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How to Photograph Birds in Flight.

How to Photograph Birds in Flight.

As I’m sure you know, freezing that bird whizzing past you can be one of the most satisfying things in wildlife photography.

So today I’m here in Bristol City Centre to practise my techniques on some of our more common birds, and if I’m really lucky I might even spot one of our fastest and most ferocious species.

So the first thing that you’re going to want is a nice, sturdy tripod and a smooth Gimbal head.

These are really useful when you’re panning using slow shutter speeds or staying in one place for a long time.

Decent birds in flight shots are achievable with most DSLR cameras, but you really want to buy those with the best autofocus abilities.

A nice, prime telephoto lens helps your camera with its focus, but I tend to go for a zoom lens, especially when the birds aren’t photographing, for at different distances.

Lastly, teleconverters are an absolute no-go.

They simply interfere with the autofocus too much.

So let’s take that away.

Whilst some decent kit like I’m using today will help your hit rate, most of it just comes down to good ol’ practise and patience.

Now, when photographic birds in flight, it almost goes without saying that shutter speed will be a most important setting.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to be aiming for about 1/1000 of a second for slower birds, and about 4/1000 for quicker birds.

Usually for fast shutter speeds, you’d look to high ISOs and low f-numbers, but for birds in flight, you want to be aiming for about f/9.

This gives the chance for the whole bird to be in focus, and if you miss the focus slightly, it gives you that little bit of leeway.

So there’s this constant struggle between getting a fast enough shutter speed and keeping that f-number nice and high.

Often, a good solution of catering for both of these desired settings is underexposing and shooting silhouettes of birds in flight at sunset or sunrise.

But often, there’s not even enough light for far shutter speeds at low f-numers.

And if you don’t want to crank up that ISO too much, you can embrace the slow shutter speed and pan with the motion to create one of my favourite effects.

A smooth Gimbal head is crucial for this, and make sure your posture is relaxed and comfortable to help with a nice, controlled movement.

So you’ve got your settings decided upon.

Now it’s time to pick your viewpoint.

I try and be as elevated as possible, to get myself closer to the bird’s eye level, and to spice up the background a bit with some land.

Also, try and position yourself so the bird will be front-lit, bringing out as much detail as possible.

Then you have the age-old question.

Do you go with the tripod,or do you go handheld?

If I’m setting up shop like I am today, or if I’m panning at slow shutter speeds, I tend to use one.

If it’s a bright day and I’m walking around the nature reserve looking for subjects, I won’t need any camera support.

Now, you see your subject perched some distance away.

You shouldn’t have to stand poised with your camera ready for it to take off at any point.

Instead, learn to read the species’ body language.

In the case of Bristol’s Peregrine Falcons, they give you a very clear warning before they’re about to take off.

Then, suddenly it happens.

The bird takes to the air and starts flying toward you.

Make sure that both of your eyes are open the whole time so one of them can keep track of the bird, whilst the other is stuck in the viewfinder.

And as it’s flying toward you, it’s always tempting to start focusing on the bird when it’s miles away in anticipation.

However, as they get closer, it’s easy to lose focus just as they get into that perfect spot.

So instead, I’d recommend waiting until the bird is a few seconds away, then left, aim, and fire.

Focusing can be one of the most depressing things in wildlife photography.

There’s nothing worse than ruining a top action shot just because you missed the focus slightly.

Holding that focus can be one of the most challenging things when photographing birds in flight.

With most DSLRs, you can switch between a single or multiple focus points, and with a decent enough camera body, multiple points can do a good job of tracking the bird through the frame.

However, its ability really depends on the camera body you use, and I highly recommend you stick to the single focus point if your camera isn’t tracking your subject as you’d like.

One way to help improve your focus tracking is to limit the focusing distance of your lens.

This helps make your lens’ job as easy as possible.

Another way to help your lens out is by limiting its frame rate.

I, of all people, know that it’s one of the funnest things to do with your new camera body, which shoots at 10 frames a second.

If your camera’s spending most of its time with the shutter open, it gives it less time to hold focus on the subject.

Well today, it’s been here for my viewpoint in Bristol.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video, and please don’t forget to subscribe to Nature TTL’s YouTube channel for more videos like this every week.

Take Pictures of Wildlife in the City

Take Pictures of Wildlife in the City

More individuals than any other time in recent memory currently live in towns and urban communities.

Anyway, rather than flying off to the Serengeti, why not shoot nearby?

Here, untamed life’s tamer, more natural to your crowd, and right close to home.

I’ve been fortunate enough to photo creatures in numerous urban areas everywhere on the world.

In any case, Richmond Park in London is one of my preferred spots to see metropolitan natural life.

I’m Sam Rowley here for Nature TTL and I’m here today to assist you with shooting untamed life in the city.

To locate a decent metropolitan untamed life area, I have a fairly unordinary approach.

I generally start by going web based, jumping onto Instagram, Twitter, or Flickr, and with a touch of cunning looking through you can regularly locate an ideal area.

Like, for instance, where to locate a peregrine hawk in Bristol.

My Flickr page has parted with it.

It appears for this situation, Avon Gorge is a decent spot to discover them.

Yet, this method doesn’t generally come up bests, so here and there you’re simply must accomplish the messy work and discover the area yourself.

A decent beginning spot is a nearby park, much the same as here, where most metropolitan natural life will in general hang out.

Winter is an extraordinary season to photo water fowls in parks like Richmond Park.

You get so many cool species that you can get so near.

Much the same as that rush of shovelers directly behind me.

I see greenish blue, kingfishers, and even kill all on this very lake in the core of London.

The winged animals here are such a great amount of tamer than in the open country, so you’d be insane to photo them anyplace else.

By taking shots at the perfect season of day at the perfect point, I’ve figured out how to astonish many individuals by saying that these shots were, actually, taken in London.

Dawn and nightfall can be mysterious occasions regarding light yet in addition an incredible opportunity to discover untamed life at its generally dynamic.

Thus, for most species, make a point to search for them at these occasions.

Be that as it may, in case you’re feeling super specialized, super inventive, and don’t have anything to get up for the following morning, at that point take shots around evening time.

The groups clear, leaving their litter and coaxing out creatures from their daytime concealing spots.

In any case, shooting in such low light can be an overwhelming test for some picture takers.

Be that as it may, recollect, you needn’t bother with your own glimmer weapons.

In the city, there’s a lot of common encompassing light giving bunches of chance to things like outlines or bokehs and with the nature of cameras nowadays, even the dimmest streetlamps can give enough light to your cameras to work.

In any case, in case you’re up for the test and you need to utilize your own glimmer while capturing metropolitan untamed life, at that point Nature TTL makes them flabbergast instructional exercises to assist you with doing only this.

Presently, when I’m shooting natural life in the open country, I’m as a rule after the most out of control, the most unblemished, old style shots as I can take.

Presently the thing about these shots is they’ve been done consistently and I nearly believe they’re falling somewhat outdated.

Yet, the thing about metropolitan untamed life photography, it’s an energizing new boondocks, and as I would see it is significantly all the more fascinating.

How about we take the deer of Richmond Park for instance.

I could never go anyplace else and it permits me to be substantially more inventive with my points and with my situating than I would somewhere else.

Notwithstanding, if this was in the New Forest, for instance, you would think that its hard to move away from exemplary photographs which have been taken and distributed a thousand times previously.

In any case, Richmond Park in London, there are endless stories to be told.

The deer could be touching on a rugby pitch, outlined against the far off lights of Canary Wharf, or even caught close-up utilizing a wide point focal point and a distant trigger.

These are on the whole shots that your crowd will discover right away all the more convincing.

One of the important disasters of metropolitan untamed life photography is being among the rushing about that a significant number of us effectively try to move away from.

Clearly, individuals are wherever in the city.

Be that as it may, I’ve figured out how to attempt to grasp them in the shot.

Take some little owls, for instance, that I shot in this accurate spot only a couple of years prior.

I was attempting to photo them basically roosted on fence posts, yet I was disappointed by individuals strolling or cycling past.

In any case, at that point I understood that individuals being so near these stunning animals is significantly more intriguing than only a photograph of a little owl sat on a post.

I surely know which one of these shots catches my eye the most.

It’s a picture that I can identify with.

I unexpectedly can’t help thinking about the number of owls I’ve cycled past before without seeing them.

I generally ask the individual in my shot’s authorization in the event that I can see their face unmistakably in the photograph.

Additionally, it can unintentionally be a fascinating visit, as well.

Huge numbers of the canine walkers and joggers will have been going to these parks for quite a long time, and might have the option to give you some truly OK clues on any untamed life that you may have missed yourself.

Camera Settings For High Quality Wildlife Photography

Camera Settings For High Quality Wildlife Photography

I am a firm devotee that effectively tweaking camera settings, and understanding their capacities, is pivotal to improving your natural life photography. This post goes past the essentials of basically realizing how to switch between Aperture, Shutter Priority and Manual or utilizing Back Button Focus. While accommodating, they’re only the beginning of maximizing your camera and creating better photographs.

The accompanying camera highlights, tips and exhortation will assist you with tweaking your DSLR and empower you to respond quicker to evolving conditions. They investigate a portion of the lesser considered, however similarly significant ones for fitting the arrangement of your camera. I additionally talk a little concerning why I utilize every one at whatever point and any place I am taking my natural life photographs, to help give a little setting to their utilization.

1) Hide self-adjust modes you don’t utilize

This will be close to home inclination however on the off chance that, for instance, you discover you just utilize single point and 51 point you can shroud the various modes. This implies, when you hold down the center mode catch and look over the order wheel to burn through the different choices, just the ones you need will show up. Since I will in general utilize Single and Group, I have shrouded all higher point modes and 3D following. This implies I am consistently a single tick of the parchment wheel from the self-adjust mode I require. Should I actually want to get one of the others back, it’s speedy and simple to do by following the following tip.

2) Put every now and again utilized settings in My Menu

Another basic element that can assist you with dealing with your camera all the more successfully. DSLR’s have a ton of menus and sub menus to explore. Some are set and overlook yet others are required all the more much of the time. Discovering explicit camera settings can in some cases squander significant seconds when you have to rapidly respond to a photographic chance. Natural life is frequently unsurprising so the more set you up are, the better. On the off chance that your camera has My Menu or comparable, ensure you put significant settings in there.

To include things:

  • Go to My Menu
  • Include Items
  • Discover the settings you need and press OK.

ISO affectability settings: I use Auto ISO a great deal, which can undoubtedly be turned here and there by holding the ISO button and pivoting the front order wheel. Be that as it may, I additionally keep ISO controls in My Menu. That way I actually wind up needing to alter the range Auto ISO uses or change the base screen speed, should I change to Aperture Priority, can do so rapidly.

Spotlight Tracking with Lock-On: This decides how rapidly the camera pulls together on contending objects with the casing that go in front or behind the principle subject. I like to have this setting accessible so I can alter the center affectability rapidly, as the circumstance calls. This is particularly helpful for winged creatures in flight.

Breaking point AF-region mode determination: Just in the event that I have to get back one of the self-adjust modes I’ve avoided tip 1!

Standalone Mode: I like to have this here so I can rapidly turn bluetooth on and off, guaranteeing I’m not unintentionally helping the battery channel quicker. Infrequently I use Nikon SnapBridge to get a Live View feed to my iPhone, so having the option to turn availability on and off rapidly is significant.

Battery Status: Relying on the top LCD battery marker isn’t generally truly dependable for something besides a ballpark thought of how much force is left. Having a more precise sign of battery levels is consistently valuable.

3) Setup and utilize custom capacity catches

There are a plenty of alternatives accessible to you while tweaking your camera settings for natural life photography. One of the most valuable approaches to tailor your camera is to utilize allotting accommodating settings to different capacity catches. Contingent upon your model the measure of customisation will shift yet significantly more established models will have some custom usefulness accessible, regardless of whether not with committed catches.

  • Go to Custom Settings Menu
  • Controls
  • Custom control task

Virtual Horizon: Generally it’s consistently a smart thought to have lattices turned on in your viewfinder. Anyway there can regularly be times, particularly when utilizing a shallow profundity of field with a ton of out of center components, that there isn’t anything to fix up those matrices with. Or on the other hand on the off chance that you end up so low to the ground you can’t glance through the viewfinder without inclining your head, getting the camera straight can be a test. By allocating virtual skyline to a custom catch, you can in a flash check whether the camera is level, without taking your eye from the viewfinder. How this functions will differ on model and producer. On the Nikon D5 for instance, it utilizes the center focuses to duplicate a soul level. The D500 and D810 in any case, utilize the presentation meter at the base of the casing.

Star Rate Images: If your camera offers a rating framework, doling out one of your capacity fastens to it is an absolute necessity. With this set you’ll have the option to rapidly check a picture from 1 to 5 or imprint for erasure in camera. This rating will at that point be kept when you import your pictures into Lightroom. In case you’re shooting a ton of comparable edges in a long arrangement, or away voyaging, having the option to rapidly label the pictures you believe are the ones to give more consideration to when you’re once again at the PC, will help accelerate your work process no closure. At whatever point I switch between shooting with my D810’s and D500, I generally miss this component a great deal with the previous (alter: I have now supplanted both of these cameras with the D850, which additionally had this element).

Feature weighted Metering: Although I for the most part use Matrix Metering, it’s occasionally valuable to have Highlight-weighted Metering rapidly to hand. This metering mode goes about as a blend of Matrix and Spot. Perusing the whole scene however biasing introduction for the most brilliant regions. With this set I can hold down the capacity catch to get metering dependent on Highlight-weighted and afterward, when I discharge my finger, I’m straight back to Matrix. This can be helpful if your subject moves into differentiating backdrop illumination, making brilliant edge lit features, or you’re shooting a splendid subject with a dull foundation.

4) Set the multi-selector catch to zoom on picture playback

Regularly neglected, setting this will permit you to rapidly zoom in to your photographs when investigating pictures (otherwise called chimping) on the rear of the camera. Not all DSLR screens are equivalent in goal but rather setting this will permit you to rapidly survey if center and sharpness are in the correct ballpark, without squeezing the zoom fastens over and over. Contingent upon your model of camera, the degree of amplification you can pick will shift.

  1. Press Menu
  2. Go to Custom Settings
  3. Controls (menu f)
  4. Multi selector focus button
  5. Playback mode
  6. Zoom on/off
  7. Pick amplification level required and press OK

5) Keep it in persistent high

As this rundown of camera settings go, the latter is the most evident tip however one that is regularly disregarded by picture takers simply beginning. With untamed life photography, no one can tell what will occur or when. Being readied is a large portion of the fight to catching great pictures. By having constant high on, if the activity ought to abruptly commence, you’ll generally approach your cameras quickest edge rate. That doesn’t mean you have to consistently make an eruption of efforts however, as it’s as yet conceivable to take a solitary edge even in with the quickest cameras – despite the fact that on the off chance that you have a D5 set to 12 edges for each second, it might take a little practice to just fire each in turn. It’s justified, despite all the trouble however. In the event that something out of nowhere happens that requires a quick edge rate, when your cerebrum has enrolled that and you’ve at that point changed the camera from single shot to blast mode, the activity could be finished. I talk for a fact there…