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Author Topic: Common Eider  (Read 1363 times)
Glenn Bartley
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« on: February 21, 2012, 11:16:07 AM »
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I thought I would take a break from posting tropical species to share this beautiful drake Common Eider. This one was shot in june up in Churchill, MB.

All the best!

Glenn



Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D
Shutter speed: 1/2500 sec
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 400
Focal length: 500mm + 1.4x
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John R Smith
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Still crazy, after all these years


« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 12:53:18 PM »
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Glenn

Just stunning. But you knew that already, didn't you  Wink

John
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jalcocer
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 02:18:23 PM »
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What a beautiful, beautiful shot!!
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Isaac
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 02:47:16 PM »
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I dare say Mark Dubovoy would look and immediately utter the phrase "The Unseen" :-)

Of course, being able to examine just an instant of flight is what makes this photograph much more interesting to me than your other excellent photographs of birds at rest.
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shaunw
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 02:49:57 PM »
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All works very well for me...good detail rendered especially in the wing tips....great shot well done.
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rambler44
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 04:23:17 PM »
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Great shot, Glen. 
1  When you took this photo was 5.6 the widest possible aperture with that lens to get the max of shutter speed?
2  Was it the combination of that aperture and your camera movement that blurred the background?
3  Did you use the ISO 400 in order to reach that shutter speed rather than a lower ISO such as 100?
4  Do you have a rule of thumb for choosing a shutter speed for this type of photo, for example, 'at least twice the number of the focal length' ?
5 Were you following the flight of the bird and shooting in 'continuos exposure' mode with automatic focusing?
6 Were you using a center focus and trying to aim at the eye?
7  Did you purposefully shoot at a slightly downward angle to ensure the solid blue background given by the water?
8  Is that morning light or later?

I have been trying to learn to capture birds in flight which is why I am checking with your technique. 

The Common Eider is quite prevalent off the coast of Maine where I see them, but I had to check in the bird book to look for that yellow around the neck which I had not noticed before.  I also read that this largest of our ducks, most famous for its down, also thrives on mussels and other shellfish which they swallow whole and crush using their stomach muscles. (Audubon Guide).  Good grief!

BTW Another tip I read about swimming birds is that they almost always take off heading into the wind.  So, if you can get up wind of them, you will have a good chance of catching them in flight head on.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 10:12:50 PM »
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Superb image.  I think most of us would have difficulty keeping the subject in the frame at that magnification, let alone perfectly framed and razor sharp.
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Marlyn
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 12:43:49 AM »
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Great shot, Glen. 
1  When you took this photo was 5.6 the widest possible aperture with that lens to get the max of shutter speed?
2  Was it the combination of that aperture and your camera movement that blurred the background?
3  Did you use the ISO 400 in order to reach that shutter speed rather than a lower ISO such as 100?
4  Do you have a rule of thumb for choosing a shutter speed for this type of photo, for example, 'at least twice the number of the focal length' ?
5 Were you following the flight of the bird and shooting in 'continuos exposure' mode with automatic focusing?
6 Were you using a center focus and trying to aim at the eye?
7  Did you purposefully shoot at a slightly downward angle to ensure the solid blue background given by the water?
8  Is that morning light or later?

I have been trying to learn to capture birds in flight which is why I am checking with your technique. 

The Common Eider is quite prevalent off the coast of Maine where I see them, but I had to check in the bird book to look for that yellow around the neck which I had not noticed before.  I also read that this largest of our ducks, most famous for its down, also thrives on mussels and other shellfish which they swallow whole and crush using their stomach muscles. (Audubon Guide).  Good grief!

BTW Another tip I read about swimming birds is that they almost always take off heading into the wind.  So, if you can get up wind of them, you will have a good chance of catching them in flight head on.

I'm not Glen, but I'll take a few punts at the top two of your questsions.

1.   Yes.   500mm is F4 lens,  + 1.4x  adds a stop to 5.6
2.   Appeture and distance between subject and background (i.e. the background is a long way away, due to the low angle).   at 1/2500 sec,  there is no camera movment effect on blur anywhere there  (IMO)


Good questions here.  But as a recomendation, if you want to learn bird photography,   run (dont' walk)  to Art Morris's site,  and buy  "The Art of Bird Photography' (book), and the "Art of Bird Photography II" (pdf)   found here:  https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=32

No affliation with art, other than being a happy owner of both books, and shot with him recently in Alaska for the bald eagles.

As for Glens Eider.  Shooting a bird in flight like that, with a long lens and T-Con is HARD.  Tracking the thing and keeping it in frame is probably (IMO) the hardest part.
Another excellent shot from Glen.

Regards

Mark
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 12:51:11 AM »
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Glenn has a level of perfection, I sometimes think he's doing CGI not photography.
Always a pleasure to watch and get stunned!
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stpf8
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 03:30:38 AM »
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I can only dream of a shot like this.... and I am dreaming and looking for opportunities to try.  You set an exceptionally high standard, and that's good for folks like me.
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Stephen Penland
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 09:13:09 AM »
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Glenn has a level of perfection, I sometimes think he's doing CGI not photography.
Always a pleasure to watch and get stunned!
+1. He's the best.

With all the exotic birds he has shown I was a bit startled to see one with the word "common" in its name. I got a few snapshots of Common Eiders in Iceland, but nothing at all like this shot!

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Glenn Bartley
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 07:33:58 PM »
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Great shot, Glen. 
1  When you took this photo was 5.6 the widest possible aperture with that lens to get the max of shutter speed?
Yes - with the 500 f/4 and a 1.4x it was wide open
2  Was it the combination of that aperture and your camera movement that blurred the background?
Just the aperture. I tried to get low to have the GB fall off in to the distance.
3  Did you use the ISO 400 in order to reach that shutter speed rather than a lower ISO such as 100?
I find ISO 400 pretty clean on that camera. And with flight shooting of a fast duck I wanted to keep the SS up.
4  Do you have a rule of thumb for choosing a shutter speed for this type of photo, for example, 'at least twice the number of the focal length' ?
Not really. Depends on the species. For ducks I like at least 1/1000
5 Were you following the flight of the bird and shooting in 'continuos exposure' mode with automatic focusing?
I tracked the bird in from further out. I was in AV mode and servo focusing.
6 Were you using a center focus and trying to aim at the eye?
Center...just trying to keep it on the bird...
7  Did you purposefully shoot at a slightly downward angle to ensure the solid blue background given by the water?
Indeed
8  Is that morning light or later?
Morning

I have been trying to learn to capture birds in flight which is why I am checking with your technique. 

The Common Eider is quite prevalent off the coast of Maine where I see them, but I had to check in the bird book to look for that yellow around the neck which I had not noticed before.  I also read that this largest of our ducks, most famous for its down, also thrives on mussels and other shellfish which they swallow whole and crush using their stomach muscles. (Audubon Guide).  Good grief!

BTW Another tip I read about swimming birds is that they almost always take off heading into the wind.  So, if you can get up wind of them, you will have a good chance of catching them in flight head on.
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rambler44
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 08:18:37 AM »
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Thanks, Glen for your timely response.  New to this site, I was not familiar with your resume, and I will soon return to your website for more views of your wonderful photos and information.

Marlyn, thanks, too, for your comments.  I understand now that it was the shallow DOF from f/5.6 that contributed to the background appearance.  What does T-con refer to?  Thanks for the Morris site link.  I have learned a lot from reading books on photography.  For birds, I have used a pocket-size book by British photographer, David Tipling, The Bird Photography Field Guide, Focal Press, 2011.

I had fun last summer trying to photograph shore birds, and learned of the challenges of capturing birds in flight.  Along with the techniques of camera settings comes the methods to learn about getting close and into position to set up the shots. 

I look forward to viewing images of Alaskan eagles and birds of prey from both of you!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 10:23:15 PM »
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I think "T-con" is short for "tele-converter" (i.e., the "1.4x" that Glenn mentions).
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
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