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Thread: Capturing waterbirds

  1. #1
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    Default Capturing waterbirds

    I seem to have a great deal of difficulty in getting sharp captures of water birds, mainly with dark tanin stained water
    a filter would cut down glare, but wich a Cp or a nd filter,?? i have a hood attatched and have the sun behind
    most of the times. have thought about angles of the sun and times of the day, anyone got some tips they find helpful??
    much appreciated Rick
    Through the lens behold the glory of creation
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    Not sure of the problem you're having Rick. Do you have any images to illustrate what you're talking about. Perhaps the dark water is tricking your metering system into shooting at slower shutter speeds, in which case I would recommend a spot or partial metering system which will help you expose for the bird and not the water

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    Also the extra filter could degrade your images even further. Several members have experienced noticable quality differences with filters on compared to off.
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    Quote Originally Posted by wingsonwire
    Not sure of the problem you're having Rick. Do you have any images to illustrate what you're talking about. Perhaps the dark water is tricking your metering system into shooting at slower shutter speeds, in which case I would recommend a spot or partial metering system which will help you expose for the bird and not the water
    Dont know if there is a fix for these one but this is the situation I'm getting
    Through the lens behold the glory of creation
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    Both shots are tricky situations. If you could post the camera details etc it might help a bit too. Metering mode may be the answer.
    The second shot looks like the camera may have focused on the birds reflection instead of the actual bird. What sort of focusing mode are you using? AI servo/continuous or One shot AF? Do you use all focusing points or just the middle one?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    I think you use a Fuji point and shoot from memory? Is that right? The first shot is a bit under exposed and the second shot a little over exposed but I think the problem may lie in your autofocus. Perhaps try manual focusing next time you have reflections like these in the view finder. The AF will some times pick up the reflection of the bird (which is actually closer) instead of the actual subject. Especially if the camera uses a large focus point (or even a full frame focus point).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    Think I was using auto mode iso 400
    focus mode=s
    photometry multi pattern
    regards Rick
    Through the lens behold the glory of creation
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    You could try using continuous servo (C) but if the focusing area is large it may still miss the subject. If you go to the menu and select Auto focus you will have three modes Area,Multi,and Centre. Choose Centre focusing if it is not already activated. This will mean that the camera searches the centre of the frame instead of all the frame when focusing. Most of your subjects will be in the centre of the image so centre focusing mode will stop the AF searching for the subject too much. Is any of this making sense to you Sorry, I'm a bit tired and I'm having trouble putting words together
    Reflections can be tricky for all sorts of reasons

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Capturing waterbirds

    This basically looks like the camera has missed focus, a point and shoot is going to be difficult, when on long zoom they are well known for focus hunting. Manual focus can be a real chore depending on the model. P&S cameras use contrast detection AF, some of them have ways to tell it what part of the image you want to focus on, it will generally go to the part of the image with the most contrast (to the sensor), with the bird small in the frame it is going to struggle to lock on. Getting the bird bigger in the frame will help.

    All I can suggest is going through the manual to see if you can restrict it focusing on the centre only or some way it will tell what it is trying to focus on and then placing that point on the bird. Sorry don't know what focus mode = s translates to. Often it will place a red square where it is trying to focus, you want an option that does NOT automatically choose which area it will use for AF.

    A filter would be a definite no-no, less light will make the AF sensor's job even harder.
    Chris Ross
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