Birder's Guide

NOV 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 13 of 51

12 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2017 Action Photos with DSLRs Mode is an icon that looks like stacked rectangles with an H next to it. It can be changed on the top of the camera's LCD display on the right or in the menu options on the LCD screen. On Nikon cameras, the High-Speed Continuous Mode is on the left dial marked with a C (with an H next to it). Speed, Light, and Settings A real-life example shows how speed, lighting, and settings work together. I recently visited a store in Glen Haven, Colorado, where hummingbird feeders around the property were frequented by a dozen or more Broad-tailed and Rufous hummingbirds. It was a perfect place for me to practice photograph- ing hummingbirds in flight. The after- noon was partly cloudy, and the sun was bright. I tried adjusting my settings (I shoot in manual mode) as the clouds passed by, temporarily causing lower light compared to the bright sun. The ABA Area's hummingbirds aver- age around 53 wing beats per second in normal flight. Because I was attempting single and continuous. You want to se- lect the continuous mode so that when you press the shutter release, your cam- era will fire off continuous shots until you lift your finger and press it again. In single-drive mode, pressing the shut- ter release takes one shot but won't take any more shots until you lift your finger and press it again. High-Speed Continuous Shooting mode is your camera's fastest shooting speed, giving you the maximum num- ber of frames per second as you press and hold the shutter release. Low- Speed Continuous Shooting mode is also fast but not as fast as High-Speed. There are other shooting options, but I won't go into them here. If you plan to photograph birds that are moving around, you want your camera's shoot- ing mode to be set at High-Speed Con- tinuous Shooting. In Single Shooting mode, you might miss an incredible ac- tion shot because you're able to shoot only one photo at a time. I have made this mistake in the field many times. It is imperative to have your camera ready while photographing birds. The Single Shooting mode has its ad - vantages when shooting stationary birds or landscapes. Pressing and holding the shutter release in High-Speed Continu- ous Shooting mode can yield unusable photos in a series that take up too much space on a memory card and/or hard drive. Not only that, but cameras have a life expectancy just like cars. Camera manufacturers publicize the shutter rat- ing of the camera. Actuations (or shut - ter count) is the amount of photos your camera has taken; if you ever buy a used camera or try to sell one, knowing the shutter count is comparable to knowing the miles on a car. I recommend that you read your camera's manual and familiar- ize yourself with the drive modes and where they are located. On Canon cameras, the High-Speed Continuous n This series of a Lesser Prairie-Chicken displaying was captured by shooting at 14 frames/ second. (Canon 1DX, 600mm f4, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400) Photo © David Strozdas n Understanding how your camera's settings work together—and how to change them quickly—is important in getting a crisp action shot. Rufous Hummingbird. (Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon 100–400mm, 1/5000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640) Photo © Sherrie Duris

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