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Old 07-01-18
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StuartR StuartR is offline
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Re: Camera support when shooting from a bird hide.

Hi Trevor,

In a word, No!

Most of the birds I've captured so far have been fairly mundane but I'm getting better at it I think. I did have 15 seconds of fame when the Essex Wildlife Trust asked if they could use one of my images on their Facebook feed, which was nice. I've got a screen shot somewhere, I'll have to post it (I don't "do" Facebook myself).

I've recently purchased a 7D Mk2 (used) to couple with my 150-600mm Sigma and I'm liking the combination much more (for wildlife) than the full frame bodies I was using. The 7D Mark 2's image quality is really very good and it works well at higher ISOs (which you need when shooting at 1/1600 - 1/2000 sec on a typical UK winter's day!).

If I've learnt one thing, it's that bird photography can be a lot harder than you think and I'm sure there's a lot more for me to learn regarding technique. I now know, for example, to keep my shutter speed up at the expense of ISO - a lot of my shots now are at 1600 or 3200 ISO.

I also have tended to look for birds in the wild so getting close enough is a big issue. However, we get quite a diverse range of birds in our back garden so I'm planning to rearrange my feeders and find some nice mossy branches for the birds to perch on nearby. My garden office will make an reasonable hide so camera to subject distance will be much reduced.

I've also found that I get better results hand-held (even at 600mm on a crop sensor) than I do on a tripod which seems odd. I have a reasonable tripod and I use a gimbal head (which I really like) but shots taken with the camera and lens mounted on the tripod don't seem as sharp for some reason (I've tried with image stabilisation on and off). Hopefully I'll get to the bottom of this at some point as it doesn't seem logical to me.

The biggest impact on my photography recently have been time and mobility. I have a minor procedure on my back next week which, after a couple of weeks recuperation, should make me much more mobile again. I'm also a full-time carer (during the day) for my ancient disabled mother-in-law which is time-consuming unfortunately.

Regards,


Stuart
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