Glossy Ibis Synchronized Flight

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Very unexpected seeing them in a field after a rainstorm pulling worms from the ground. As they turned into the light I grabbed my camera and began shooting hoping to have all the settings correct. I was pleased with the visual results and better than expected technical results.

Specific Feedback

Considering the quick reaction I had to take and the settings on my camera I would like your thoughts on how I might have been better prepared in the future taking a shot like this one. Thank you.

Technical Details

Nikon D500
Nikon 500mm 5/6
1000 shutter speed, wide open 5/6, manual mode, ISO 898

Hi Norma. Nice shot. I really like the arrangement of the ibises and the hints of iridescence. As for being better prepared, I think your shutter speed was fine for this large a bird. They’re wings don’t flap that fast. More depth of field would have been nice, though I think it unlikely that you’d be able to get all of them in clear focus unless they were a very long ways from you. Given the reported iso of 898, I’m guessing you were in auto iso mode in which case you could have stopped down very quickly without affecting your shutter speed. With today’s software, I’d think that camera would produce reasonable results at iso 2500 or so (I used to get away with that on my old Canon 7D2 which is slightly older than the D500, I think).

For some reason, none of the ibises look really super sharp and that feels odd as it certainly looks like the Autofocus locked on. I think some AF settings when faced with a group try to come up with a compromise, but I’m not sure about that.

I’m not sure what quality you selected when converting to jpeg, but the small file size makes me think it was pretty low. Unless you’re on a limited bandwidth internet connection, you could export to a higher quality setting, I think. This website certainly supports it. Having only gotten decent internet in the last year or so, I’m familiar with the issues of not having it.

Thank you so much! your input really helps. I downsize the image and export for web. The instructions that were given to me when I first joined NPN. I think the quality I am using is 80% when I export and yes the size is small.

So many people have larger monitors now that I’ve also started sizing the long edge of my images to 2048 pixels (mainly because that’s what our camera club wants, so it’s simpler).

1 Like

Okay will start using larger size. Thanks

This is a very graceful composition with lovely colours. I have too struggled with where to leave my settings for such grab and shoot opportunities. I keep my shutter speed higher (e.g. 2000) even around big slowish birds as my technique suffers when I feel rushed. And if I am not sure which direction I am going to be shooting I keep my ISO on Auto. I usually keep my aperture wide open.
I hope this is helpful. These are beautiful birds…I hope to see ibis in person one day! I am surrounded by great blue heron where I am and they seem to be similar in size.

Yes, I agree with your setting. My shutter speed is a little lower so I am going to up it to the 2000 and she how that works for me, next time. This information is exactly what I was looking for so thank you for confirming your settings and understanding my needs.

Hi Norma, nice catch of the four of these all with good wing positions. BG is pleasing too. I agree with a faster shutter for birds in flight to better ensure a sharp capture.

Thank you Allen for taking the time to add this great advise. I truly appreciate it!