This article features 18 consecutive handheld photographs of a cormorant in-flight using Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking. These images were captured in late September 2021 as part of an intensive practice exercise I did at Grimsby harbour.
The purpose of that practice exercise was to push myself when using Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking in combination with Pro Capture L. I went to the pier and positioned myself as close as legally possible (i.e. remaining behind a metal fence barrier on the pier) to birds landing on the cement structure. This put me about 35 to 40 metres away from incoming birds.
For me, an intensive practice session is when I try to photograph as many subject birds as possible in the shortest amount of time. I typically shoot at almost any bird coming in to land and often max out my buffer doing so. My intensive practice session ends when I either fill a predetermined number of memory cards, or run my camera batteries down to zero charge.
While I’m “in the moment” of an intensive practice session I do my best to take mental note of bird positions, my reaction time, and how well I’m able to pick up… then frame subject birds, and capture runs of images. When practicing with the use of Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking and Pro Capture L, I also need to make mental notes about how well I am responding to white/green focusing boxes created by my E-M1X and listening for a Pro Capture L ‘beep’ when auto-focus has been achieved.
Each of us has our own approaches when trying to learn how to use various camera features and technologies. Putting artificial pressure on myself while attempting to remain calm and attentive during the process seems to work reasonably well for me.
As could be expected the vast majority of incoming birds were gulls. There were a few cormorants in the area but very few of them came in to land on the pier. Most of those that did were flying in at a low angle and were partially hidden behind the end of the pier as they made their approach.
The images in this article were captured during one of the few opportunities I had that day to photograph a cormorant in-flight using Bird Detection AI and Pro Capture L. I will likely post another article featuring a selection of gull images captured during this same intensive practice exercise.
As you look through these images of a cormorant using Bird AI you’ll see that my subject framing was off a bit in a number of frames. This resulted in some clipping of wings. I’m not a purist when it comes to my bird-in-flight photography and getting in tight with a bird or otherwise clipping wings never concerns me.
Although these were practice exercise photographs, I was able to get some good captures from this particular Bird AI/Pro Capture L image run. Frame 13 is a personal favourite.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I used my standard C1 Custom Mode settings of 18 frames-per-second in continuous auto-focus with silent shutter, Auto-ISO, a single AF point, Manual mode, Pro Capture L, and Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking. I had my Pre-Shutter Frames set to 10 and my Frame Counter Limiter turned off.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced using my standard process. After running my RAW files through DxO PhotoLab 4 using one of my custom pre-sets, I made some minor adjustments in PhotoShop CS6 and Nik. My final step was using Topaz Sharpening AI. Crops are indicated. This is the 1,116 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
How you can help keep this site advertising free
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated.
If you click on the Donate button below you will find that there are three donation options: $7.50, $10.00 and $20.00. All are in Canadian funds. Plus, you can choose a different amount if you want. You can also increase your donation amount to help offset our costs associated with accepting your donation through PayPal. An ongoing, monthly contribution to support our work can also be done through the PayPal Donate button below.
You can make your donation through your PayPal account, or by using a number of credit card options.
Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.
Article is Copyright 2022 Thomas Stirr. Images are Copyright 2021 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!