Stay at home

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea, I am staying at home. I am very fortunate to live on one of the inlets in Puget Sound so this Bufflehead in-flight was taken from my backyard or front yard depending on your point of view. It’s very rare for birds and ducks to come close to the shore. They seem to stick to the middle of the inlet which is a good 200 yards from the land. Certain times of year they do approach and if I use a blind, I have better luck. In this case I have a 2 foot high by 8 foot long screen and I sit on the ground. Takes a lot of time for wildlife to develop the courage to come close to shore where there are several homes in the area.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

There is just enough motion here that I probably could have shot at 8000th and slightly higher iso-. These are two consecutive shots. What I wish to see is a little more resolution and detail in the head plumage. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to keep working on it.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques: iso-1000, 500 mm PF +1.4 extender, F8, 6400th, Nikon D 500, handheld, 75% of full frame which is about 15 megapixels.

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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Very nice images, David. I can’t imagine 1/6400 not being enough shutter speed. Hopefully, they’ll keep coming in close enough for your to get more tries.

Nice job catching this little missile taking off. Every time I’ve had an opportunity to shoot one of these guys in flight, I’ve seen them too late to get the camera up. I agree with your critique. If you get a chance to shoot these guys closer and with the sun lower, it’ll alleviate all the issues. I don’t personally care if there is some blur in the wingtips (or wings for that matter), but that’s just my preference. That said, I’d reduce the shutter speed to 1/3200 with a corresponding drop in ISO. Looking forward to your continued efforts.

Well, I’m certainly envious of your location. A nice take-off shot with the trailing water splash and wing position. I’d guess the facial detail has to do with the angle of the sun on the face.

A very nice action shot, David! I don’t think you needed any more shutter speed. I like the first shot best because of the brighter light and colors plus you can see its eye better.