Yesterday I had my first ever opportunity to photograph a Baltimore Oriole leaving our backyard pond after taking a bath in it. We usually have a few weeks during the late spring when Baltimore Orioles visit our backyard. They regularly feed at our hummingbird feeders and will also consume orange sections that my wife puts out for them. Neither my wife or I had ever previously seen them take a bath in the pond, as they tend to be quite skittish birds.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Fortunately I had been out with my camera earlier in the day and it was sitting on the kitchen table. Our kitchen window overlooks our backyard pond and my wife called out that a Baltimore Oriole was in the pond taking a bath.
I grabbed my E-M1X, quickly turned my top dial to C3 (my standard Pro Capture H setting) and through the kitchen window, captured some images of it bathing.
Knowing that the Baltimore Oriole wouldn’t stay long, I composed a Pro Capture H run assuming that the bird would fly from left to right on an upward trajectory. My intuition proved correct and within a few seconds I photographed the oriole leaving our pond. Here are 8 consecutive photographs from that Pro Capture H image run. These photographs were captured in a total of about 1/8th of a second.
As is my standard practice when using Pro Capture H I shot at 60 frames-per-second with my Pre-Shutter Frames and Frame Limiter both set to 15. I used a single auto-focus point.
None of us can predict when we will be presented with a ‘first ever’ image opportunity like this oriole leaving our pond. Using a camera that we know intimately can make the difference between capturing our images successfully, or missing them because we were fumbling around with camera settings.
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. Photographs are displayed as full frame captures. They were resized for web use. This is the 1,173 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
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