With a new camera rig comes all kinds of giddy expectations. Now I'm not expecting to be Artie Morris, Art Wolfe, or even Art Garfunkel, but I DO expect to take better photographs with better gear.
Not so fast my friend.
Digital Photography Rule #13 clearly states:
No matter your perceived level of proficiency in photography, you WILL BE HUMBLED when photographing flying birds.
We've seen my shutterbuggery on still, cooperative birds with the camera set on BURST.
Well, amigos y amigas, it gets worse.
I really, really wanted to create jaw-dropping images of flying birds. So I set the camera on the aforementioned BURST. Click it over to the AV setting, which must stand for AVIAN, which is my subject matter after all. Then, I put the ISO "film" speed on 400 to capture motion.
All set right? Nope.
It's WAY harder to get the 300mm lens on a moving bird than I thought it would be. Even with three-plus decades experience aiming binoculars and scopes at birds, I found that I STUNK at finding the bird through the lens/viewfinder. And getting the camera to focus on the right bird bits.
Our last night in FL we finally had the kind of sunset where the roseate spoonbills would look fabbo, so several of us trekked on out to the Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island NWR to try our luck. Or lack thereof.
I felt like I was playing a game of pin the lens on the spoonbill. I was twisting and turning and getting buck fever and taking lots of shots of empty sky. This made me respect the truly gifted bird photographers out there all the more. And it made me curse them, too--but in a nice way.
I'd love to blow your mind with a gallery of quit-your-day-job-and-become-a full-time-bird-photographer images. But instead I'll just share these with you. A few are not so bad, I think. In the spirit of full disclosure, I need to say that these were taken over three separate days.
Any tips on in-flight photography are welcomed here. If you share them, I promise to leave you out of the cursing when I get my next chance to take pix of flying birds.
Royal tern cruising the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. They do not have to pay $3 to get in. I did.
A brown pelican gives me the hairy eyeball as it flies overhead.