Tech­nique as­sess­ment

NPhoto - - Over To You -

Make it fast

El­liott says... When you’re work­ing with long lenses, you have to stick with the law of re­cip­ro­cals in re­spect to shut­ter speed. Harry needed at least 1/500 sec to avoid cam­era shake with the 500mm f/4. He started with an aper­ture of f/11 as he wanted as much depth of field as pos­si­ble. I sug­gested he open it up to f/4, the lens’s max­i­mum aper­ture, which gave him a shut­ter speed of 1/640 sec.

Hit the spot

El­liott says... If you spend a lot of time in the hide the light will be ever-chang­ing, with clouds flock­ing over­head and sun burst­ing out through­out the day. Aper­ture-pri­or­ity mode elim­i­nates the worry of chang­ing set­tings too of­ten. How­ever, I told Harry to use spot metering mode; the owls would be so large in the frame that this would work ex­cel­lently, and it is much more re­li­able than ma­trix metering if you have bright win­dows or a dark back­ground be­hind the sub­ject.

Burst for suc­cess

El­liott says... When the birds come down and you see them pos­ing, you want to shoot with ev­ery­thing you’ve got. Set­ting con­tin­u­ous high burst rate is ideal here. As the birds spin their heads or blink it’s pos­si­ble for them to blur in the fi­nal im­age when work­ing in low-light con­di­tions on long tele­photo lenses. Us­ing this high burst makes it more likely Harry will get that one per­fect shot.

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