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Author Topic: Photographing birds  (Read 299 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Photographing birds
« on: June 30, 2020, 03:07:55 PM »

We have a couple of red kites that have taken to perching atop a nearby conifer.   Theyíre close enough, about 100ft, to get a really good photo on a zoom lens.  But they nearly always take off just as Iím about to press the shutter.

The camera has an AF assist lamp that might annoy people let alone birds, but thatís disabled.   Iíve tried holding up a brick as if at were a camera, no reaction.  And Iíve tried Ďaimingí a broom handle like a rifle, again, no reaction.

I have succeeded in getting the odd lucky photo of them so not a big deal, but still curious if anybody can enlighten me, why they seem to scamper when a real camera is produced?
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roseway

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 03:31:59 PM »

Is the light reflecting off the lens perhaps? Do binoculars have the same effect?
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  Eric

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 03:41:47 PM »

Is the light reflecting off the lens perhaps?

I did wonder that.  I generally try in the afternoon, when the sun is on the kites, and behind me, but still a possibility.

I also wondered, if you have eyesight thatís good enough to tell the difference between a stone and a tiny rodent from a substantial height, whether the image formed by staring into a lens, ie image of the lens itself, might look extremely focused but unnatural and disturbing?

I hope that last sentence makes sense.  I tried to prune it, but all the words serve a purpose.
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roseway

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 04:07:33 PM »

I'm not sure about your second possibility. I've taken numerous photos of birds, including many which are quite close, and it's always been my impression that it's movement that spooks them. They do notice unnatural objects appearing in a familiar environment, but this normally seems to provoke curiosity rather than fright.
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4candles

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 04:11:47 PM »

Perhaps the kite sees the lens as an eye staring at it.
Trying binos as suggested by roseway seems like a worthwhile experiment.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 04:32:52 PM »

Perhaps the kite sees the lens as an eye staring at it.
Trying binos as suggested by roseway seems like a worthwhile experiment.

Wow, so sorry, I completely failed to absorb Roseways suggestion of binoculars.   My attentive span must be Ďgetting worseí. :blush:

I have a big old fashioned pair of binoculars I can try, as well as a modern compact pair.   Thatíll be an interesting experiment to try, when an opportunity presents itself.

I know theyíre not there now, without even looking.  Because when they are there, they tend to whistle fairly continuously.  Quite unmistakable, and not unpleasant.

When just one kite is present, he/she is sometimes joined by a single rook.   Kite and rook perch almost shoulder to shoulder, both appearing to enjoy the ambience, until the kite takes off.  At that point the rook seems to suddenly remember he doesnít like kites and follows, squawking and pecking aggressively at the kiteís tail feathers.  Kite takes no notice.  One day if Iím very lucky, maybe Iíll catch a video of that. :)
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 05:24:03 PM »

Incidentally, here is one of my more rewarding failed attempts at the kite shot. 

It's a failure as it was meant to be a photo of a kite perching, but turned out to be of a kite scampering.    Apols for the fact it's been heavily cropped, sharpened and enhanced in processing.  Doesn't look too bad at this resolution though.  As I say, it wasn't what I planned, but seemed worth keeping after the tweaks. :D
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4candles

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 10:34:59 PM »

I wish some of my 'failed' shots looked as good as that.   ::)
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 10:40:55 PM »

I wish some of my 'failed' shots looked as good as that.   ::)

You should have seen the (at least) 500 or so other failures.   Memory cards are so cheap, compared to 35mm cartridges.
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burakkucat

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 11:10:36 PM »

Incidentally, here is one of my more rewarding failed attempts at the kite shot. 

I looked at that image with my eyes almost closed and thought: "What's that on the nose of the Avro Vulcan?"
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Weaver

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 04:10:30 PM »

Iíll ask Janet my wife to get a long lens shot of some of the golden eagles but I donít know that they will be close enough. That means treating her to a more serious lens I think. She would have to choose it.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 08:22:48 PM »

My own photo was taken with a relatively mundane bridge camera, Panasonic fz1000 with 400mm (equivalent) zoom lens.     With that setup, I need about a further 3x crop for a bird that size, at that distance, to fill the frame.

Iím not as snobbish as I used to be about cropping, but I canít remember whether I had the zoom fully extended on that occasion.   I suspect not, so the final crop would probably be more than 3x.   The answer would be in the Exif data of the original image, if I can find it.

The kites are there right now and guess what, not showing any camera shyness at all.   Maybe they watch the Kitz forums? :D
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4candles

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 11:00:42 PM »

Maybe they watch the Kitz forums? :D
Kite  Kitz  Easy to confuse.   :graduate:
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Weaver

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 11:32:13 PM »

My wife and I really admired the kite scampering shot. Superb image imho. Was that with some support - a tripod or some such, or just hand-held?

Janet says she canít afford a good zoom lens, as she needs a macro lens first, for photographing flowers and perhaps birds at the bird feeder and bird bath.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 11:35:02 PM by Weaver »
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Photographing birds
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 11:50:01 PM »

My wife and I really admired the kite scampering shot. Superb image imho. Was that with some support - a tripod or some such, or just hand-held?

Janet says she canít afford a good zoom lens, as she needs a macro lens first, for photographing flowers and perhaps birds at the bird feeder and bird bath.

Hand held.  The tree is always in the same place and so a tripod mount would work well, just waiting for the right moment.  Or even just left on Ďrecordí, capturing video to a big memory card.

But from the vantage point in my garden, the perch is only a few degrees away from focussing on a neighbourís upstairs window.   A tripod mounted camera could easily give the wrong impression.   ::)
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