'How-To' Photo Tips

Nankeen Night-Heron

LOCATION, EQUIPMENT & SETTINGS

Coodanup Foreshore,

Western Australia

Canon EOS-1D X

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens 

Aperture:                 F8

Shutter Speed:        1/13s

ISO:                         640

20 November 2015, ~7pm

TECHNIQUE

This image was taken just after the sun went down. There was a beautiful pink colour in the water (from the twilight sky).

It was too dark for a conventional flight photo so I decided to experiment with slow shutter speed. In hindsight I could have used a lower aperture than F8 and lowered the ISO further and achieved the same image with less digital noise. 

I took about 8 photos in the series as the bird flew across the water in front of me. Of those 8 images, only in 2 of them was the bird's eye in focus. The key to making this work is to maintain a steady pan at the same speed as the bird (make sure you have a good, solid stance and turn from the hip). It's tricky and 99% of the time you will probably fail, but the more you practice the higher your likelihood of success to get a unique image!

Great-crested Grebe

LOCATION, EQUIPMENT & SETTINGS

Herdsman Lake, Perth

Western Australia

Canon EOS-1D X 

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens + Canon 1.4x Teleconverter (@840mm)

Aperture:                F6.3

Shutter Speed:       1/6400s

ISO:                        400

26 September 2019, early AM

TECHNIQUE

This image is the result of persistance. Every morning (just before sunrise until 2 hours after) and evening (2 hours before sunset and half an hour after) for 5 days straight I went to this lake. Several pairs of Great-crested Grebes were either courting or nesting. I chose a position on the ground where there was good light in an area that I observed the grebes habituated. I ensured that I had a shutter-speed fast enough to capture any action (if light permits, at least 1/2500s). Because the grebes would come quite close to me, and often there were two together, I chose an f-stop of 6.3 to get better depth of field. As usual, my  camera was in Burst (Spray & Pray) mode.

The rest was up to luck. Rather than move around, I chose to stay more or less in one area. I observed this grebe start to get agitated and knew that action was likely to follow. As I was constantly adjusting my settings for the changing light, all I had to do was press the shutter and follow the bird's movement across the water to get this shot.  Key Tips: Be Patient & Persistant; Be Ready with the right Settings at the Right Location; and Be Observant.  

Great Egret

LOCATION, EQUIPMENT & SETTINGS

Frenchman Bay Road, Albany

Western Australia

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens + Canon 1.4x Teleconverter (@840mm)

Aperture:                F5.6

Shutter Speed:       1/2000s

ISO:                        2000

2 December 2019, late PM

TECHNIQUE

This image was taken just after the sun went down. There was a beautiful pink colour in the water (from the twilight sky).

It was too dark for a conventional flight photo so I decided to experiment with slow shutter speed. In hindsight I could have used a lower aperture than F8 and lowered the ISO further and achieved the same image with less digital noise. 

I took about 8 photos in the series as the bird flew across the water in front of me. Of those 8 images, only in 2 of them was the bird in focus. The key to making this work is to maintain a steady pan at the same speed as the bird (make sure you have a good, solid stance and turn from the hip). It's tricky and 99% of the time you will probably fail, but the more you practice the higher your likelihood of success!

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

LOCATION, EQUIPMENT & SETTINGS

Avon River, Northam

Western Australia

Canon EOS-1D X

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens 

Aperture:                F5.6

Shutter Speed:       1/8000s

ISO:                        400

1  June 2019, early AM

TECHNIQUE

This image was taken just after the sun went down. There was a beautiful pink colour in the water (from the twilight sky).

It was too dark for a conventional flight photo so I decided to experiment with slow shutter speed. In hindsight I could have used a lower aperture than F8 and lowered the ISO further and achieved the same image with less digital noise. 

I took about 8 photos in the series as the bird flew across the water in front of me. Of those 8 images, only in 2 of them was the bird in focus. The key to making this work is to maintain a steady pan at the same speed as the bird (make sure you have a good, solid stance and turn from the hip). It's tricky and 99% of the time you will probably fail, but the more you practice the higher your likelihood of success!

New Holland Honeyeater

LOCATION, EQUIPMENT & SETTINGS

Marine Drive, Albany

Western Australia

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens 

Aperture:                F6.3

Shutter Speed:       1/4000s

ISO:                        1250

16 July 2017, 10.36am

TECHNIQUE

This image was taken just after the sun went down. There was a beautiful pink colour in the water (from the twilight sky).

It was too dark for a conventional flight photo so I decided to experiment with slow shutter speed. In hindsight I could have used a lower aperture than F8 and lowered the ISO further and achieved the same image with less digital noise. 

I took about 8 photos in the series as the bird flew across the water in front of me. Of those 8 images, only in 2 of them was the bird in focus. The key to making this work is to maintain a steady pan at the same speed as the bird (make sure you have a good, solid stance and turn from the hip). It's tricky and 99% of the time you will probably fail, but the more you practice the higher your likelihood of success!

© 2020 by Georgina Steytler Photography

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon