This article features a selection of photographs of gulls with cluster area C-AF. I captured these images this morning during mainly overcast conditions. An earlier article, Ducks Using Cluster Area C-AF, was my first attempt using the cluster area continuous auto-focus capability (C-AF) of my OM-D E-M1X. Rather than push this feature to an extreme, I used it as if this was just a typical outing to photograph birds-in-flight.
I spent a few hours at Grimsby harbour and photographed whatever birds were airborne… which ended up being various gulls.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I’ve always preferred shooting birds-in-flight from fairly short distances, so I tried to wait until the gulls were in close proximity whenever possible.
This was the second time that I tried using the cluster area C-AF on my E-M1X.
I practised more patience and shot discipline this time around, allowing myself a second or two to set up my photographs much of the time.
Overall I was quite pleased with how well the cluster area C-AF locked on to approaching birds-in-flight.
I had quite a few occasions when I was photographing some gulls flying past me, then turned to find more birds right on top of me. The cluster area C-AF was quite responsive and I was able to capture some usable images.
At one point I was able to capture a short run of images of a gull hovering about 35 to 40 metres away. This yielded some very interesting wing positions as you can see in the following five photographs.
Getting an image run like the one above, even if it was only a short burst, is always a pleasant bonus.
Capturing a bird-in-flight inside of 15 metres can challenge a camera’s auto-focusing system. The cluster area C-AF on my E-M1X was up to the task.
After returning home and reviewing my images, I decided that I will use the cluster area C-AF on my E-M1X as my standard bird-in-flight setting. Once the Bird Detection AI is launched later this year I may make that my standard bird-in-flight setting if it proves superior to cluster area C-AF.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process which now includes DxO PhotoLab 4 and Topaz Denoise AI. The degree of cropping is indicated for each image.
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