This article discusses a ‘stopping for nature’ exercise and shares a selection of photographs captured during a recent walk at LaSalle Park in Burlington Ontario. All of the images in this article were created handheld using the E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking technology.
Some owners of E-M1X cameras may not fully appreciate how well Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking works with a range of wildlife other than birds. In my experience as long as there is a good, discernable eye visible in my composition, and I’ve used a single AF point correctly, Bird AI locks on beautifully. We’ll have a look at a couple of examples of non-bird subjects at the end of this article.
I find it very useful to periodically practise ‘stopping for nature’ when on forest walks or on trails. This exercise involves using ‘soft eyes’ focus to better notice small movements in trees, brushes and along the ground. This technique is especially helpful with enhancing peripheral vision. Once some unusual movement has been detected, the objective is to stop and slowly examine my surroundings in order to spot the bird or animal that caused the observed motion.
Once the bird or animal has been located, I then remain motionless to encourage it to start to behave in a normal fashion. This sometimes takes several minutes of patience. While I’m waiting for the bird or animal to present itself well enough for a photograph, I slowly raise my camera to chest level to prepare for my shot.
Capturing images from my ‘stopping for nature’ spot creates creative challenges in terms of how to best compose the photograph and showcase the subject bird or animal. On occasion I may adjust my physical position relative to the bird or animal to get a better shooting angle. Most often than not I shoot from my original ‘stopping for nature’ position.
I was fortunate that there were a few kinglets on the trail during my ‘stopping for nature’ exercise at LaSalle Park. This gave me a number of image opportunities. Let’s have a look at some of the closer up images of pine warblers and kinglets that I was able to capture.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
As I went further down the trail I noticed other kinglets so I ‘stopped for nature’ again and captured a few more photographs.
When doing this exercise sometimes I’m faced with birds that are a bit more distant. This produces opportunities to create some images that include more of the bird’s environment as we can see in the next three photographs.
Chickadees are often found along the trail at LaSalle Park and I had a few opportunities to create some images of them at varying distances from my shooting positions.
When doing a ‘stopping for nature’ exercise I have no hesitation to photograph very common birds like sparrows and wrens. They still represent good opportunities to practice noticing motion with my peripheral vision… then locating and photographing the birds.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article the E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking works very well with other types of wildlife as long as the subject’s eye is clearly visible. And, a single AF point has been properly used. Here is a photo of a squirrel where Bird Detection AI nailed auto focus.
Our last two images in our ‘stopping for nature’ posting are of a chipmunk captured with Bird Detection AI.
Doing this ‘stopping for nature’ exercise on a periodic basis helps develop increased sensitivity to movements around a photographer and helps to increase response time. These improvements lead to more image opportunities.
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 indicated. This is the 1,078th article published on this website since its original inception.
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