI went down to a local lake to shoot some gulls. Usually they are flying everywhere out there. Today there were none. But a comorant made one flyover. It was full daylight but very hazy. I set the camera on Aperture priority of F6.3 and exp comp of -0.7 and all I got was mostly silouets. The shutter speed varied from 1/200th at start of shooting to 1/2500th at the end. I've had that same thing happen before when practicing on buzzards. I assume that is mostly because both of those birds are black. But then again so far I've had better luckusing exp comp of + when shooting high in the trees with a lot of sky showing. :? Yea I'm somewhat confused but I'm also one determined fellow. I'll be out there again tomorrow and the next day.

I've got to go to bed. More later

Houston
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 10:27 PM   #14
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Houston, if you're getting silhouettes then you are probably shooting into the sun or where the sun would be if the clouds weren't there. Position yourself, always, with the sun at your back. If you are still getting silhouettes then you need to advance your exposure compensation to a higher degree until you get the bird. The sky will probably be over exposed but that's the trade off. If your subject is too dark, increase the exposure. Your exposure is bouncing back and forth from 1/200th to 1/2500th because your priority modes just are not consistent enough. Mine aren't either, even with the Mark II, and that's why I find the proper exposure first and then set it on MANUAL exactly as it is when successful in just one of the priority modes. If I shoot one shot in aperture priority and it looks good -- no matter what the histogram says because the histogram will not account for light on subject, just light period--then I check the settings on that particular shot, switch to MANUAL, then set the manual setting to exactly the same or to an exact equivalent. For instance, if the setting was F/8 and 1/800th, then I set it at that. If I want more shutter, though, I could set it to F/5.6 and 1/1600th which would give me exactly the same amount of light.

MANUAL stays constant whereas the priority modes fluctuate and are dynamically inconsistent when shooting a moving subject IMO.
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 10:25 AM   #15
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Glad to help, really. I like helping others, its in my nature, so these forums are a great outlet for that. It's even better when you help someone who wants to learn!

The only warning I can give on using manual is that if the sun comes and goes, you'll blow the exposure on all the shots that have different light than what it was when you calculated it. Of course, you could always recalculate it if it will stay "changed" for awhile.

What metering mode were you shoting in? In situations like birds against the sky, this can make a HUGE difference. If you have a center-weight-average setting, then the sky might dominate the scene and the camera will think... ya, its mostly light, will expose for that extra light. And you'll miss it. Just keep doing what Norm said... take many, many shots at different settings, thinking about what you did. You'll learn to out-smart (or maybe combo-smart, using it and your brain to do better than it alone) the metering system and get the right exposure quickly.

I agree with norm, if you have the chance, shoot with the sun at your back. That will give you the best opportunity to get good light on a properly lit bird.

Eric
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Old Mar 31, 2005, 1:52 PM   #16
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Norm and Eric. When I said my shutter speed varied from 1/200th at start of shooting to 1/2500th at the end I meant that when I first started shooting the bird was coming from the east and I followed him all the way into the west where the sun was setting although you couldn't actually see the sun because of the heavy haze. And as you suggested I will adjust my camera monitor tonight. I have been wondering about that all along. I was planning to go back to t he lake this afternoon but guess what. Its raining cats and dogs. No birds though. And as far as the metering, I'm using the DRebel and up until now I've never changed it from what the default setting is. I will look into that tonight.

I'm at work. Have to get busy. Later
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