I don't bird, but if I wanted to...

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
ahsanford said:
...And the high I got for finally capturing a bald eagle in the wild last year wasn't that much of a high. Landscapes, candids, travel, etc. get me going much much more.
The progression of a bird photographer:

Oh that's a pretty bird. I think I'll take a picture of it.

I've never seen that kind of a bird before. Let me snap a picture of it and look it up.

I'd like to get a sharp picture of that bird.

That bird is pretty far away. I wish I had a longer lens.

Yay! I got a sharp picture of that bird sitting on a branch!

I'm tired of pictures of birds just sitting there. I'd like to get one flying.

Dang! All my flying pictures are soft. I need a camera that focuses faster and shoots more frames.

Yay! I got a picture of a flying bird and it's in focus.

Maybe I need to go somewhere where there are different birds.

Yay! look at all these new birds. Now if I can just get a good one of that bird in flight.

If only I could get a picture of a bird with a fish in its mouth.

Wouldn't it be cool to get a picture of a bird feeding it's young in the nest?

What am I doing here at 5 a.m. sitting in a blind with $20,000 worth of camera equipment waiting for a damn bird?
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
7,942
490
unfocused said:
ahsanford said:
...And the high I got for finally capturing a bald eagle in the wild last year wasn't that much of a high. Landscapes, candids, travel, etc. get me going much much more.
The progression of a bird photographer:
My drink was done before your third or fourth point. I'm already back in the house at this point.

- A
 
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snappy604

EOS RP
Jan 25, 2017
238
101
unfocused said:
ahsanford said:
...And the high I got for finally capturing a bald eagle in the wild last year wasn't that much of a high. Landscapes, candids, travel, etc. get me going much much more.
The progression of a bird photographer:

Oh that's a pretty bird. I think I'll take a picture of it.

I've never seen that kind of a bird before. Let me snap a picture of it and look it up.

I'd like to get a sharp picture of that bird.

That bird is pretty far away. I wish I had a longer lens.

Yay! I got a sharp picture of that bird sitting on a branch!

I'm tired of pictures of birds just sitting there. I'd like to get one flying.

Dang! All my flying pictures are soft. I need a camera that focuses faster and shoots more frames.

Yay! I got a picture of a flying bird and it's in focus.

Maybe I need to go somewhere where there are different birds.

Yay! look at all these new birds. Now if I can just get a good one of that bird in flight.

If only I could get a picture of a bird with a fish in its mouth.

Wouldn't it be cool to get a picture of a bird feeding it's young in the nest?

What am I doing here at 5 a.m. sitting in a blind with $20,000 worth of camera equipment waiting for a damn bird?
yikes... I'm part-way down this list!
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
unfocused said:
ahsanford said:
...And the high I got for finally capturing a bald eagle in the wild last year wasn't that much of a high. Landscapes, candids, travel, etc. get me going much much more.
The progression of a bird photographer:

Oh that's a pretty bird. I think I'll take a picture of it.

I've never seen that kind of a bird before. Let me snap a picture of it and look it up.

I'd like to get a sharp picture of that bird.

That bird is pretty far away. I wish I had a longer lens.

Yay! I got a sharp picture of that bird sitting on a branch!

I'm tired of pictures of birds just sitting there. I'd like to get one flying.

Dang! All my flying pictures are soft. I need a camera that focuses faster and shoots more frames.

Yay! I got a picture of a flying bird and it's in focus.

Maybe I need to go somewhere where there are different birds.

Yay! look at all these new birds. Now if I can just get a good one of that bird in flight.

If only I could get a picture of a bird with a fish in its mouth.

Wouldn't it be cool to get a picture of a bird feeding it's young in the nest?

What am I doing here at 5 a.m. sitting in a blind with $20,000 worth of camera equipment waiting for a damn bird?
You forgot a few.....

Why are there 13,853 RAW pictures of a chickadee on my hard drive?

I went on a three week trip to Costa Rica and I have no pictures of the wife and kids, but 62,356 pictures of a parrot...

My wife left me, she took the kids, but left the 62,356 pictures of the parrot....
 
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takesome1

EOS 5Ds R II
Aug 23, 2013
1,468
96
Don Haines said:
unfocused said:
ahsanford said:
...And the high I got for finally capturing a bald eagle in the wild last year wasn't that much of a high. Landscapes, candids, travel, etc. get me going much much more.
The progression of a bird photographer:

Oh that's a pretty bird. I think I'll take a picture of it.

I've never seen that kind of a bird before. Let me snap a picture of it and look it up.

I'd like to get a sharp picture of that bird.

That bird is pretty far away. I wish I had a longer lens.

Yay! I got a sharp picture of that bird sitting on a branch!

I'm tired of pictures of birds just sitting there. I'd like to get one flying.

Dang! All my flying pictures are soft. I need a camera that focuses faster and shoots more frames.

Yay! I got a picture of a flying bird and it's in focus.

Maybe I need to go somewhere where there are different birds.

Yay! look at all these new birds. Now if I can just get a good one of that bird in flight.

If only I could get a picture of a bird with a fish in its mouth.

Wouldn't it be cool to get a picture of a bird feeding it's young in the nest?

What am I doing here at 5 a.m. sitting in a blind with $20,000 worth of camera equipment waiting for a damn bird?
You forgot a few.....

Why are there 13,853 RAW pictures of a chickadee on my hard drive?

I went on a three week trip to Costa Rica and I have no pictures of the wife and kids, but 62,356 pictures of a parrot...

My wife left me, she took the kids, but left the 62,356 pictures of the parrot....
And a few that you may have missed.

My wife attorney called, I now am shooting birds with iPhone.

I was able to put my 62,356 parrot pictures on a hard drive before I had to give the wife the computer.
 
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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
ethanz said:
Sorry to hear that Don. Maybe start paying attention to your wife before that happens.
I'm in a far better situation than that... She is the better photographer.... and will let me borrow the studio flash :) but to be fair about things, I'm pretty sure that she only wants me for my body (carrying stuff) and I could be replaced with a luggage cart with wheels......
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
951
205
ethanzentz.com
Don Haines said:
ethanz said:
Sorry to hear that Don. Maybe start paying attention to your wife before that happens.
I'm in a far better situation than that... She is the better photographer.... and will let me borrow the studio flash :) but to be fair about things, I'm pretty sure that she only wants me for my body (carrying stuff) and I could be replaced with a luggage cart with wheels......
At least she wants your body and just your camera body.
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
989
146
Davidson, NC
I don't go anywhere to shoot pictures of birds. My deck extends out near the woods. The next-door neighbor has a bunch of bird feeders. There are a lot of cardinals around, so they make colorful subjects. When I'm trying out a new telephoto lens or learning to use time-lapse features of the camera body, the birds are there, especially toward sunset. When it snows, the tree near the bird feeders fill with birds waiting their turns.

The deer are much less cooperative. They become wary when I'm out on the deck, and when I point something at them, they duck behind the trees.

I shot this out a kitchen window rather than going out into the cold and making enough noise that the birds fly away. The low contrast gives a look much like it appeared at the time and maybe a sense of the cold. I'm not sure what might be gained or lost by perking it up more in ACR. January was long before I got the 100-40mm lens, so this was taken with the 75-300mm optically challenged lens with further degradation by the dirty window glass. But I still like the picture.

 

Grant Atkinson

EOS 80D
Jan 6, 2014
177
2
ahsanford said:
Was sitting on the back porch today and a decent sized raptor of some sort swooped by. Brown and tan for the most part, a healthy 4'+ wingspan, relatively small head and beak. I got a few lazy gliding circles not twenty feet from me and off it went.

I checked my local source:
https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/birds/raptors

It had the mottled breast/belly of the peregrine shown on this page in the top right, but the head looked different. It looked most like an adult Merlin of the birds I cross-referenced from above at my alma mater's ornithology website, but it was considerably bigger than the Merlin dimensions of a 2' wingspan listed there.

Any ideas of what it is?

I don't bird or plan to get into birding, but I wouldn't mind capturing this one or others that might swoop by. We're on the top of a hill and it's not uncommon to see this, so I thought I'd leave my 5D3 + 70-200 f/2.8L IS II ready to go with a custom mode just for this if I spot one again.

My plan:

  • AI Servo + Center AF '+' cluster
  • 6 fps
  • I generally shoot Av, f/3.5 or so (plenty of light, no need to shoot wide open)
  • Will set ISO to get at least 1/2000s (when I saw this one ISO 400, was fine for this).
  • Usually blue skies here, so a CPL is probably going to be used.
Any changes you'd recommend? I have a 2x T/C but I honestly didn't need it given how close it came this time.

- A
All sounds good here AH Sanford
But if it where me I would leave off the CPL, as polarizing filters can degrade autofocus performance. If I need autofocus to work on fast subjects then I try to work without them.
Cheers
Grant
 

Rockskipper

Somewhere skipping rocks and taking photos
Apr 20, 2017
62
7
I live by a river where there are lots of eagles, osprey, herons, etc. It seems they're always on the side opposite me, so I'm saving to buy a really long lens. I can see them from my deck.

Point being, like Stevelee says above, you don't even need to leave your house to get bird fever.
 
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Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
I live by a river where there are lots of eagles, osprey, herons, etc. It seems they're always on the side opposite me, so I'm saving to buy a really long lens. I can see them from my deck.

Point being, like Stevelee says above, you don't even need to leave your house to get bird fever.
Have you considered getting a canoe?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,240
528
I setup my R to silent shutter to take photos of some small birds in a tree next to my porch. They were afraid of the big lens and flew away when it pointed at them, so the silent shutter was no help. Further away, say 25 ft, they were not afraid.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
I live by a river where there are lots of eagles, osprey, herons, etc. It seems they're always on the side opposite me, so I'm saving to buy a really long lens. I can see them from my deck.

Point being, like Stevelee says above, you don't even need to leave your house to get bird fever.
From the house today, looking at the feeder in the yard...….
DH18-11-24_0596.jpg
DH18-11-24_0594.jpg
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
I couldn't canoe this river, too many rapids (Roaring Fork in Colorado).
Pity! I'm just outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. There are rivers and lakes everywhere up here and a canoe allows me to get a lot closer to wildlife than I normally would. Zooming with your legs (or canoe) beats a big lens, but only when you can.

I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but have you tried a Nikon P900? Several people in the local camera club seem to like them....
 
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Rockskipper

Somewhere skipping rocks and taking photos
Apr 20, 2017
62
7
Pity! I'm just outside Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. There are rivers and lakes everywhere up here and a canoe allows me to get a lot closer to wildlife than I normally would. Zooming with your legs (or canoe) beats a big lens, but only when you can.

I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but have you tried a Nikon P900? Several people in the local camera club seem to like them....
I actually have a Nikon, but for some reason just prefer the Canon ergonomics and colors. I'm going to sell the Nikon and buy a 200-400 lens. I think it will go nicely with my 7DMII. I tend to take more wildlife shots (bears, ungulates, etc.) than birds because of where I live. My river is more for rafting and flyfishing. Not too many water birds in this part of the country unless they're migrating through. You sound like you live in birder heaven.