We had located a bird, not a ‘lifer’, but one that we see so infrequently.
Problem number one, was, it was ensconced in a old dead bush. Probably a melaleuca or a prickly wattle. And there the bird was, happy in its quite secure ‘fortress’.
Take a shot or two, just for the record. Walk about a bit, nope, no clear shot that side either.
Hey, it’s out in the open with a rolling hill behind for a soft backdrop. Hmmm bird photography is so easy. Approach, secure a nice frame. Now to wait for a lift off for wing details.
The light goes. Deep clouds gather and the shutter speed drops. Deceivingly low.
Oh, of course the Vibration Reduction, (IS or VR), will take up the slack. But, that is never the case.
Maybe crank up the ISO. Well there goes the feather detail.
So I wait, slowing shutter speed, dwindling light, and hoping the bird will fly. Watching. Watching.
Light goes to porridge. Shutter speed splutters to a slow crawl.
Time to make some adjustments.
As I pulled the camera down to :
(A) Reset the ISO up a stop,
(B) bring the shutter speed up a half stop.
The bird, without warning dropped of the perch and to the frantic warning cries of honeyeaters and thornbills took off along the treeline.
I’d not even rotated the dial yet.
I’ve quoted Ming Thein before, but just in case you missed it.
From Ming Thein
“If you are waiting for something to happen to get a shot, you must be hyper vigilant at all times until you can no longer stand it or have your concentration broken for you: because the minute you turn away, decide to take a pee, sneeze, or pack up for the day…what you’ve been waiting for will happen”
Wise words Ming.
There is so much to be said for having confidence in the camera and the setting I’m using. Not needing to think, “Oh, I’ll try this or that, or perhaps do this.” I rarely chimp, most I’ll do is check that the exposure is close to where I want it. If its a touch on the light side when I glance at the LCD then I’m happy. Any changes are what the sliders in the photo app are for.
For the same reason, I don’t use auto ISO. I just can’t predict where the shutter speed will go. (Aperture is always the one variable I don’t vary)
Yet, I got in the mail the other day another mail about another ‘Artificial Intelligence” (AI) software that will turn my images into
“Stunning views of your subject”. Yep, I was stunned.
Can’t imagine how AI is going to be there at just the right moment when the bird unfurls the sails and floats away.
I waited for this Black-shouldered Kite. No changes of settings.
And eventually, it looked, and lifted off.
Who said Bird Photography was hard.