Randy Dykstra  

Birds in Flight by Randy Dykstra

May 2021 - Birds in Flight

About the Image(s)

We have a local rookery that is home to numerous egrets and herons. I taught a Birds in flight class there and one of things we were trying to do was to track a flying bird and have the background blur. Its not an easy task as you have to pan at the same speed as the flying bird. Here is one of my results: A great white egret flying past the reeds of his rookery. This was shot at 1/80 sec with a 500mm @f/10

6 comments posted

Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
Randy, great result indeed. Panning is very though and it takes a lot of try and error but here we can not wait for the white egret to repeat its move. BIF by itself takes practice and using faster shutter speeds. The bird is pretty clear for the technical information; 1/80th of a second with 500 mm which multiplies the chances for a blurred image. I like the direction the bird is flying into. Overall the image looks to bright in my monitor and the white bird has a blueish hue. I used ACR to decrease the brightness which added some more detail to the bird's feathers, added slight dehaze and removed the blueish saturation, This also made the background slightly darker.   Posted: 05/04/2021 15:57:20
Comment Image

Bruce Benson   Bruce Benson
Randy, Sorry this is not my favorite of your posts. To my eye the background is not blurred enough to not be distracting and the bird is not sharp enough. I do not want to be a negator, but just my take. If you are teaching a class on the subject, you know more than I do but just my honest view which may or may not have any merit. I do know how hard it is to use this technique, and have not been able to produce a good result am not an really qualified to comment. Bruce By the way, I had a great time in Texas, no real wildflowers, rained every day, but got plenty of birds.   Posted: 05/07/2021 10:53:57
Randy Dykstra   Randy Dykstra
Actually the class taught the opposite... How to freeze BIF and make sharp images with fast shutter speed, but as a challenge to a couple of the students I gave them this challenge. I thought it wasn't bad for 15 minutes of effort. It really shows off how difficult it is with a slow shutter speed, and also the fact that if you try to cheat with Slow shutter, how difficult is becomes. But I thought this might bring up an interesting discussion.   Posted: 05/09/2021 22:42:05
Randy Dykstra   Randy Dykstra
Here is a sharp one. However the reeds are still part of the background. If I wanted to spend more time in Post I could do something but this isn't going up on my wall.   Posted: 05/10/2021 12:43:45
Comment Image

Walt Brunner   Walt Brunner
Randy, it is indeed very difficult to get this kind of shot and takes lots of practice. I agree with Bruce in that the background is too distracting to really focus on the egret. Still it is a good capture of this type motion, just not my cup of tea.   Posted: 05/09/2021 16:39:59

Marie Costanza   Marie Costanza
Randy, I have been practicing quite a bit with birds in flight and agree with the comments about how difficult it can be. I have not tried this technique but it definitely looks challenging. I do tend to prefer less busy backgrounds but I commend you for doing such a good job with this technique.   Posted: 05/10/2021 11:23:59


Please log in to post a comment