This article shares a selection of handheld photographs of birds-in-flight surface action captured using Pro Capture H.
Our first 7 consecutive images were captured at 60 frames-per-second using Pro Capture H. The subject bird is a Canada goose that was aggressively charging towards another bird. This surface action occurred about 47.4 metres (~155 feet) from my vantage point.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Our next sample Pro Capture H image run is of two swans running across the surface of the water as they are gaining speed to take flight. These photographs were also captured using a frame rate of 60 frames-per-second. The subject birds in this image run were approximately 65.4 metres (~215 feet) away.
When using smaller sensor cameras it is important to remember that the sensor size of a camera does not directly impact depth-of-field. Our choice of lens focal length, aperture, distance to subject and the distance of the subject to the background are the factors that directly impact depth-of-field. Regardless of the size of the sensor in our camera.
An an illustration let’s consider photographing these swans which were 65.4 metres distant with a full frame camera using an 800 mm focal length, and an aperture of f/8. That shooting scenario would generate a depth-of-field of approximately 3.38 metres (~11 feet).
If we were to photograph those same swans at the identical distance away with a M4/3 camera we could use a 400 mm focal length lens. This would give us an equivalent field-of-view of 800 mm. Using the same aperture of f/8, this shooting scenario would give us a depth-of-field of 6.82 metres (~22 feet). So, its not the sensor in the camera that creates deeper depth-of-field, it is being able to use a 400 mm focal length to achieve our desired field-of-view, instead of an 800 mm focal length.
Our final set of sample surface action Pro Capture H images are of a duck slowing down to land on some calm water. As we review each of the images we can see the potential importance of using a fast frame rate for this type of bird-in-flight photography. While the duck’s right wing obstructs its head in four photographs, the Pro Capture H run was still able to create eight potentially usable photographs. As per the other sample images, a frame rate of 60 fps was used.
If you own an Olympus camera with Pro Capture H it could be beneficial to experiment with using this technology to photograph birds-in-flight. Even though the first frame locks focus and exposure when using Pro Capture H, if we choose the right combination of focal length, aperture, and distance to subject our images still may have an appropriate amount of depth-of-field.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted. Photographs were resized for web use. This is the 1,154 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
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