Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

Same Harris Hawk, Different Day

It all started with this post when I first wrote about this Harris Hawk and asked for your opinion on how you would have handled it if you were the photographer.  I got some interesting feedback, and I have tried most of the suggestions, with the exception of this,  “I might try an unorthodox approach of treating a relatively still subject like it was in motion: ISO 400, 1/400 – 1/500 @ f/4.5 – f/4.”  An interesting idea considering the bird is pretty still as birds go. The author of the suggestion writes, Modes of Flight Blog, which covers many types of photography so check it out if you are interested.  So I went this morning to give it a try.

Didn’t work, and I’ll tell you why.  The 50mm lens I sometimes borrow, is in the camera bag of its actual owner.  Without that, I really don’t have a lens that can  handle the shutter speed/f-stop combination that had been suggested.  So, I will have to try again when I have the 50mm lens on me.  Here is what worked out today:

ISO 320 105mm f/5.6 1/30

This was my best overall color and clarity of feathers shot.

ISO 160 135mm f/5.6 1/6

And this was the best in terms of an interesting bird shot. Both photos were taken using a tripod and have been cropped and sharpened.

I will go back to reshoot at some point.



50mm Lens, Nature, Photography

Have lens, will borrow…

I am borrowing a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens from a friend, so I took it outside this morning with my tripod to see what the depth of field (how much of the total photo is in focus) would look like at some of the lower f-stop numbers.  My kit lens that I usually use, really starts at f/5.6.  For these shots, I had my camera set to Av, so I was changing the f-stop, but letting the camera pick the shutter speed.  I used my tripod for these.





What I am hoping to show here, is the amount of background blur that the lower f-stop numbers can provide.  This is one of the reasons that this lens would be good for portraits. The lower the f-stop number, the more background blur, so the photo with the least blur is the last one inserted in the post that is f/5.6

There are two other things that I noticed about this lens right away.  One is that it is noisy when using auto focus, that would make it hard to sneak up on bugs.  I will be attempting to sneak up on bugs, just to see if I can with this lens. The second is that it is not image stabilized, which could mean some blur if you were holding the camera instead of using a tripod.  However, because it is a small lens, there is not a lot of weight, so I am curious to see how much hand-held shake is going to be an issue as I use the lens.