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dliepe
03-17-2013, 02:31 PM
After a few attempts at photographing one of the coolest parts of flying large falcons from high pitches, we are finding out just how difficult this can be. I went so far as to rent a larger lense to try to accomplish this. I've really not seen many photos of falcons in this moment and wonder if anyone has had success trying to capture this on film and what the keys are to getting a shot like this. My friend is using his Nikon dslr and is shooting at 6 frames per second. I rented a 400 mm lense with AF and VR to help. This one of my little tiercel is from an extreme pitch and he was quite a distance away from my friend photographing him, but even these get me pumped. Its awesome to see a falcon in this moment. These are cropped in and edited and they are still pretty weak....but cool nonetheless.
Please post any photos you guys and gals may have.
http://i750.photobucket.com/albums/xx146/dliepe/c9007a2d-1a0c-4d33-92c3-6af4d67eb74b_zps849b84c6.jpg
This is another of the gyr from the other day.
http://i750.photobucket.com/albums/xx146/dliepe/adb21eb1-9877-42a3-b3b6-88f2af1352ce_zpsb8b328cd.jpg

Lowachi
03-17-2013, 02:41 PM
Rob Palmer's gotten a few, as has Jon Groves I believe. Gotta love that "turning inside out" inverted roll at the top. Lon's on here periodically. I'm sure he'll step up for ya.

Tanner
03-17-2013, 05:10 PM
Hi Dave,
I think the key is to have a sighting system so that you can utilize a lot of zoom and still have a chance at getting the the bird in the shot. Here are a couple that I had- pretty blurry.



http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m303/schaub_2006/cytuck0.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m303/schaub_2006/cytuck2.jpg

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m303/schaub_2006/cytuck5.jpg

adam norrie
03-17-2013, 05:34 PM
These were my first shots at a falcon in flight. This is Ron Digby's adult Jack Merlin.
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/addyboy1/DSC_0803.jpg
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/addyboy1/DSC_0804.jpg
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb477/addyboy1/DSC_0792_zps3a5e92e2.jpg

This was using a Nikon D7000.

raptrlvr
03-17-2013, 07:00 PM
How about some stooping HH's? Taken with a Nikon D700 and a 70-300mm zoom lens set at 300mm. HH was stooping from about 1200 feet.
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z74/raptrlvr/20120923_5113A_zps8b3ed5a6.jpg

raptrlvr
03-17-2013, 07:27 PM
My thoughts on settings {the camera} are fastest shutter speed you can set with the lowest f-stop. Your going to need at least 1/1000 of a second shutter speed to capture a decent shot of a stooping falcon. The camera should be set on continuous shooting or some people call it burst shooting. You won't need depth of field for these shots, so, open the lens aperture {f-stop}up as much as you can. To me, a 400mm lens is way too heavy for shooting in the field and most of the time its difficult to keep the bird in the frame. I use the 300mm setting on my light Nikon 70-300mm for all the shots I take in the field. That does mean that you will have to crop the picture once it is on the computer, but, it beats carrying around a 400mm lens. The lens I use in the field is relatively in-expensive versus the cost of a 400mm. I am by no means an expert or even a decent photographer, just telling you how I do it in the field.

dliepe
03-17-2013, 08:38 PM
Great Shots everyone.....the one in full mummy is awesome tanner. I was after something like that today. We just returned from flying the gyr and I'm waiting for my friend to process the images. These will be with the rental lense. I'll post a few when he sends them.
Jim,
My friend says the same about the 400.... Its very difficult to keep the bird in frame at that setting coming down so fast. These 400 lenses are very pricey as well and its nice to see you can still capture wonderful images with a lesser lense.

dliepe
03-17-2013, 08:41 PM
Adam,
Wonderful shot of the merlin!

Tanner
03-17-2013, 09:09 PM
The challenge is not only to capture something moving quickly, but also at large distances. Thats the real kicker- for example that first photo I posted the tiercel started somewhere in the 1500 ft range, in that photo he is at 700-800 ft and pointed right down the axis of the camera lens. The camera has a total zoom of I believe 32x and I usually park it at about 1/2 to 2/3 full zoom- so its really easy to not have him in frame when you're zoomed in that far and he's not close to you either. In that position he is about the size of a mini/half sized football. In the second photo he is at about 400 ft. Thats where the sighting system comes in- its dead-on so if you are looking thru it and have the crosshairs on him, he will be right there. Trying to hold them in the digital viewfinder is completely futile as far as I have experienced. I dont know how easy it is to look thru the optical sight on some of these high quality dslr cameras??

dliepe
03-17-2013, 10:24 PM
Yup.....so many challenges to taking this shot. I can't even take still shots I like let alone these. I enlisted my friend as he has the equipment but not the experience. A sighting system with a gunstock would be the ticket. Maybe using the standard tripod mount on the lense along with a rifle scope. Sure there are some inventive folks out there.
Heres one from tonight...really cropped and enhanced..... Easy to see how far we have to go.
http://i750.photobucket.com/albums/xx146/dliepe/DSC_5397_zpsd1ffe7d7.jpg

raptrlvr
03-17-2013, 11:01 PM
David, the 70-300mm lens I use on my Nikon D700 is very easy to keep the bird in the frame throughout the stoop. The picture I posted was the last one in a sequence of 15 pictures in that stoop and the bird is in all the pictures. Its is light weight and hand holdable and cheap enough that if I beat it up, I can get another one. It is a 5.6 lens at 300mm, which is not a very fast lens, but, in broad daylight I have plenty of shutter speed with it. I can't afford the 400mm lens and am too old to carry it around.

dliepe
03-17-2013, 11:13 PM
David, the 70-300mm lens I use on my Nikon D700 is very easy to keep the bird in the frame throughout the stoop. The picture I posted was the last one in a sequence of 15 pictures in that stoop and the bird is in all the pictures. Its is light weight and hand holdable and cheap enough that if I beat it up, I can get another one. It is a 5.6 lens at 300mm, which is not a very fast lens, but, in broad daylight I have plenty of shutter speed with it. I can't afford the 400mm lens and am too old to carry it around.
Thanks Jim,
That would be a good starting point for my first lense. I'm hemming and hawing about the camera. The reviews for wildlife photgraphy list the canon t4i rebel 2nd and ahead of allot more pricey units. Thats my first choice right now at around 600 bucks.

raptrlvr
03-18-2013, 07:06 AM
My Nikon D700 was a little more expensive than the rebel at around $2300 for the body and the lens was another $500. Thats about middle of the road in price as far as the Nikon bodies go. I got this camera because of the great low light capabilities and have not been disappointed by it. I would love to be able to go out and get the Nikon D4, but, too expensive for me at about $6000 for the body only.

mainefalconer
03-18-2013, 08:49 AM
I've got a couple for you Dave. I've been messing around with my camera a bit, when I'm out with my longwinging pals, but have only been able to capture extremely mediocre stuff so far. It's hard! I'm glad you started this thread. I am all ears in terms of pointers and advice.

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0021-3_zps6510aeb3.jpg

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0020-4_zps491c606b.jpg

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0018-2_zpsd1f98260.jpg

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0015-4_zps5e0edaba.jpg

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0043_zps5a4cb058.jpg

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0042-002_zps0fddd5b0.jpg

http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0028-004_zpsf69d69cd.jpg
I thought you'd dig this last one even though it's blurry, because it's a familiar scene... black duck over spartina grass.

bluejack
03-18-2013, 09:32 AM
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee127/57merlin/24a2d246.jpg
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee127/57merlin/a10bd865.jpg
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee127/57merlin/230d8834.jpg

These were taken last season by Rob Conahan.
The first is my teircel Peales.
The other two are both jacks.

dliepe
03-18-2013, 05:12 PM
Really wonderful shots guys! Thank you for posting.

adam norrie
03-18-2013, 05:20 PM
Adam,
Wonderful shot of the merlin!

Thank you David, I was very surprised at the results, just need more practise.

thefishguy
03-18-2013, 06:39 PM
A stooping falcon is one of the toughest pics to get. The speed of the camera I feel is more important than the lens (in this situation).A great lens with a body shooting 3 frames/second will be tough. Not impossible, but difficult. Bright days are best. I like to shoot around f/7.1. You do not need much depth of field, but the more you have the better chance the subject will fall into the range of focus as you track it.

I have very few good pics of a stoop. This is one I took a couple years ago. I used a Canon 7D with a 100-400L. The 7D is 8frames/second.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8226/8570376704_2cd299db39_b.jpg

FredFogg
03-19-2013, 02:09 PM
http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0018-2_zpsd1f98260.jpg


Scott, are you sure this one is a falcon and not a fighter jet? Eeerie looking picture!

Very cool thread, I will say it again, no such thing as too many falconry pictures in my book!!!!!!!! clapp

WyoWildlife
03-22-2013, 07:35 PM
Hello All:

One thing to think about and take advantage of is to photograph flying birds when there is snow cover. The snow reflects light back up, and illuminates the underside of the falcon when overhead. So often the difference between backlight in a normal sky shot is more than the camera can handle.

Best regards,
John

ArnoudH
03-22-2013, 09:02 PM
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8226/8570376704_2cd299db39_b.jpg

From a shortwingers toes: WOW!!!!! Absolute breath taking.

Atb, Arnoud

thefishguy
03-25-2013, 10:13 AM
From a shortwingers toes: WOW!!!!! Absolute breath taking.

Atb, Arnoud

Thank you!
Chris