BIF Triple Coordination

The importance of practising BIF triple coordination is discussed in this article, as well as sharing a selection of new, handheld practise images. We all appreciate the need for eye/hand coordinaton when it comes to BIF (birds-in-flight) photography. Sometimes we overlook the importance of also coordinating focal length.

Like many photographers I can get caught up in the moment and not remain as cognizant as I should be when it comes to adjusting my focal length. When shooting with my lens fully extended, patience waiting for my desired image framing, takes the place of adjusting my lens focal length.

All of the photographs in this article have been displayed as full frame captures which have been resized for web use.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 27.2 metres

When practising BIF triple coordination my goal is always to fill as much of my frame without clipping any portion of the bird. So, even if I miss capturing the bird’s eye, I still consider the image a success if I achieved very tight framing of the bird.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 370 mm, efov 740 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-1000, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 59.4 metres

I think it is important to remember that when we are out with our cameras in a ‘practising’ mode, our primary objective should not be to capture a high number of keeper images. The primary objective should be skills development. If we happen to get some keeper images, they are a bonus.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 308 mm, efov 616 mm, f/8.5, 1/2000, ISO-500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 17.5 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 321 mm, efov 642 mm, f/8.6, 1/2000, ISO-640, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 18.4 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 370 mm, efov 740 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 19.1 metres

Even if I don’t get the bird in the perfect spot in the composition, as was the case with the three images above, I still consider the photographs to be successful practise images. The key is whether they could be successfully cropped and still be potentially usable.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 420 mm, efov 840 mm, f/8.8, 1/2000, ISO-500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 29.5 metres

Do I miss shots by clilpping wings/bodies when I’m practising BIF triple coordination? Absolutely… lots of them! The assumption that I make when I go out to practise is that I will miss photographs. If I don’t miss quite a few image opportunities during this type of practise session then I know I haven’t pushed myself hard enough. In that regard I have done myself a disservice.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8.1, 1/1600, ISO-640, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 15 metres

One of the simple realities of life is that we don’t grow unless we are challenged.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8.1, 1/1600, ISO-640, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 15.2 metres

I’ve never been all that concerned about the number of BIF photographs that I miss, especially when out practising. Keeping track of my ‘hit rate’ seems like such an odd thing to do. Any of us can dramatically increase our photographic hit rate by reducing the degree of personal challenges we give ourselves… and by not pushing the camera gear that we own.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8.1, 1/1600, ISO-500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 18.5 metres

I don’t see any upside in that approach in terms of my personal skills development, or in learning how far I can push my camera gear. Or how to use it differently to achieve my goals.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8.1, 1/1600, ISO-500, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, full frame capture, subject distance 18.2 metres

Staying within our current boundaries in terms of our personal skill set and use of our camera gear is self limiting. Most importantly it robs us of our potential.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. All images are show as full frame captures, which have been resized for web use. This is the 1,022nd article published on this website since its original inception.

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