This article shares a selection of 14 handheld images of a red tailed hawk chasing an osprey, and discusses technology and technique. All of the photographs were captured at the ponds at Grindstone Creek in Hendrie Valley.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
If you enjoy photographing birds-in-flight you’ve likely had opportunities to capture images of birds interacting in mid-flight.
These altercations often happen as birds try to steal food from one another, or fight over territory. As we can see in the image above, and the next five consecutive photographs that follow, this close flying action happens extremely quickly.
In can be a challenge to track with the birds as they dipsey-doodle through the air… and abruptly change speed and direction. Keeping auto-focus point(s) on the birds and timing your shutter release can create additional challenges.
Now, let’s look at a set of four consecutive images.
On a comparative basis, capturing these photographs of a red tailed hawk chasing an osprey were relatively simple when using Pro Capture L in combination with Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking.
I relied on Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking to locate the birds in my EVF and keep them in focus as I half-depressed my shutter release. Since I had Pro Capture L engaged, this also triggered my E-M1X to record images into temporary memory.
Since the osprey was the bird under attack, I concentrated my tracking on that bird and waited for the hawk to re-enter my composition.
I kept recording images into temporary memory, then as soon as the birds began to separate in mid-air I fully depressed my shutter release to write the photographs to my memory card. I held my shutter release down until the red tailed hawk exited my framing.
These mid-air interactions of a red tailed hawk chasing an osprey were far off in the distance. The subject birds were from 152.9 to 226.6 metres (~501 to 743 feet) away. Suffice to say I wasn’t expecting my resulting captures to be award winners. 🙂
I was able to get a decent number of acceptable images of this red tailed hawk chasing an osprey. The combination of using Pro Capture L with Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking was ideal for these photographic opportunities.
These technologies allowed me to concentrate on my shutter release timing and keeping the birds in my frame. I didn’t have to concern myself with keeping fixed auto-focus points on the subject birds.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard approach in post. Images were resized for web use. I used my standard Pro Capture L settings: Pre-Shutter Frames was set to 10 and my Frame Limiter was turned off. I shot at 18 frames-per-second in continuous auto-focus. As is my standard practice when using Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, I used a single AF point. This is the 1,206 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
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