Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Grackel in Flight

Back to the Applebee's trash bin!

As a beginner photographer, blogger, and all round nature nut, I was getting a little frustrated with the whole flight photography phenomenon. Believe me when I tell you people like Hannibal, Steve, and good old Salty, are the exception to the rule. These are professional photographers. Basically, they ROCK and I SUCK!

But that is ok for me to say that. I do not ascribe to allow myself to remain in the halls of suckdom forever. I have a plan! I plan to not suck so much one day! When it comes to flight photo’s I was recently told to shoot a lot, keep a few. I like that advice and I’m working that out right now.

I developed what I now call the “ ‘neak up on ‘em” technique. I call it that because it reminds me of an old children’s joke. How do you catch a wabbit? You ‘neak up on him. Anyway I digress. Here is the technique. I get as close as I can zoom in and take a shot or two. Then I take another few steps and take more shots. Rinse Repeat. I mean I keep doing this until I think he is going to fly, or in the case of a wabbit, hop.

At that point I do the half click on the shutter to focus, aim a little ahead of him and wait. Sometimes it seems I am waiting forever and these is when I can feel the eyes watching me standing in the parking lot wondering what that idiot is doing. It’s amazing all the things that go through your mind when you are waiting. But you have to be diligent, I have heard that sometimes you mind can wander and the next thing you know you are focused on an empty ledge or limb. This of course has never happened to me, but I have heard it’s true.

So our victim, errr, I mean critter takes off and CLICK! Got him! Plus, my dear fellow critter catcher, I wanted to step up my game and get a nice inverted shadow of the Boat-Tailed Grackle. So I waited to the precise second the sun and grackle where in perfect harmony with the stucco fa├žade and whammo clicko capture!

Yea, I know, I totally got lucky. But, I was serious about the technique. The shot and shadow was a total lark, well not a lark but a grackle, accident. Click to enlarge and thanks for stopping by.



Kallen305 said...

Craig, that's a fantastic photo and I absolutely love how you got its shadow too! I hear you on flight photography. It is the one area I want to perfect over them all because it's my favorite way to see most of the larger birds! It's the only way you can really appreciate their incredible wing spans.

Bird Girl said...

Always fun to get a happy little accident like that SHADOW! How cool is that? You're doing great with the flight shots, Craig! That last one was just awesome!

Salty said...

Good work Craig! Catching the shadow was a bonus!

Thanks for the plug. I just posted a "how I do it" concerning flight shots. I hope it will be of some help.

dAwN said...

Great shot...I still cannot get birds in flight...oh course I do just have a tiny point and shoot. Maybe with your technique I may be able to pull something off...

Steve B said...

The 'neak up on 'em technique is a very sound one. That’s all I do. Keep up the good work.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great shot.Jake and I had a good laugh about your description of the event.I too am moat often in the halls of 'suckdom'but refuse to stay there.Perhaps some day?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That is an excellent technique Craig and one I use for insects too. That way, I at least get something before they take off for good. :)

Regina Marie said...

Oh..excellent! Too cool!!

Annie said...

ah, that is a great tip..I will have to try to remember..but I rather think I need a better lens than what I currently have!

anyway, thanks for visiting my skywatch post! Good to hear from you!


Leedra said...

I use the take a few steps, snap, take a few steps, snap, take a few steps..... on any bird or animal I am trying to get closer to. The bad part is, I am not waiting for them to fly, so I miss the shot.

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