Steve

I have 1 more question though. During the trip I tried several times to shoot birds of prey in flight, with varying levels of success. I soon discovered that I was more successful by changing to TV instead of AV to get a guaranteed high shutter speed, but the biggest problem is getting the bird clear against a bright sky. I read in your report on Buang Boraphet your remark of adjusting your exposure when doing such shots. I assume that you meant increasing the measured exposure by 2/3 to 1 stop or so? This did improve the pictures somewhat, but still I didn’t get the results I was hoping for. Do you have some tips/pointers for shooting this kind of shot? I included an example of one of my efforts, slightly sharpened in Lightroom and cropped. It’s shot at 300mm, F5.6, ISO 100. I still think that the bird doesn’t stand out enough, and the wing tips are still slightly blurry, even at 1/400s exposure. What do you think?

Love your images of the bridge by the way. I’ve been there many times, but never saw it like that! Is the feature photograph HDR?

Best regards,

Koen

I have 1 more question though. During the trip I tried several times to shoot birds of prey in flight, with varying levels of success. I soon discovered that I was more successful by changing to TV instead of AV to get a guaranteed high shutter speed, but the biggest problem is getting the bird clear against a bright sky. I read in your report on Buang Boraphet your remark of adjusting your exposure when doing such shots.

Koen –

I’m excited to see images from your trip to Africa.  I think the readers will be too.

About your questions.  You’ve done very well by switching to Tv (shutter priority) when Av (aperture priority) wasn’t giving you the shutter speeds you wanted, and by increasing the exposure 2/3’s to a full stop.  These are the “recommended” techniques, but from here you’ll need to go on experience and your observation of light.  Let me explain.

You want the flying birds to stand out from the sky.  Proper exposure doesn’t seem to do it.  This is because, like everything else in photography, light is everything.  When I went to Beung Boraphet I was in the company of very seasoned bird photographers who seemed happy to shoot anything with wings.  I suppose I was a bit different because I was after the “photography” more than the bird itself.

This means that in addition to looking for birds to photography, I was also looking at direction of light.  Birds will stand out much more if the light is falling on them, instead of behind them.  Birds sometimes fly straight, but often they turn and swoop and move across the horizon and different backgrounds.  Before shooting with your camera, observe with your eyes.  Watch when the light strikes him in such a way that you can see him easier, where more detail is exposed, and where he stands out from the background more than the rest.  After such observation, use your camera to capture the best light, background, and perspective.  This is all I did at Beung Boraphet.. I didn’t get nearly the ‘number’ of bird shots as the rest, but I got shots I personally liked and I think they turned out okay.

As to your second question, no the feature photography of the River Kwai Bridge was not processed in HDR.  I did use localized editing in Lightroom though.  Mostly it was just one of those images where nature was very cooperative.  Sometimes we just get lucky.. ;o)

Can’t wait to see your shots from Africa!

Steve


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