The best advice

bholliman

EOS R
Dec 6, 2012
1,473
0
USA
www.flickr.com
Thanks for starting this thread and sharing your bird set-up Don. Nice pictures. I need to do something like this. Our feeder is close to the house and I sometimes sit in our garage with a window open to shoot, but the background isn't ideal. Setting up a blind nearby would allow me to assure a nice background and be a little closer.

Don Haines said:
What is the best advice that you have been given about photography?
The best tip I received was from an experienced bird photographer who showed me how to set my camera up to shoot wildlife in Manual mode with auto ISO. I use this all the time now with much better results than with Tv or Av modes.
 

Maiaibing

EOS R
Mar 7, 2014
1,054
2
Kabul
www.flickr.com
bholliman said:
The best tip I received was from an experienced bird photographer who showed me how to set my camera up to shoot wildlife in Manual mode with auto ISO. I use this all the time now with much better results than with Tv or Av modes.
So you fix the aperture and speed and let the ISO float?
 

Ryananthony

EOS RP
Nov 7, 2015
498
2
Maiaibing said:
bholliman said:
The best tip I received was from an experienced bird photographer who showed me how to set my camera up to shoot wildlife in Manual mode with auto ISO. I use this all the time now with much better results than with Tv or Av modes.
So you fix the aperture and speed and let the ISO float?

I do this as well. I would rather have the ISO float, then have my aperture or shutter speed change. Since my 1dx allows exposure Comp I find it works perfect for BIF. Unfortuently my 5d3 doesn't have exposure Comp (in manual), so I would set ISO, and use the set button to change ISO quickly on the fly. But I find auto ISO works better for me.
 

bholliman

EOS R
Dec 6, 2012
1,473
0
USA
www.flickr.com
Maiaibing said:
bholliman said:
The best tip I received was from an experienced bird photographer who showed me how to set my camera up to shoot wildlife in Manual mode with auto ISO. I use this all the time now with much better results than with Tv or Av modes.
So you fix the aperture and speed and let the ISO float?
Yes, auto ISO works great with the 5DsR, especially useful in variable lighting situations. I meter to make sure the ISO will be in an acceptable range. I allow some latitude in the shutter and aperture settings so the ISO can float both ways if needed. When I first started doing this I sometimes clipped highlights by using settings that left my ISO at 100 or 125, so no room to drop lower for a brigher exposure. Now I usually start with settings that use ISO 160 on a sunny day.
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,313
502
Another vote for auto ISO - I mainly use it with Av and a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000 (for birds in flight or 1/500 for perched birds). It selects the minimum ISO first and floats the shutter speed until it hits 1/2000 then ISO increases. I am now experimenting with full manual and auto ISO - I can appreciate how you want not only a certain shutter speed for action but also an aperture for known DOF.
 

Ryananthony

EOS RP
Nov 7, 2015
498
2
Mikehit said:
Another vote for auto ISO - I mainly use it with Av and a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000 (for birds in flight or 1/500 for perched birds). It selects the minimum ISO first and floats the shutter speed until it hits 1/2000 then ISO increases. I am now experimenting with full manual and auto ISO - I can appreciate how you want not only a certain shutter speed for action but also an aperture for known DOF.
I could never figure out AV with auto ISO for birding. What do you do if your following a bird in flight, who then lands on a branch for example maybe in shadows? 1/2000 wouldn't be needed, but then I would have to change my shooting mode to another custom mode with a lower shutterspeed limit, or change to manual, then adjust all my settings. I've read a lot of people who do use it, so maybe I'm missing something.
 

Mikehit

EOS R6
Jul 28, 2015
3,313
502
Ryananthony said:
Mikehit said:
Another vote for auto ISO - I mainly use it with Av and a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000 (for birds in flight or 1/500 for perched birds). It selects the minimum ISO first and floats the shutter speed until it hits 1/2000 then ISO increases. I am now experimenting with full manual and auto ISO - I can appreciate how you want not only a certain shutter speed for action but also an aperture for known DOF.
I could never figure out AV with auto ISO for birding. What do you do if your following a bird in flight, who then lands on a branch for example maybe in shadows? 1/2000 wouldn't be needed, but then I would have to change my shooting mode to another custom mode with a lower shutterspeed limit, or change to manual, then adjust all my settings. I've read a lot of people who do use it, so maybe I'm missing something.
I am currently experimenting with C1 having minimum shutter speed 1/2000 (in flight) and C2 at 1/500 (stationary) so all I need do is switch the dial one notch. As someone really used to Av, this is no different to being in manual and spinning the shutter speed dial when the bird rests up.
For small woodland birds I am finding that they fidget and twitch quite a lot and even 1/1000 is sometimes too slow to freeze their motion so I sometimes don't change things at all.

I don't see either as being superior, just what you are used to.
When I had the 7D, I found it quite easy to switch between Av, M and C1/C2/C3 simply by the number of clicks on the mode dial so I am aiming for a set-up where I have the C1/C2 as above, with C3 set up for macro and manual mode configured with with auto-ISO so I have all options available to me.
 

YuengLinger

Sufficiently Pixilated
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,113
1,376
USA
Great thread, Don. Makes me wonder if you are a teacher...

Best single point of advice, which took me years to understand and longer to use competently, spot metering for portraits.
 

geekpower

EOS 90D
Feb 22, 2015
187
0
shoot more

zooming with your feet is not actually a thing (perspective and framing are two independent characteristics)

shoot more

don't be an available light snob (get a flash)

shoot more

get the flash off the camera (even a few inches makes a difference)

shoot more

shoot more
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,223
6,778
Mikehit said:
Ryananthony said:
Mikehit said:
Another vote for auto ISO - I mainly use it with Av and a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000 (for birds in flight or 1/500 for perched birds). It selects the minimum ISO first and floats the shutter speed until it hits 1/2000 then ISO increases. I am now experimenting with full manual and auto ISO - I can appreciate how you want not only a certain shutter speed for action but also an aperture for known DOF.
I could never figure out AV with auto ISO for birding. What do you do if your following a bird in flight, who then lands on a branch for example maybe in shadows? 1/2000 wouldn't be needed, but then I would have to change my shooting mode to another custom mode with a lower shutterspeed limit, or change to manual, then adjust all my settings. I've read a lot of people who do use it, so maybe I'm missing something.
I am currently experimenting with C1 having minimum shutter speed 1/2000 (in flight) and C2 at 1/500 (stationary) so all I need do is switch the dial one notch. As someone really used to Av, this is no different to being in manual and spinning the shutter speed dial when the bird rests up.
For small woodland birds I am finding that they fidget and twitch quite a lot and even 1/1000 is sometimes too slow to freeze their motion so I sometimes don't change things at all.

I don't see either as being superior, just what you are used to.
When I had the 7D, I found it quite easy to switch between Av, M and C1/C2/C3 simply by the number of clicks on the mode dial so I am aiming for a set-up where I have the C1/C2 as above, with C3 set up for macro and manual mode configured with with auto-ISO so I have all options available to me.
For birding, I use M with high speed, lens wide open and auto ISO for BIF; C1 with Av wide open and fixed ISO 640 for perched or standing birds; C2 ditto + 1 1ev for birds partly against the sky; and C2 ditto + 2 ev against very bright background. All RAW of course to allow any further correction of exposure etc. As 800 mm hand-held is now my usual with the 5DIV, it's become more important to have high shutter speeds. Even when resting the camera on a ledge or on a tripod, mirror or shutter shock is amplified at long focal lengths. On the 5DS R, I usually stick to the bare 100-400mm and eschew extenders.
 

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
719
141
Montreal
geekpower said:
shoot more

zooming with your feet is not actually a thing (perspective and framing are two independent characteristics)

shoot more

don't be an available light snob (get a flash)

shoot more

get the flash off the camera (even a few inches makes a difference)

shoot more

shoot more
I wish you were my lady friend. I would shoot you (more) every single morning, until you die (I mean - deaths do us apart)
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,223
6,778
Besisika said:
geekpower said:
shoot more

zooming with your feet is not actually a thing (perspective and framing are two independent characteristics)

shoot more

don't be an available light snob (get a flash)

shoot more

get the flash off the camera (even a few inches makes a difference)

shoot more

shoot more
I wish you were my lady friend. I would shoot you (more) every single morning, until you die (I mean - deaths do us apart)
A feisty young lady would no doubt give you the advice to zoom out with your feet, preferably starting from the edge of a cliff.
 
The best advice is also the simplest: Turn Around.

Many times over the years I have been shooting what I thought was a good subject, only to remember this advice, turn around, and see a much better subject. I have also missed out on great shots, mostly wildlife, when I have failed to remember this. I don't have many examples of the okay vs. better shots, but here's a decent one:

I was taking a ho-hum photo of a hotel, then I turned around to see...


...A pretty spectacular sunset over the golf course.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
5,708
2,696
67
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
mackguyver said:
The best advice is also the simplest: Turn Around...
Yes. Definitely. I've been to the Grand Canyon a few times and I'm always amused at people lining the rim trying to shoot directly into a sunrise when the really spectacular show is the light reflecting on the opposite end of the canyon as the sun rises over the horizon and turns the canyon walls brilliantly red and yellow.
 

geekpower

EOS 90D
Feb 22, 2015
187
0
AlanF said:
Besisika said:
I wish you were my lady friend. I would shoot you (more) every single morning, until you die (I mean - deaths do us apart)
A feisty young lady would no doubt give you the advice to zoom out with your feet, preferably starting from the edge of a cliff.
well that escalated quickly