Monday, February 13, 2017

Birding at the lake in the morning with the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM (Follow-up on techniques)

Just a simple follow-up, continuing my previous post on "birding in the evening".

This morning I went to the lake again with the same setup (Canon 7D + Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM). I wanted to try and see if it's possible to stop down the aperture and take better photos of the birds there.

The setting is basically a shutter speed of 1/500 or less, at f7.1 or f8.0, auto ISO. 
Only the second photo is edited in Lightroom CC. The rest could be cropped.

Here are the results:

White-throated Kingfisher (BEFORE EDIT)
© Edward Chen

White-throated Kingfisher (AFTER EDIT)
© Edward Chen
As I have shared in my previous post, attempting to get a sharper photo by stopping down a stop requires the subject to be in good light. If not, the ISO has to be really high. The photo would be noisy or details could be lost after processing. 

And this bird is stationary. Imagine if it's in flight and a higher shutter speed is required (thus a higher ISO as well.) So, I feel that stopping down is not suitable for birds, and especially if one is in flight!

White-throated Kingfisher (ZERO EDIT, Lightroom CC RAW covert to JPEG and crop only)
© Edward Chen
As compared to the previous photos, this photo above was shot at base ISO100 due to good available light from the morning sun as the bird was in the open. The photo looks satisfactory and requires very little adjustments in Lightroom. I could possibly get away with it at f8.0 as well. 😁

In addition, this photo would not be possible if I was standing on the other side of the bird, facing directly at the sun. Look at the photo below.

White-throated Kingfisher (ZERO EDIT, Lightroom CC RAW covert to JPEG and crop only)
© Edward Chen
Things that you'll need for bird photography: information, planning, patience and sometimes just pure luck!

What do you think?

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