Welcome to my 4’th article from the Photo selection series. I will continue including Swans photo, as I got quite a few that I like, also a curious interaction between them and photos of some other species like the White-tailed eagle or Great egrets.
As I already mentioned I will continue with the swan photos that I’ve started including in Photo selection 02 and 03 articles. I have decided to split them along more articles so I don’t get the audience bored with only Swan photos. In this case, two juvenile Mute swans (Cygnus olor) positioned themselves nicely in the frame and for a moment looked at each other increasing the beauty of the moment. The reeds from the side of the lake and the sunset light helped me set a warm mood for this photo and turned it in one of my all-time favorites. I am now grateful that I have set the shutter speed to 1/800 sec. as I have later discovered to be the speed that gives me the best images. I was at F6.3 with auto Iso and the camera set it at ISO500.
I have also tried a black and white Swan photo, this time with a mature Mute swan (Cygnus olor). Let me know what you think! It would have been perfect if the water would be still but then I would probably have not turned it into black and white. The same F6.3 and 1/800 sec. shutter speed was used but this time the camera turned up the ISO to 800.
It was a different day when I have
I always enjoy seeing the White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) but they always manage to take me by surprise and catch me with bad camera settings. Many times I got so excited to see them that I forgot to change my setting, other times after changing them they refused to fly again or they flew to far for me to get a good picture. This one is cropped approximate 50% and unfortunately with motion blur. I am definitely not going to print this photo but for internet sharing I believe it to be decent, especially considering my short experience. The expression in the eagle’s eyes is the best asset of this photo. I had the shutter speed set at 1/1250 sec. and F6.3 which put the camera at base ISO100 because of the good light. I hope next time I’ll remember to crank up that shutter speed and try to be with the back at the sun.
I have already shared a photo with the Great egrets (Ardea alba) arranging themselves symmetrically to give me a great composition (see photo selection 03). This time two of them arrange themselves back to back leaving space between them for a duck to situate itself in the middle and a gull to fly from the same space. As good as the composition is, as bad the focus and sharpness. First I had to crop to get as close, and second I find out more and more examples of pictures at 1/1250 sec. that lack sharpness, much more than those at 1/800 sec.
Another example of a less satisfying result at 1/1250 sec. shutter speed is the next photo even though it is very little cropped. I see Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) almost every time I go out but this one was pretty close to me and was walking through vegetation along the opposite side of the river to where I was standing. I took this shot with his long neck and head framed in an opening between the tree branches. I am not satisfied with the sharpness in this photo and I believe the problem to be at the shutter speed as you could compare to the next photo which was taken in less light and still end up sharper.
I found a nice spot where I could lie on my belly and was very lucky to have some Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) to photograph. I was not as close as I would have liked and the sun was coming and going but I still managed to take some good pictures with this beautiful bird, a privilege I wished for a long time. The one you see I took at F6.3 with the shutter speed at 1/800 sec. and even though, because of the low amount of light, the ISO was increased to 1000 there is no motion blur like in the previous photos.
I guess the lesson of this article is: if you do wildlife photography, find the settings that constantly give you the best results. I found that for slow moving subjects I get the best results when I don’t increase the shutter speed above 1/800 sec. I wish I’ve figured this out earlier and if you haven’t figured your limits yet I hope you learn from my mistakes.
Thank you for reading and please leave a comment below with any suggestion, information, story… anything.
Please follow on social media, share if you enjoyed and support if you really enjoyed. Have a great spotting!
For all species found on my spotting adventures, take a look at INaturalist.
The gear that I’ve used for spotting and book used for identification, here.