May 082011

I love to PAN.

Some birds fly faster than others.  Some pretty much fly in straight line.  Others like the swallow are constantly turning and going up and down.  The f-16’s of the bird world.  Or the Flycatcher.  Fast and unpredictable flight.  As I have watched the American Avocet I’ve noticed some routines in their flights.  At Farmington they often between ponds.  Back and forth. And pretty much in a straight line.  So I set up. Put the long lens on the D3s and waited between the ponds.  I almost always shoot in aperture priority.  Gives me control over the depth of field.  Though most of the time I shoot wide open to isolate the subject.  It is a look and feel in a photograph that I like.  So I am shooting wide open (f/6.7 on the 600 with a 1.7 teleconverter).  The long lens allows me the distance I need from the Avocet so they will fly directly between ponds.  And not be deterred by my presence.  I am 90 degrees from the birds as they fly by.  Panning right then left.  Fortunately I have a great Gitzo tripod with the gimbal head.    Makes the panning a little easier and smoother than hand holding.  Besides that, I would have to look like the hulk to hand hold a 600mm lens successfully.    After about 800 or so frames I was done (sunset).  Ended up with a couple of keepers……

Avocet flight

I did take the liberty to convert to black and white and erase the original colored layer of the Avocet back in.  The full color photo was a little bland.

 Posted by at 6:25 PM

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