This article shares two Pro Capture H runs of a grackle taking flight from a bird feeder. The local social distancing directives in our area have recently become more restrictive. So, I doubt that I will have a chance to photograph any birds outside of my backyard for at least a month or two. So, I will continue to do some practice bird photography in my backyard.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
When doing practice Pro Capture H image runs I try to concentrate on framing my subject bird, and anticipating its flight path. I also like to learn how many photographs it takes for a bird to leave my composition, and which frames generate the most interesting wing positions.
I don’t typically concern myself with the background in practice images as I’m focused on my shutter release timing and subject framing. Our first practice Pro Capture H run contains 10 images.
Our first frame catches the grackle just prior to launch.
The bird is beginning to launch from the feeder, wings are pushing out towards full extension.
A very nice wing extension. Side lighting helps to accentuate the grackle’s colours.
Another pleasing wing extension image. This one has nicely spread flight feathers on the tips of the grackle’s wings.
Another good capture with downward pointing wings. Side lighting highlights the colours on the bird’s back and tail.
A rather contorted position of body, wings and legs… somewhat interesting as a result.
Nice view of the underside of the grackle’s left wing.
Clipped wings detract from this image… but the upward wing extension shows a lot of detail and colour variation.
The grackle begins to turn away from the focal plane of my camera.
The grackle begins to leave the frame while it is still just in focus. Overall this was a pretty decent Pro Capture H practice run. It provides good information for how a grackle extends its wings. We can also note that this size of bird is fairly slow to gain speed as it launches from the bird feeder. These 10 images of a grackle taking flight were captured in a total of 1/6th of a second.
Now, let’s have a look at our second Pro Capture H practice run. This one also features 10 consecutive photographs of a grackle taking flight from a bird feeder.
Our first image shows the grackle beginning to take off from the backside of the feeder. I used a single auto focusing point placed on the chest of the grackle.
Wings fully extended upward, the grackle is about to take a firm downstroke to propel itself forward.
As the downstroke begins you can see the grackle moving forward in the frame.
The grackle’s first downstroke is complete.
The beginning of the upstroke catches some nice light. This reveals a range of colour details on the backside of the bird’s right wing.
A similar contorted wing position to the one we observed with the first practice Pro Capture H run.
The upstroke is continuing as the grackle keeps its legs dropped down.
Full upward extension showing a lot of feather detail on the underside of the wing.
One of my two favourite captures from my grackle practice runs. The flight angle of the bird caught very nice lighting across its back and wings. This reveals a good amount of colour variation and wing details.
The second of my two favourite captures. I love the forward position of the grackle’s wings. Beautiful fanning of the flight feathers on the tips of the bird’s wings, as well as nice colouring on the back of the bird.
During these challenging times when we are restricted from visiting many of our favourite birding locations, it is important to keep practicing our photographic craft whenever possible.
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 are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping.
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