Flying with Food

This article shares a number of photographs of small birds flying with food at Hendrie Valley. All images were captured handheld with an Olympus OM-D E-M1X using the Pro Capture H mode.

It is not uncommon for photographers to feed subject birds or use pre-recorded calls to attract them. At Hendrie Valley many of the small birds are accustomed to humans feeding them peanuts and various types of bird seed.

During a recent visit I set an objective of capturing birds flying with food in their beaks. I found that the best way to accomplish this was to concentrate on individual birds that were more skittish than others. They would dart in. Momentarily stop. Grab a seed or nut. Then quickly take flight.

To capture these images I needed to very quickly get a single AF point on the subject bird. Immediately half depress my shutter to acquire focus and start my Pro Capture run. Then fully depress the shutter once the bird took flight. As you can imagine the action was a bit frantic at times.

The following photographs are a sampling of the images I was able to capture.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Here are some nuthatches flying with food…

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/8, 1/3200, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 6.2 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 6.2 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-2500, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.8 metres

And some woodpeckers flying with food…

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 240 mm, efov 480 mm, f/8, 1/3200, ISO-800, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.5 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.6 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.6 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.6 metres

And finally some chickadees flying with food…

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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.8 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.8 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 6.2 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.4 metres
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/8, 1/3200, ISO-1250, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.7 metres

The more that I use the Pro Capture H mode on my Olympus OM-D E-M1X the more that I find myself in total awe of this technology. It allows me to set bird photography objectives for myself that are both challenging… and surprisingly, very attainable.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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/8, 1/3200, ISO-640, Pro Capture H mode, subject distance 5.8 metres

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4 thoughts on “Flying with Food”

    1. Thanks Oggie… glad you enjoyed the images!

      I’m very much enjoying my Olympus gear. The only problem I have is that I am getting very spoiled by the ergonomics, handling and flexibility of the E-M1X… as well with the creative features like Pro Capture, Live ND, Handheld Hi Res mode etc. 🙂

      Tom

      1. Tom,

        Some spoiling is good! Let’s enjoy what the technology has to offer 😀

        Btw, M4/3 naysayers won’t like it but the format got a hefty boost with Yongnuo, Mediaedge and Venus optics joining the fray. As you expressed in one of your recent posts, the format fits the needs of some markets such as babyboomers who wants the creative control afforded by a dedicated camera sans the weight of the bodies and lenses. Olympus got it right by refusing to give up on the format and join the bandwagon towards full frame and bigger sensor cameras (MF and mini-MF like Fuji’s GFX).

        Oggie
        http://www.lagalog.com

        1. Hi Oggie,

          It really comes down to what someone wants to do with their camera gear. If I would have never experienced things like Pro Capture, Live ND, in-camera focus stacking, handheld hi res, and being able to shoot long exposures handheld because of the incredible IBIS performance of the E-M1X… I wouldn’t know what I was missing. ‘Being spoiled’ is not wanting to go back to the way things were. That certainly describes me.

          Tom

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