Thursday, 5 February 2015

Flying High! (Peckforton Castle-Camera Settings)

Photo by Ken Rane
 

Photo by Andy Boardman

This next Saturday afternoon, 7th February, the group have arranged for something quite different for the "Instructional Photo Outing" and with the weather being light cloud, and NO RAIN :) we are likely to get some very good photo opportunities. NO MATTER WHAT CAMERA YOU PLAN TO USE :).

Anyhow, from about 2.00 / 2.15 pm Barbara Astles will be seated in the centre of the grassed  inner court yard of Peckforton Castle, hoping to get some training on being a bird handler with a number of different, and perhaps large hunting birds. 

This will the time for group members to get their own ACTION Photos as Barbara does her bit for England with these birds perching on her arm, flying to the Castle Ramparts / Walls, and with luck, flying back down again to rest on her arm.

I will be in attendance (close to) with Barbara to try and get some close ups and action shots as the birds do their bit. IF, you also wish to be a "spectator" eg closer to the action, this will cost you £ 5.00 per person, and you are all welcome to do this if you wish. You have to pay your £ 5.00 at the Bird Centre before 2.00pm. Otherwise, you can still get some good shots of the birds from the edge of the grassed area and this will not cost you anything :).

Basic guide for hand held Compact Cameras.
This type of camera will get you very good shots of the birds when they are static, ie sitting on Barbara's arm, or there will also be some at the bird resting area at the rear of the grassed area.
For any action shots, ie birds flying you will need to set the camera to SPORT mode, or similar. This again will get you some good shots of the birds flying. Take as many shots as you can, some will be good, some great and some you will delete. But all good fun and experience.

Basic Guide for the BRIDGE cameras.
Bridge cameras are so called as they are between the Compact Camera where you view the shot from the rear screen, and the DSLR camera. With the Bridge camera you look through (normally) the camera view finder to get the photo. There are very many different types and makes of Bridge cameras, and the more you pay for these, the more options you get, from say fully auto mode to being able to set the camera to MANUAL. Mainly, use TWO settings, one set for SPORT mode, for the birds when they are flying, and one for say PORTRAIT photos, for close up shots. If you have manual available to you, then the settings below will best fit the subjects and day (cloudy, no rain).

Basic settings when you have a fully MANUAL camera available to use on the day.
Firstly, you will have on the camera a SPORT or ACTION setting on the camera, and this will do for MOST of the photos you can take on the day. The lens on DSLR cameras tend to be better than the two types above, but not always :(.

Anyhow, this is how I will have my Canon camera set for taking shots of the birds when flying.

Shutter speed...............1/1000 sec.
f setting.........................f 5.6 or lower if you wish. (A lower f will blur out more of the background).
ISO setting....................As it will be cloudy (no sun about) I will set this to ISO 400. or AUTO ISO as the 
                                     birds will be set against the sky, or sometimes with the castle walls in the 
                                     background. Hence Auto ISO.
Focusing........................Now this will be IMPOSSIBLE for any manual focusing when the birds are flying.
                                      Set this to AUTO Focus. It will also do when taking static shots as well.
Focusing points...............When doing this type of photography I ALWAYS USE the CENTRAL SPOT, in 
                                       the CENTRE of the viewing area of the camera. This is done so I ONLY get                                                shots properly focused on the BIRD, not the surrounding trees and castle :)
Focus moving objects.....The Canon has a setting called A1 Servo and most DSLR cameras have a similar 
                                       setting,  not A1 Servo, but a similar name. Anyhow, it is MOST IMPORTANT 
                                       that you use a setting of this nature when taking photos of moving objects.
                                       Why?  A1 Servo keeps focusing (with button fully pressed down, and taking 
                                       shots) and RE-FOCUSING as long as you keep the moving object selected in 
                                       the centre of your view finder.
Shooting, slow / fast.........Set the shots per second either at SLOW CONTINUOUS, or FAST 
                                        CONTINUOUS. Use what best suits the camera technology, the type of                                                     memory card being used etc etc. 

Note:- The faster the memory card, eg bits per second, the faster the image shot will be transferred from the camera to the memory card. CHEAP memory cards of all types, will be SLOW bits per second. 

The more you pay for the memory cards, the faster they perform particularly, when you need it :(

Make sure batteries are ALL FULLY CHARGED (TRISH )so you will not be disappointed on the day.

The more skilled photographer using a DSLR camera will no doubt have similar but slightly different settings.

Hope all attending have a GREAT DAY OUT !!!

IF in doubt about your own camera, make sure you ask, or you will NOT get the shots you wish for.

Cliff









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