Cap­ture mov­ing ob­jects

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Lo­ca­tion and birds

The eas­i­est place to shoot from is your own home, through a win­dow. If you have the op­tion of do­ing so it means you can bait the birds with seed and have them come to you. But if you can’t do that, head down to your lo­cal park with some bird feed.

3 Shut­ter pri­or­ity

To freeze the ac­tion you’ll need a fast shut­ter speed. Fol­low the law of re­cip­ro­cals, so if your fo­cal length is 200mm use at least 1/200 sec or faster to freeze move­ment. Ide­ally you want your shut­ter speed as fast as pos­si­ble for sharp shots.

5 Aut­o­fo­cus

En­gage ‘group’ aut­o­fo­cus mode to give your Nikon a larger area to search for fo­cus. En­abling con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus also negates the need for con­stant re­fo­cus­ing with the shut­ter but­ton, which speeds up shoot­ing and in­creases your hit rate when the birds are out.

2 Tele­photo zoom

Since you’re likely to be a good dis­tance away from your feath­ered friends you’ll want to use a tele­photo lens to get close in to the ac­tion. We’re us­ing a 70-200mm lens, which gives us a lit­tle space around the birds, mak­ing it eas­ier to track them in flight.

4 Let the light in

To at­tain a fast shut­ter speed the Nikon will des­ig­nate a wide aper­ture to let more light in to the sen­sor. But some­times, even with a wide aper­ture, the im­age will be too dark at fast shut­ter speeds, so you’ll need to in­crease your ISO to com­pen­sate.

6 Slow down

Once the fast shots are nailed it’s time to ex­per­i­ment. Slow down your shut­ter speed just enough to blur the wings as birds land. You may have to lower your ISO ac­cord­ingly. We used 1/100 sec. This cre­ative use of blur­ring is quite flat­ter­ing in the right sit­u­a­tion.

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