Kingfisher 2

27 Feb

I doubted in Thursday’s post that I’ll ever capture a kingfisher in flight in a pin sharp image. I blamed lack of kit and ornithological knowledge, and slow reflexes. All true to a degree but the bigger problem is my poor focusing skills. I’m unused to holding focus on speeding objects. Modern cameras, my 7D included, offer a lot of help for those willing to master the controls.

I realised ISO wasn’t the big issue when I returned yesterday, with it pushed to 6400. The results are dire but, as shown by  comparator shots of mallards also at 6400, high ISO is not the culprit. Poor focusing is. Nevertheless, the shots do tell a story not obvious to the naked eye.

Update Feb 28. More experienced wildlifers have since told me a kingfisher dive is too fast, over too short a distance, to track. The way to pin-sharp pix would be radio triggered remote flash where, as here, there’s a predictable flight path. Near instantant flash speeds, not the shutter, freeze the action to allow narrower apertures, greater depth of field and wider margin of error in focusing. I’ve the kit but neither the time (Hanoi tomorrow) nor brass neck to wade across a park pond to site flash guns. Not sure about the ethics either.

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