This article shows some examples of cardinals taking flight from twigs. This photographic scenario can be difficult to handle. Often the auto-focusing of our cameras can get confused between a subject bird and the surrounding branches or twigs. It also can be challenging in terms of timing our shutter release. The Olympus Pro Capture H mode is a very good solution.
We have a couple of short Pro Capture H image runs captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1X in this article. Our first selection contains five consecutive images of a male cardinal taking flight from twigs.
In our first sample photograph we can see some twigs in the foreground that could interfere with the auto-focusing performance of a camera.
With the Pro Capture H mode the first frame locks focus and exposure for the balance of the run. From this perspective we don’t have to worry about our camera losing focus on the subject once it is initially acquired. Pro Capture H mode spools a series of photographs in temporary memory as long as the shutter release is half depressed.
We do need to be aware that if the cardinal doesn’t fly at a 90-degree angle to the focal plane of our camera then its flight path could take it out of focus. The exact flight path that a bird may take is obviously out of our control. All we can do is plan our image run using our best assessment.
Let’s look at the balance of the image run.
As we examine the four images above we can see that the male cardinal took flight at not quite a 90-degree angle to my camera. This caused the bird to go slightly out of focus in the last two photographs. Overall we did get some useable frames, even with the busy background.
Our next set of sample images of cardinals taking flight from twigs involves a female bird. When composing these types of images it is important to try to anticipate the flight path of the subject bird.
The first thing to consider is the density of the twigs and branches that surrounds the subject bird. This will dictate the likely flight path of the bird. In the photographs that follow you’ll notice that I positioned the female cardinal a bit lower down in the frame as I was anticipating her to take a more vertical flight path.
The E-M1X’s Pro Capture H mode gave me quite an amazing feeling of confidence when I was capturing these photographs of cardinals taking flight from twigs. I knew at a 100% confidence level that I had captured some great images of this female cardinal the moment I fully depressed the shutter release on my E-M1X. There was no need to even check the images on my camera’s rear screen. Life doesn’t get much better than that when photographing birds.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Photographs were cropped to 4200 pixels on the width, then resized for web use.
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