Freezing Birds in Flight

bird in flight photo

Bird-photographers are not satisfied by only clicking birds which are perched.  They try to take action shots which do not always give them the desired results as it comes with its share of difficulties. Here we list a few pointers which may enable you achieve better results in future:

bird flying photo

  1. Higher Shutter Speed: In order to freeze such fast action, a good AF tracking system along with a higher shutter speed is recommended. My recommendation would be a shutter speed of atleast 1/1600th of a second which may go up if you are photographing birds like the Peregrine Falcon.  In order to achieve higher shutter speeds, you have to raise the ISO.
  2. Proper Framing: Placing the bird in the right part of the image is crucial. You must try and avoid providing too much negative space on both sides. It is better to have space in front of your subject rather than behind it.
  3. Focus Modes: Along with keeping a high shutter speed, you have to set the Autofocus mode accordingly. You have to set your camera to “AF-C” mode for Nikon and “Al-Servo” for Canon. And do not forget to switch your release mode from “Single” to “Continuous” or “Burst” mode.
  4. Background: Try to get a clear and uncluttered background. Sometimes you may get blue sky or you may have to use other options when the birds swoop lower to the ground.
  5. Right Direction: The Golden Hour provides the perfect soft light which is great to capture flight. Press the shutter only when you can get the catchlight or the bird moves to a part where the lighting is more favorable. Remember to have the Sun at your back when you are trying to capture such swift action. In sunny conditions the lighting would be harsh and would be unfavorable to shoot birds in flight.
  6. Knowing your subject: Studying your subjects help a lot in understanding the time of flight or when they would take-off. Be ready and see to it that your settings are right.
  7. Panning: In case the bird is approaching towards you, get your focus locked. Keep firing the shutter while panning your camera in the direction in which the bird is flying and also at the speed at which it is flying.
  8. Tripod: Using a tripod with a ball head helps to balance your camera and lens. Less force is required to pan the camera both right and left and also up and down.
  9. Exposure Compensation: When you are photographing birds in flight, very often you will find that the features of the birds will appear dark and would not project much detail. You can change your EV meter to +0.3 or 0.7 depending on the situation.

bird photography

                               These are some of the techniques which may qualify you in attaining desired outputs. Practice and experimentation will help in getting the perfect freeze you always wanted to achieve. So, set out in the field where flight movements are move and get to work!!

Using Forced Perspective

forced perspective photo

Photography is primarily about capturing abstract moments, illusions and feelings, likewise, forced perspective photography employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, larger, closer, smaller than it actually appears to be; this genre of photography is usually used in architecture and film making.

The main aspect of this kind of photography is that it fabricates visual perception of human beings with the use of scaled objects, vantage point of the viewer or the camera and the correlation between them.

forced perspective

How is Forced Perspective utilized in film making?

By placing a small or ordinary sized object, by use of camera the object can be magnified and made to appear comparatively larger.

Role of light in forced perspective photography – Previous instances of this genre used in less budget motion pictures showed objects that were distinctly differing from their immediate surroundings, generally blurred or at a light level which is completely different; the principal cause of this being geometric. In order to create illusion of an object at a specific distance being at the same proximity of a nearer object, more light is required with proper scaling. While shooting with forced perspective, it is necessary to have the aperture ceased in order to establish an ideal depth of field. As miniature models require to be subjected to a brighter background or a well lit area than the original focus of the camera, it is essential to make sure that the amount of heat emitted during the process, can be withstood by the incandescent sources of light.

The most amazing feature of forced perspective is that it enhances and adds further to the comic effects being processed; when a commodity or character is being portrayed in a particular scene, its size is defined by virtue of its surrounding, a character then interacts with the character or object thereby, depicting that the spectator has been fooled owing to the presence of forced perspective.

Use of this kind of photography in architecture:

In this field, a structure or a construction is made to seem taller or larger than its usual size or height; this is usually done by adjusting the scale of objects in relation to the viewer. By consistently diminishing the scale of objects towards the farthest point of the viewer in terms of convention and expectancy, a queer illusion is created that the scale of aforementioned objects is reducing owing to the distant location.

perspective

The plausible techniques involved in forced perspective:

  • Manipulating angular size of the subject.
  • Creating blurred effects which establish a contradictory impression of depth.
  • Perceptive depth of shading and lighting.
  • Fabrication in the relative size.

Not only in aesthetic fields, but also in theme parks is this kind of photography employed; illusion is created by utilization of brighter colors, distant shades because this technique enables the spectators to discern the distance between objects from a stationary source of light that illuminates the entire surrounding along with the subject.

It’s knows as single-eye photography as well!