I need to work on improving the focus of pictures I take of birds at our feeder. Yesterday, trapped inside by the storm, I took another 100+ shots out the window, but didn't feel like any of them were quite achieving that clear sparkling focus.
So this morning I was out pushing snow off the deck, and watching the Chickadees come and go. They seem quite tame, unlike the other birds we see; they just kept dashing in to the feeders to get seeds even though I was only 5 or 6 feet away.
So I got out my camera, with just its regular lens on it. I shoot with a Nikkor AF-S 18-200 zoom almost all the time. And I'm constantly adjusting the exposure compensation too, depending on whether the bird is against the white background of the snow or the dark background of our Cedars and Spruce.
I stood quietly with my camera, and the Chickadees let me get within 3 or 4 feet. Even then, at a full zoom, I had to crop the pictures to get them this close.
I ended up quite pleased with these' they're definitely better than the other shots I've taken over the past week. Even though they're not perfect I can see the details of feathers on the bird. It's still hard to pick out the black eyes against the black feathers though.
Now I just have to try this with my 70-300 mm lens that I normally use for bird photography. Somehow I'm going to figure this out and get some well-focussed shots! Suggestions to help would be welcome!
Meanwhile, apart from my shovelling the deck off, we are snowed in. There's 20-25 inches on the level on the driveway, more than even my big snowblower can handle, so I called my farming neighbour to come with his big tractor and giant snowblower when he's out on his rounds. The township's snowplows didn't even get here til just before noon, busy with all the more important roads where there's more traffic. The snow came with an unusual east wind, so there are big drifts across the south and west of the house and across the garage doors, while the deck was almost swept clear! The snow always accumulates on the leeward side, depending on which way the wind comes.
I've also been having great frustration with Lightroom, which suddenly doesn't want to import my pictures anymore. I've tried several options, and ended up downloading them from the camera just using Windows, and then importing them to Lightroom, which does seem to work. Anyone else had problems like this?
Wonderful shots! I love these little birds.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure about lightroom but the lighting conditions are always tricky for these kinds of birds during the snowy time of year. These photos turned out great.ReplyDelete
Here is my suggestion. Throw away all that equipment, get a Canon Powershot, put in on the automatic setting and shoot! That's all I ever do. I am not a photographer of course but when I see a few of my birding friends who profess to be, and I see them fiddling with lenses and changing from this one to that one, and then changing the ISO and crying because they forgot to change the setting from yesterday...and so on, I get exhausted listening to them! And many is the time they miss the bird completely with all their putzing around. My images are obviously not of the quality you could obtain with your expensive equipment, but most of the time I get a decent, serviceable picture and I am happy with that. I swear that one day these little Powershot cameras are going to improve so much you will regret having invested thousand of dollars in expensive lenses and camera bodies.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the advice; I might just do that! Iget fed up with all the finniggling myself.Delete
I have gotten some great pictures (not professional grade by any means) using my Canon PowerShot. These days I default to the camera on my iPhone 6, and I'm very happy with them. Your bird pictures are wonderful! I love the backgrounds, all of them! The first picture is my favorite, though. If it were mine, I'd have it framed! :-)ReplyDelete
Love the chickadees. Thry are so hyper-active they are hard to photograph. Great job.ReplyDelete
Cute birdies! Glad you are getting some snow.ReplyDelete
Really nice photos. Chickadees are such special little birds - so friendly and trusting.ReplyDelete
I have a Canon Rebel T5 with creative settings, including portrait, mountain, etc. which I really like. I tend to use the priority mode as it functions well for the type of pictures I take most. I do have two lenses with it so I can change them out depending on what I want to photograph.
Lovely photos well done , birds can be tricky to capture as they flinch and move about to much. I use a Nikon D3100 camera with all the bells and whistles of settings but I don't bother with them as it is easier to do it all on a larger screen if I need to . I use my Nikkor 55-300mm telephoto zoom lens for just about all my photos . We have used Lightroom for years and haven't had any problems I have a cable that I plug my camera into from the computer and it automatically recognizes my camera and loads them straight to Lightroom I photograph in RAW so it gives me wiggle room to either adjust or not . There could be many reasons why your Lightroom isn't working . I hope you can get it sorted out . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !ReplyDelete
I love chickadees. Such pretty cute little birds.ReplyDelete
Don't know anything about lightroom. My pictures are just how I take them. I have a simple point and shoot camera and it is set on automatic. Sometimes I crop a picture a bit but that is all I do and I do that with the preview on my computer.
First of all, I am not the person to ask about getting great photos...I just plain out have a hard time focusing on anything. And my autofocus on my DSLR doesn't work on my one and only long lens that is 200 mm...ReplyDelete
I will tell you that your shots will turn out best if you don't have a screen in your window...any maybe you don't cause I sure cannot tell that it is there. About the only way to see the chickadee's eyes is if the light is shining in them just right.
I splurged and bought a Canon SX700HS...most of the shots on my blog are from it the past few months. You can see a few of the shots here. I did a search and this was all that came up but there are a lot more.
There are negatives of course. I have got to figure a way to deal with viewing the screen out in daylight. Plus, very hard to hold steady at full zoom. I atill always have my DSLR with me for eagles in flight, etc.
I never thought I would live to see the day I would shoot a P&S most of the time, but that day has come.
The reason I even considered it was a post a guy did showing comparison shots between this little Canon and his bigger DSLR...if you are interested I will hunt the post and give it to you.
They are fun birds to watch. We got the snow here too, and I was looking at the Canal about an hour ago- the snow has drifted heavily onto the ice. I've not seen that before.ReplyDelete
Chickadees are such sweet and perky little birds. I love watching them grab a seed and fly to the tree and tap away to break the shell and eat the seed inside.ReplyDelete
Great captures! Chickadees are one of my favorites!ReplyDelete
It's really hard to get good photos through window glass, there's just too much distortion. Interestingly, the best through-glass photos I've ever gotten have been through a double pane insulated window that's at least 45 years old.ReplyDelete
The other problem with shooting through glass is that is often fools the camera's auto-focus.
Nice Black Cap Chickadee photos. It's 'Auto-Focus' I rely on all the time. My cameras auto focus does a far better job of focusing than I can do using my eyes. I also have all my cameras set to focus dead center. None of this Matrix metering for me whereupon the camera picks it's own focusing point. My cameras are Nikon & my lenses are Nikkor. Like you I have a 70-300 & it's my favorite lens. I use it for all my bird photos.ReplyDelete
Great photos - what a wonderful subject - snow and chickadees. I don't have any suggestions for your focus - as I use the auto or scenery setting on my camera for all my bird photos - and just snap away - get some good, some fuzzy and some awful - but I am happy with the good ones.ReplyDelete
Lovely chickadee shots! Snow can blur your pictures when it's falling or the moisture can create a light fog. I don't use Lightroom; I use Adobe Bridge.ReplyDelete
I have a lot of friends who are amateurs, but go out on safari with the pros. I'm afraid if I take some courses I will forget it all anyway! I asked a semi-pro friend about photographing the moon, for example, and got some great shots. That was 2 years ago and I've forgotten. Plus, I've decided being outside in the dark and cold was dumb the 2nd time!ReplyDelete
oooooh i just adore these, such a cutie!!!!ReplyDelete
I like the mood of the first shot with the blurry snow falling.ReplyDelete
Fabulous photos of these cute little birds!ReplyDelete
Great photos of the little Chickadees! Do you have Lightroom as your default photo program? Mine got changed somehow, I don't use Lightroom for everything so I like my Photo Gallery to unload photos and one day it went to Lightroom go figure. :)ReplyDelete