Photos: Some birds in my garden...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TheMusicMan, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I put up a quick bird feeder a few weeks ago hoping to attract a nice variety of birds to my garden and to it! I am taking a trip to Pets at Home tomorrow where Jen informs me there's loads of nicely designed bird feeders to choose from - so hopefully, I shall be in a position to take more shots of our feathered friend visitors to my garden.

    Here's two I took the other day - my first attempts at this sort of stuff... must get myself a remote trigger release though so I don't frighten the little things off. They are taken through glass doors hence some mist/haze et al.

    Any advice from the resident pro-togs on tMP?


  2. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I must say they are pretty good shots. I used to be really into bird watching several years ago and those two shots of a blue tit and robin could have graced any reference book or magazine.
    Getting shots from the comfort of your house of birds around a feeder is a bit of a cheat though. Try and do some shots in the wild and you'll realise how difficult the little beggers are to photograph. Its a good challenge but be warned there are hundreds of different species out there and most are not as fearless as those two species.
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Couldn't agree more sir. Was out with the dogs the other day and tried grabbing this one of a Long Tailed Tit - darned thing looked the other way then flew off just after I spotted it.

    It is a severe crop - but just about identifiable nonetheless.

  4. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Needs an even more severe crop John. That big branch along the top detracts.

    The first two are excellent shots though and its not cheating to use bird feeders to attract them. You certainly do have an eye for a good shot.

    What lens and settings are you using to get these?
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi John

    Thanks - I tend to agree with you about that large branch on the Long Tailed Tit shot - though taking even more off it might render it totally cwap, and not just nearly cwap :)

    Here's the kit, gear and setup used for the shots at the bird feeder in my garden:

    Camera: Olympus E-3
    Lens: 70-300mm Zuiko
    Feeder: approx 20' away from conservatory
    Blue Tit EXIF: 1/40th @ f5.6, ISO 400, center weighted metering, no flash, zoom 300mm - handheld!!
    Robin EXIF: 1/80th @ f5.6, ISO 400, center weighted metering, no flash, zoom 300mm - handheld!!
  6. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Oooh been treating yourself to a new E-3 then. Thought they looked a bit too good for an E-410. :)
  7. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Aye, was an early Christmas pressie from Jen. Heather now has the E-510 and is loving that too! She was using my E-400, now she has an E-510 of her own. The in-camera IS helps her there!

    Haven't uploaded the shots she took at Slimbridge yesterday just yet, but from what I saw on the viewfinder, she has managed to capture some good ones. Need to get her a copy of Lightroom on her Mac and we'll upload her choices to her online gallery. Will update here when done.
  8. Di

    Di Active Member

    We found that "fat balls" really attract the birds. The first one we had was made by Vicki, at Playschool I think. Melted lard, nuts & sead poured into an empty yoghurt pot, (with a string knotted and pulled through), then cut the pot away and hang in the garden. The birds love it. We managed to attract a whitethroat over the new year which stayed with us for several weeks and brought the local ornithological club round to sit in our living room taking snaps to put in their magazines as it was a "winter first". :biggrin:
  9. Oh...not quite the thread I was expecting after reading the subject ;)
  10. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    (resists the obvious species - related joke.....).

    Nice shots - especially for handheld at that zoom on 1/40 sec - you must have very steady hands. Though I find digital cameras seem to give far better slow shutter results than film ones used to. I was always told you shouldn't go down to more than 1/focal length but can go way below that on digital.
    Flash is worth a go on fast moving stuff like birds cos the speed of the flash (if on auto) can be as short as 1/25000 sec, most cameras can't get anywhere near that, and it can stop a fast-moving animal image dead even in murky light. Does tend to frighten them a bit, though.
    Attracting them with food really works - I've been shown a very funny shot of a red squirrel at the Formby Point reserve with it's head inside the lens hood of a Mamiya 585 - while the photographer is looking down the viewfinder!
    What the picture doesn't show is the pile of tasty nuts placed inside the lens hood.......
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey Andy

    The camera I used to take the shots has in-camera IS that, under the right conditions, claims to provide you with an additional 5 stops of light. Seeing this work in demo mode is amazing - it most certainly helped with these shots.

    IS won't help with subject movement though, only hand/body shake and camera movement. You can even turn it off in the horizontal plane whilst leaving on in vertical plane - to accommodate panning shots!! The wonders of modern technology eh!
  12. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Yeah, cameras get more like computers every day!

    Does the "5 extra stops" bit not give a bit more digital noise to the picture though? My dad has just bought a Lumix compact that runs to 3200ASA equivalent, but you can start to see graininess in the pics. (10x optical zoom, too, in a compact!).
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Nope, IS adds no additional noise to the image at all. It uses a gyroscopic sensor mounted int he camera that actually compensates for hand movement and camera shake, then moves the sensor accordingly - thus providing massive benefits in terms of equivalent additional stops of light.

    The ISO3200 is nothing to do with IS, which is purely about the sensitivity of the sensor. At these high ISO levels, the sensor is so sensitive that it starts to pick up higher amounts of 'electronic' and electromagnetic noise. You can take a photo in bright sunlight using ISO3200 and see grain in the image, take the same photo in bright sunlight using ISO100 and you won't see any grain.

    Optical zoom is not true zoom and only allows you to zoom in on the image to a closer number of pixels. Open any image on a PC/Mac and using your image editing software (Photoshop, Gimp, IrfanView) zoom in to 10x and you get the very same effect.
  14. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    >>Optical zoom is not true zoom and only allows you to zoom in on the image to a closer number of pixels

    Isn't that "digital zoom"? as opposed to 'optical' which is done using a lens.
  15. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Yep, my bad. meant to say 'Digital zoom is not true zoom...' ta for the correction.

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