Friday, 3 June 2011

Greylag Goose (Anser anser) and some Project 18

A recent evening visit to the RSPB at Titchwell was made to practice my long lens technique. The set up for this shoot was the D3 + 600mm f4 AFS + 1.4x converter, with a couple of wide zooms in the bag, but the main aim was to shoot some ordinary birds (I don't know the names of the rare ones) with the 600mm, as it gets so little use. There aren't too many rules here except one that matters. "Use a fast shutter speed". Even when on the largest tripod and a gimbal ( a device that balances the weight of the lens and camera) the likely hood of camera shake is a certainty. Mirror up techniques can be used but that is very clumsy when framing and focusing, with the birds moving it is impossible to then loose the TTL facility while the mirror is up. My technique follows that of Moose Peterson, a wildlife photographer working in the USA who has written at length about all aspects of wildlife photography. There was no intention at the start of the evening to shoot any course work photography, but as the sun became lower I did think about Project 18 (sunrise and sunset) and how wonderful the light is for that so called "Golden Hour".

600mm + 1.4x 1/400 sec f5.6  ISO 2500

The sunset and the clouds were stunning and I had to think about Project 18 and not let the opportunity pass by. The light on the goose was soft and warm although the sky to the west was dark and menacing, the late evening rays softened by the partial cloud cover.

The sunset was shot with the 600mm and captured in DX format so the apparent focal length is 850mm. ISO2500  1/8000 sec f25