Bird in the Hand

This article features a selection of ‘bird in the hand’ images captured during a recent visit to Hendrie Valley. All of these photographs were taken using the Olympus Pro Capture H mode with an OM-D E-M1X.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Our first ‘bird in the hand’ is a downy woodpecker, These photographs were captured after the bird had taken flight.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode

You can see how using a fast frame rate of 60 frames-per-second made capturing this selection of 6 images possible. All of these photographs were captured in 1/10th of a second handheld. These images were stored in temporary while I half-depressed my shutter release. They were then written to my memory card after I fully depressed my shutter release.

Our next ‘bird in the hand’ is a nuthatch flying in and landing on an outstretched hand.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode

The seven images that you just viewed were stored in the temporary memory of my Olympus OM-D E-M1X. They were written to my memory card after I fully depressed the shutter release on my camera. The action captured by these seven photographs occurred in 0.117 seconds. I used ‘both eyes open’ technique to anticipate the arrival of the nuthatch.

One of the things that I absolutely love about my Olympus OM-D E-M1X is being able to capture very precise moments when using Pro Capture H mode.

If you ask bird photographers what keeps them coming out day after day, most of them will talk about getting ‘that one image’ that made their day. Our last ‘bird in the hand’ photograph is ‘that one image’ that made my day on this particular outing.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode

It is almost impossible to describe to someone else the feelings of joy, wonder and amazement that happen when a photograph like the one above is created using the Olympus Pro Capture H mode. I can attest to the fact that these feelings become addictive!

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. Photographs were cropped to taste, then resized for web use.

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10 thoughts on “Bird in the Hand”

  1. Great images Thomas, I have had my M1X just over two weeks, upgraded from an EM1 mkii, I am working my way around all the shooting modes etc. Pro Capture is on my to do list very soon. I do like the way you supply all the data with your images I find it very helpful. Just out of interest how far were you from the subject?

    1. Thanks Richard… I’m glad you enjoyed the images! I have a section on the website set up in the menu for Pro Capture. There’s plenty of articles there that may be of interest.

      My EXIF data is showing that I was about 5.6 metres away from the nuthatch. 5.8 metres from the black capped chickadee, and 6.1 metres away from the downy woodpecker.

      Tom

  2. Terrific shots Tom, just what we have come to expect from your good work. One great advantage you have is having a place where you can regularly find the birds. There is no special place near me such as your valley. Small birds have to be photographed in the wild which means as they flit around trees, etc. This is not the easiest way to capture them. Living by the coast, I do have opportunities with the larger birds, Great Blues and Egrets, etc, and there is also a rookery nearby that presents great opportunities at the time when the birds are breeding.
    My new Olympus 100-400 arrived yesterday. Quick thoughts are it is heavier than I hoped but solid as a rock. I have not taken it out yet.

    1. Thanks Joel… I’m glad you enjoyed the images! The birds at Hendrie Valley are ‘wild’ but many of the small ones that frequent the boardwalk area are comfortable being around people. I’ve also taken lots of images of birds as they flit from branch to branch. Lots of eye/hand coordination for them!

      I don’t know when my M.Zuiko 100-400 IS f/5-6.3 will be shipped. I followed up with Olympus Americas and found out that all of the orders received before August 11th have been shipped. Brand new orders will likely be shipped in mid-November. There are two additional shipments of the 100-400 zoom coming to Olympus Americas. One in October and one in November. Since I ordered my lens at the end of August, I’m hoping mine will arrive in early October.

      You can reduce the weight of the lens somewhat by removing the tripod collar and not using the lens hood… that’s how I intend on using mine. I think you’d save roughly 280 grams in weight, which is about 0.6 pounds.

      Will you be using any teleconverters with your 100-400? I will likely keep the MC-14 on my copy most of the time… and move to the MC-20 in good light with more distant subjects.

      Tom

      1. I have the MC-20 which I have been using with my 40-150 lens the same as you do. I just ordered the 1.4 TC which I plan to primarily use with the 100-400. I have some concerns about the MC-20 on this lens and normally I would not need it anyway. On the occasions when the longer reach of the 2X is really needed, I would use it for sure.

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