Saturday, December 18, 2010

Great Blue Heron

Every camera lens seems to have its own characteristics. Some positive, others negative. I think I've discovered more of the negative characteristics with the 600mm lens than the positive. Many pictures that looked great in the viewfinder ended up being very soft in actuality. Different things are at play I think. Since it has such high magnification, the need for a very still camera and fast shutter speeds are essential.
In addition to the lens, I rented a tripod and a Wimberley gimbal head. This is a pretty stable system, but I found that with the high winds at the coast, it was hard to keep it rock solid.
While it was sunny on Friday, today was a cloudy day and this results in slower shutter speeds.
One thing I forgot is that most lenses are sharper if you close the aperture a stop or two. My 70 - 300mm doesn't seem to exhibit this much, but I think this lens does. I'll try setting the camera for aperture priority tomorrow and see if that improves the results.
When things are all working though, it does a great job. I took this picture of a Great Blue Heron's head at RNWR today. This is full frame as the bird was just off the road and with the lens' magnification, this is all I could fit in the frame. Turned out quite nice.
This is also my first post using Lightroom3. It has a bit of a learning curve, but I think it will provide better results than Pixelmator.

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