Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

October 8, 2009


Vermilion Flycatcher blurred departure

Vermilion Flycatcher blurred departure

“the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”

Sometimes the most interesting images are the result of dumb luck. Here’s the Vermilion Flycatcher from the Gilbert Water Ranch again, but in a different sort of image than I usually take.

Not everyone likes these blurred photos, and most of us try not to have our subject blurred in our images. To get the highest image quality we try to shoot at low ISO values (to minimize noise and maximize detail). We work with large clumsy expensive tripods (to keep our cameras steady), my focus carefully (even with auto focus making sure that the focus is on he eye of the subject). But unless you are also using flash (which I detest for the most part) you are at the mercy of the subject that can move about at will.

One of the major benefits of digital is we all now take a lot more shots since we’re not worried about the cash register with every frame exposed. And since we shoot more, we have more chance of catching something like this. We bird photographers take a lot of shots of perches where a bird used to be sitting – there’s plenty of time for a bird to depart while our finger is depressing the shutter button the camera’s mechanics are called into play. At times we’ll get just a part of a blurred bird.

And rarely we’ll get something like this: the entire bird in a graceful move.

I don’t think anyone could plan a shot like this and pull it off reliably. This was just one of those lucky times where the timing of events worked out to advantage. I was shooting at ISO 320, wide open at f/5.6 in natural light, an getting a shutter speed of 1/100th second. That’s sufficiently fast for my 300/2.8 and 2x converter when mounted on my sturdy gitzo tripod. And it turns out to be a great shutter speed to blur the flycatcher enough to show the motion, but not so much as to make it unrecognizable.


1 Comment »

  1. Simply beautiful!!!

    Comment by Thérèse — October 9, 2009 @ 6:00 am

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