Terns Hovering

Sometimes when we’re out with our cameras we have a bit of luck and nature cooperates. So it was today when I was out attempting to capture some images of terns hovering.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

I was in a good position with the sun at my back and I was expecting the terns to be facing me as they hovered over their target fish.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

Quite unexpectedly a tern came in much closer to the bridge than I anticipated which gave me more of a side perspective, creating some nice lighting on the bird.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

I quickly captured the bird in my viewfinder and was able to fill the 40 image buffer on my Nikon 1 V2 with a long AF-C run at 15fps.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

I clipped the wings on a number of images but was able to get tern in a good position in my frame for a good number of images.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280mm, efov 756mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-160

As luck would have it, that single, long AF-C burst was the only opportunity I had during the entire outing where the tern was in that specific position relative to the bridge. Sometimes you just ‘count your lucky stars’ and look forward to opening your files up once you get home.

I inadvertently must have nudged my shutter setting while shooting in Manual mode which caused me to underexpose the images. As I started working with the images in post I found I actually liked how the underexposure impacted the dramatic lighting. Another bit of luck I suppose.

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4 thoughts on “Terns Hovering”

  1. Nice work, as always! Birds in flight are a great challenge. On another note: I have accepted the existence of a Micro SD card in my V3 and am finding it a great addition to my V2’s and V1. One can’t say I am not well equipped with Nikon 1 equipment. 🙂 I do need a couple more lenses.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Thomas
    I love to see your great pics , after reading guys who need a zillion dollars camera and lenses to show their great talent.
    Thanks again to share them with us
    Luc

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