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Osprey Staredown

It is a year for Osprey sightings for me. I see them everywhere! These birds have an amazing wingspan and talons perfectly suited for plucking fish out of the water. They do have funny bulging eyes though!

 

This was a single RAW image duplicated 5 times with additional exposure adjustments of 0+1+2+-1-2 and processed through Photomatix to make an HDR image.

 

A few months ago I had a chat with Eric "Digital Surgeon" about his camera settings for shooting birds in flight. One of the things he said was to increase the ISO from my standard 200 to 800 or higher. Since this was against my religion, it took me some time to move that dial.

 

What I have found is that I like the 1/2,000 second shutter speed to stop wings in motion. F:8 is always sharp, and yes that blasted ISO is set to adjust itself from 200 to 1600!

 

If I fill the frame up with nothing but bird - then a higher ISO is not a big deal. The trade-off is that the wings are not blurry, the lens is sharp with good depth of field, and I can apply some denoising to kill down the higher ISO's.

 

This shot:

 

1/2,000 shutter speed

F:8

ISO 320

+0.5 exposure compensation

     

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Taken on July 7, 2012