Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ran out of the house to the local airport when I realized there was a small airshow going on. I parked off the airport grounds since I was so late getting there and set up my DSLR with a Canon 400mm prime lens and Canon 2x extender. To be honest, I don't take many "daytime" photos so therefore my knowledge about the topic is pretty slim. With the 2x extender I lost auto focusing and I forgot about increasing my shudder speed, duh! Kind of hard to manually focus on a fast moving airplane, I learned that. Out of numerous photos taken, not many were in focus. I thought the show had ended so I dismantled things and was just about ready to head home when I saw a vintage P-51 taxiing into position for take off. I immediately put things back together, but this time I left the 2X extender off just to save auto focus. I didn't care if I lost about 400mm of focal length, I just wanted an in focus picture. I also set the shudder speed to around 300-320, maybe I should have gone higher since my 400mm lens didn't have image stabilization. Oh well, it was a learning experience. Here are some photos of the event.

The photo with the electrical power pole image shows a bird's nest with a baby bird inside it. The mom and dad paid very close attention to the nest. The power pole was located across the street from my position. I believe I took this photo with the 400mm and 2x extender, but I'm not sure. Next time if I wanted to use an extender I'll slap on the less powerful 1.4x, at least that one allows the auto focus feature. I forgot I had it in my bag, otherwise I would have used it. At least cropping helped matters. The other goof on my part was leaving my tripod at home, for me, absolutely a must under these circumstances.
 

Attachments

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,487 Posts
Not bad photos under the circumstances. I keep one 1.4x TC permanently attached to my 500L telephoto and only use the 2x TC under extreme conditions. My other 1.4x TC is available for use with my 100-400L telephoto zoom, but I don't like using it because it slows down the auto focus when I am photographing birds in flight.

Two of my buddies are into photographing vintage aircraft. I'll try to put you in touch with them. They tell me that "prop blur" is the desired effect when shooting propeller planes as it conveys action and motion. Freezing the propeller makes it look like a model airplane hanging from the ceiling.

What is the bird in the nest? It looks like it might be an osprey, as they tend to build nests on structures like light stands. You should be able to get good photos of the parents delivering food to the baby.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
mom or pop bird unknown species

Bill, it just so happened I took a pic of either the mom or dad, but I didn't post it because it was a little blurry. Here it is if you can identify it for me. Thanks for the tip on prop blur and also the lead in about photographing planes in flight. Looks like I got close to the right shudder speed, because the last time I used a very high shudder speed I was taking pics of hummingbirds in flight. In that instance I wanted to freeze their wings, but I can certainly see if you did that with a prop plane, it would look like a suspended model. I did try and capture the Navy jet flying low with some good foothill and mountain backdrop, but that was a bust, mainly due to the 400mm x 2x set up.

I just added some more. I like the one that looks like the jumper is exploding. Just by luck I caught him right after he pulled the ripcord and the photo is a mix of smoke and the chute opening up at the same time.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Great pictures! Always been a big fan of warbirds. My dad is a pilot and had his 172 at the Sonoma County Airport for a good couple of decades, so I spent a lot of time there and in the air. I think there were at least 3 P-51D's that lived at that airport, as well as a few other warbirds, so I got to see them take off on a regular basis, plus the CDF's S-2 Trackers. Radial engines never get old :).

I see you are out in the Sac Valley, which airport was this at? I'm familiar with the Nut Tree as that was where my dad would get his annual inspections done, but am not familiar with any of the other municipal airports out there as we rarely landed in that area aside from the Nut Tree.
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,487 Posts

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,487 Posts
Two of my buddies are into photographing vintage aircraft. I'll try to put you in touch with them. They tell me that "prop blur" is the desired effect when shooting propeller planes as it conveys action and motion. Freezing the propeller makes it look like a model airplane hanging from the ceiling.
Here is a reply I got from one of my friends for those who are interested in photographing airplanes:

He could probably get some hints here: Pacific Northwest Aviation Photographers. One thing he'll want to do if he's shooting piston-engined planes... slow the shutter down to between 1/100 and 1/160, to let the prop blur. Otherwise the plane looks like a model. It takes practice to pan with the plane moving at 200+ mph and keep it in focus at that slow shutter speed, but it's worth it.

If I recall correctly, the perfect "prop blur" is a full disc where the prop is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Nice photos, and good tips about shutter speed, too. I photograph lots of racing motorcycles, and I almost never shoot faster that 1/320. For me, it's about achieving crisp focus on the main body of the subject but having the wheels blurry. I don't want to see individual spokes. Lots of guys crank it up to 1/1000, leaving every spoke in clear focus.
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,487 Posts
Nice photos, and good tips about shutter speed, too. I photograph lots of racing motorcycles, and I almost never shoot faster that 1/320. For me, it's about achieving crisp focus on the main body of the subject but having the wheels blurry. I don't want to see individual spokes. Lots of guys crank it up to 1/1000, leaving every spoke in clear focus.
Do you take "pan" shots where the rider is in focus but the background is blurred, giving an effect of speed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
696 Posts
Couldn't get quite the full round on the prop but it was close. 3 shot I got back in 2006 of Sean Tucker. And the last one is just a personal favorite of a Lancaster bomber. This was about 20 minutes before the rain started and shut things down. All taken with a 5mp point and shoot before I picked up a DLSR. so sorry for the graininess. :)







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
One of my favorites


Taken a number of years ago.....I retired 6 years ago so sometime before then. This was on a "fighter drag" with a squadron of F-15s. I no longer remember all the details....picture taken with a 5.0 mp Sony camera.....sean
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Great pictures! Always been a big fan of warbirds. My dad is a pilot and had his 172 at the Sonoma County Airport for a good couple of decades, so I spent a lot of time there and in the air. I think there were at least 3 P-51D's that lived at that airport, as well as a few other warbirds, so I got to see them take off on a regular basis, plus the CDF's S-2 Trackers. Radial engines never get old :).

I see you are out in the Sac Valley, which airport was this at? I'm familiar with the Nut Tree as that was where my dad would get his annual inspections done, but am not familiar with any of the other municipal airports out there as we rarely landed in that area aside from the Nut Tree.
It was at the Lincoln regional airport in Lincoln, Ca. Not a large facility by any means, but capable of accepting jets, so the runway is pretty long. In fact, back around 2002 I flew in a company jet from San Francisco to Lincoln to pick up a distributor there and then fly on to Dallas Texas. I had no idea at the time I would ever live there eventually. I remember Nut Tree being the destination place for those silicon valley pilots going out for an hour's lunch flight. I've said before several guys I know got their private pilot's licenses a long time ago and simply ran out of places to go for lunch and with no other purpose other than spending money, they left the hobby. You really have to love flying more than your destination.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Nice photos, and good tips about shutter speed, too. I photograph lots of racing motorcycles, and I almost never shoot faster that 1/320. For me, it's about achieving crisp focus on the main body of the subject but having the wheels blurry. I don't want to see individual spokes. Lots of guys crank it up to 1/1000, leaving every spoke in clear focus.
Initially and not knowing anything about taking photos of airplanes, I set the shutter speed to 1/1000+ to compensate for not having image stabilization on my 400mm prime with 2x extender. I used same method for freezing hummingbirds in flight. During this time I was experimenting with various settings and more or less lucked out when I reset the camera to TV mode when the P51 Mustang showed up. TV mode brought the shutter speed down to 1/320 and I didn't even realize that until later. I had no idea about prop spin until Bill pointed it out, obviously that effect is important when capturing prop driven airplanes. However, as Bill's friend noted, it takes practice shooting at 1/100-1/160 while panning on a fast flying plane. I had a hard enough time catching flying birds with my set up without blurring most of the photos, that's why I shoot in continuous mode, at least I might catch one that isn't blurry and I'm using much higher shutter speeds than I think I should. It will be a real challenge at such a low shutter speed to capture the ideal "prop blur".

I'm sure having IS will help matters, the price differential between my lower end "L" canon prime and telephoto lenses is substantially cheaper than ones with the IS feature. But, there is an exception of sorts and if I had to do it over I should have gone with the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens instead of my 400mm f/5.6 L USM lens. One could argue about the advantages of having a prime lens, but that's another topic. The price difference was only 50 bucks and I would have had a one stop faster lens speed and image stabilization with the 100-400mm lens, notwithstanding adjusting field of view. I look at Bill's shooting with this glass and that's proof to me it's a more suitable lens for these applications. I think I read somewhere someone complaining the mechanics of the 100-400 can suck in dust or something like that stuck in my head.

I went the cheaper route as well when I bought my 70-200 f/4 L non IS lens. At the time I wasn't serious about taking deep sky wider field images using lenses instead of a telescope, but now I am. In this case having IS wouldn't have been as important as having a faster lens, like the 70-200 f/2.8 L non IS lens. This lens comes in four variations, from the lower end I own at $649 to the top dog f/2.8 IS lens at $2,099. I would be happy with the non IS f/2.8 lens at $1,349 because 99% of my imaging is assisted by software controlled auto guiding using a high end telescope mount. I suppose if I were only using a tripod taking images under 20-30 seconds, then IS would probably be helpful. The Canon 70-200 L lens has an outstanding reputation for sharpness and clarity and once I get some other things sorted, I'll set it up on my telescope mount and take some images and see what happens.
 

·
Still needs a life.
Joined
·
12,487 Posts
I think I read somewhere someone complaining the mechanics of the 100-400 can suck in dust or something like that stuck in my head.
Should you decide to purchase a 100-400L zoom in the future, Canon's new series II has a twist type extension/retraction mechanism (like your 70-200L zoom) that doesn't suck in dust.

CANON EF 100-400MM F4.5-5.6L IS II
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The bird is either a loggerhead shrike:
Loggerhead Shrike Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

or a northern shrike:
Northern Shrike Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Good catch. They are not common in my town. I will see a northern shrike at the marsh in the winter about once every year.
Bill,
I went back to this thread just for fun and realized I now know what kind of bird that was in question. I discovered the species by accident when a male and female started feeding off my Hummingbird feeder. I have never seen them before, that is until I realized the female looked just like the one at the air show nest. The bird book revealed they were Orioles! They have returned for two or three years now and I hope they come back this year. The male is beautiful, with striking yellow body feathers contrasted by black feathers. I'll open your link on the Shrikes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,715 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
COOL. Orioles are not common up here. I have read that they will feed at hummingbird feeders.
Bill, continuing from my last post, the Orioles are back again this year, great to see and hear them. The hummingbird feeder is visited by two males and one female. Since the one male is smaller I think he might be a Juvi. They are very skittish and super aware of their surroundings, always on the lookout for predators. In a bittersweet event, my next-door neighbor finally had a very large fast-growing tree removed. The original owner planted it and eventually it not only intruded by blocking the northern skies, but its root system went under the fence and blew up our concrete patio. I had to go out a number of times to dig and chop sizeable roots, it was like shoveling crap against the tide.

I was extremely happy to finally see it go away, the northern skies opened up and that meant I could access new deep-sky targets or better yet, lock on a target much earlier and take more extended long exposures. No more damage to the patio, but, the downside of losing the tree was it disrupted a flock of birds (House Sparrows?) that used to visit our bird feeder frequently. They took a liking to a large photinia bush that was in front of our side yard gate. I formed it over time into a rectangular box and for some reason they called it their daytime refuge. It was thick and offered excellent protection against predators. The flock numbered around 25-30 birds and they would fly from there in numbers up to 10 to 15 birds to the larger aforementioned neighbor's tree prior to descending on our bird feeder. It was a routine they followed every day. I figured they flew to the larger tree because it gave them a good view of the area surrounding the feeder, once safe, they flew down and started feeding. However, once the large tree was removed the birds promptly disappeared, likely because their routine was disrupted and they had no place to stage before flying down to the feeder. I figured they would return, but it has been about three months and unfortunately, they have stayed away so it looks like the move is permanent. I used to get a kick out of watching their flying habits, especially when they took off en masse from the Photinia and flew straight down the side yard about 6' to 10' off the ground, often passing close to where I would be standing.

Since the tree removal, the activity around the feeder has dropped off dramatically, leaving only Morning Doves and at first a mating pair of maybe yellow Warblers. In time a few more Warblers showed up and occasionally some unidentified species, but that's it. I never realized the large tree would have that much of an impact on the ecosystem, but nature has its own rules. At the end of the day I'm glad the tree is gone, but hopefully, in time more birds will return.

Another benefit of the shut down has been the amazing blue skies we have been getting and the reduction of air pollution has reduced greatly the light pollution reflection around the Sacramento light dome. An ideal time for backyard imaging. But, I missed this opportunity when my telescope mount crashed.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top