This short article shares 12 consecutive Pro Capture H photographs of a sparrow pond hop at ISO-6400, captured handheld using an E-M1X and M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS zoom. These images were captured through my kitchen window using my standard Pro Capture H settings (60 frames-per-second, 15 Pre Shutter Frames, Frame Limiter set to 15).
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
We are half way through our latest COVID-19 stay-at-home order so I’ve been observing birds in my backyard to see what photographic opportunities exist.
On a sporadic basis we do have quite a few sparrows around our pond, drinking or bathing. I’ve been using them as convenient subjects to do some testing with high ISO values when using Pro Capture H. The results of that testing may end up being a future posting.
This article shares a selection of 12 consecutive Pro Capture H images of a sparrow pond hop at ISO-6400. Since we’re in the dead of winter in Ontario, my pond is in continual shade during all daylight hours. This makes exposures difficult, especially when using a shutter speed of 1/2500 which is my standard Pro Capture H setting for small birds. The photographs featured in this article were captured at 12:21 in the afternoon.
I was anticipating that this sparrow would take flight on an upward angled trajectory, in a right to left flight path. So, I positioned the subject bird in the lower right corner of the composition to allow for wing extension.
Instead of taking flight the sparrow simply hopped onto the rock directly in front of it. Once the sparrow landed on the rock, I fully depressed the shutter release on my E-M1X and committed the Pre Shutter frames to memory.
Even though the bird didn’t behave as anticipated, I still found the resulting photographs of interest. A decent amount of water spray was kicked up by the sparrow which added some nice details to the photographs. Let’s have a look at the rest of the 12 consecutive image run.
You’ll notice that the sparrow’s nictitating membrane is protecting its eye in the image above. This was likely a reflex action caused by the water spray.
One of the things that I love about using Pro Capture H at 60 frames-per-second is that it allows me to capture small, incremental movements in a subject bird’s body and wing positions. This technology transforms a common, every day action like this sparrow pond hop, into something of wonder as I examine the resulting images.
If OM Digital was able to update the firmware in my OM-D cameras to allow Pro Capture H to be used at 120 frames-per-second, I’d use it in a heartbeat! The 12 consecutive photographs featured in this article were captured in a total of 1/5th of a second.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear and technology as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted as appropriate.
How you can help keep this site advertising free
My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org through PayPal.
As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.
Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.
Article and images are Copyright 2021 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!