Bald Eagle at Big Beef Creek

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BobH

Administrator
Staff member
Taken in 2018, back when you could actually go places and do stuff. ;)

Bald Eagle at Big Beef Creek

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
You bring up an interesting topic regarding bird photography that I thought of when I saw your photo: blur vs freeze frame. I personally like to "freeze the action", but some "prefer the blur" as it denotes motion..
Any comments from members?
 

Terry O

Active Member
I like motion blur in some instances, like hummingbirds (no choice), and maybe at the tip of a wing showing motion,......but mostly I prefer frozen action. (Beautiful eagle shot, by the way, Bob)
 

BobH

Administrator
Staff member
You bring up an interesting topic regarding bird photography that I thought of when I saw your photo: blur vs freeze frame. I personally like to "freeze the action", but some "prefer the blur" as it denotes motion..
Any comments from members?
My goal is to get things as sharp as possible. However, I also like to have the birds in flight. That means there is almost always some blur, for two reasons.

The first reason is depth of field. If the bird is in flight, and you're trying to freeze the action, that means a wide aperture. That will create a shallow depth of field. If you look at the above photo, you'll notice that the head is sharp and in focus. Things soften as you move along the wing, and there's really not much you can do about that. I don't exactly photograph them at f 1.4 (Ever tried finding a 600 mm f 1.4?) but still, it's a problem.

The second reason is simple motion blur. Looking at the water drops, you can see I had a fast shutter speed. But he had just snagged a fish and was in full thrust mode to gain altitude. Sometimes you can catch them gliding, and that helps. But in this shot, he's flapping his wings hard, and those feather tips are moving fast. Typically I'd be at 1/800 or so. Ideally over 1/1000th, but if it's cloudy that's not easy.

So, in general? I go for tack sharp, or as close as I can.
 
I think its a great picture The head and eyes are sharp. I have dealt with this many times. My kit now consents of two body's A Canon 7D!! and A 5DIV. At least for me, the 7D is by far the better camera for BIFS. The 7DII has the better AF system.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think its a great picture The head and eyes are sharp. I have dealt with this many times. My kit now consents of two body's A Canon 7D!! and A 5DIV. At least for me, the 7D is by far the better camera for BIFS. The 7DII has the better AF system.
My kit consists of three bodies: 7DII, 5DIII, and a 1DxII. While the 7DII has the better AF system, the others have full frame sensors which handle high ISO settings better than the crop frame sensor of the 7DII. I do not use the 7DII for nature photography when I know the ISO settings will be higher than 800, which is quite often given our weather up here in the Puget Sound Region.

I bring the 7DII along for scenery and train shots using the 16-35L wide angle zoom, which compensates for the 1.7 crop factor of the camera.
 

Terry O

Active Member
My ‘kit’ is a Canon 5diii and my usual walk-around lens for birding is a Canon 400mm f5.6L. I generally have the 5d set on tv at 1/1250s and auto iso. With this setup I shoot hand held. So many times opportunities crop up so quickly that I need a preset in order to have a chance to capture the shot. I also usually like a blurred background. Most of my photos are shot with printing and framing in mind.
It’s not uncommon for isos to be in the neighborhood of 5,000 or more. The 5diii full frame does an amazing job handling these high isos.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
All three of my cameras allow me to use a 1.4x teleconverter with the 100-400L II telephoto zoom (albeit at f/8) and still have autofocus. However, I don't use this setup as the TC really slows down the autofocus.
 
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