Photo of the week: Birds (pigeons?)

by Klaus on December 6, 2010

in Photo of the Week

I forgot to put this one up yesterday, so even though I’m posting it this week it’s actually a picture for last week 🙂

Anyway – time’s not important. I didn’t get to shoot much last week but this is probably the one I like the most.

I’m a complete newbiew when it comes to photographing birds so I had no other choice than to put my Nikon D7000 in “auto autofocus” mode and let it do the rest – it’s really hard to select focus points etc. when birds are flying over your head at rather high speeds. These birds were flying around in circles but I was in a narrow street so whenever they came above me, I had to be ready. I was also using spot metering since shooting against the white sky would probably mess up matrix metering and underexpore the birds. I’m not complete satisfied with the exposure though (which is why I converted this to B&W) so I’ll probably need to work with the exposure compensation next time and see if I can get the birds to look better without blowing out the sky.

This photo was shot using the Sigma 70-200/2.8 APO HSM II Macro lens.

I’m guessing they’re pigeons but I can’t really say for sure.

ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/1500, 200mm

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob McCance December 7, 2010 at 00:02

Great shot.

I know it’s a snap decision. You see them coming, need to make quick choices and boom.

I would also try say ISO 400, and a much smaller aperture, like f8. That way focus is not so critical and your lens speed would still be fast enough I think.

This one is also a classic case for RAW so you have more exposure adjustment available.

All that arm chair QB aside, it’s a great effort as it stands!

Make it your desktop background image for a while. Enjoy!
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Klaus December 7, 2010 at 10:09

What does “arm chair QB” mean?

I did shoot RAW – I always do 🙂

As for ISO 400 and f/8. If I were to raise ISO from 100 to 400 it would allow me to shoot f/5.6 and remain 1/1500 shutter speed. I’m not even sure 1/1500 is fast enough for such fast birds. I can’t really say if they’re slightly blurred because of the shutter speed of the fact that it was shot with f/2.8. I did try f/5.6 on the day as well, but I didn’t get any shot composed as nice as this (luck).
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Rob McCance December 7, 2010 at 14:31

I don’t think you need 1/1500. I have never shot that fast and I’ve stopped all sorts of action.

f2.8 has a very narrow depth of focus, less than even the difference between the highest and lowest bird.

Anyway – lots of ways to do it.

“Armchair QB” – QB stands for quarterback.

In the USA, is someone that sits in their comfortable chair (armchair), watching football, and telling everyone what the quarterback (QB) on the field should be doing all the time.

🙂
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Jennievictorian December 8, 2010 at 12:29

As I like your photography and perfect snap decision. This blog snap image bring me to Jonathan livingston seagull book, because this image is similar to that. Enjoy to read your post.

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Ron December 9, 2010 at 08:38

Nice photo. You are starting to shoot like a pro Klaus!
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DJ ARIF January 25, 2011 at 05:07

Amazing photoshot Klaus… Looks great and also very beautiful.
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