Osprey. Exercise, filling frame without cropping.

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Ductape

Active member
From last nights walk. I know where the osprey like to roost and watch the river and set myself up accordingly. Limitations on access close enough to the roost with visibility of the river is an issue. Getting the sun more at my back wasn't an option If I wanted to see the river and also be close to the bird.

Z7ii/300 F2.8/TC2III. 600mm, 1/1000, f5.6, top pic 500 ISO bottom pic 720 ISO. Monopod was used.

I could not control the flight path of the bird or how big his catch was. I get it, that would come with commitment of more time and patience to shoot the right moment. Just using what I got last night, and thinking out loud.

What I was focused on when I went out to shoot: After reading one more thread here on the BCG forum about over cropping, was filling the subject in the frame with the tools I have. I understand how critical this is. Pic 1/2 shows before after crop. Pic 3 is not cropped. I have dealt with this specific bird before, he/she will let me know if I am too close. I was on that line. I am amazed when people here express how close to the birds they can get. Before the bird flew, he was 30 feet up above my shoulder in a tree another 40 feet away horizontally. When they dove for the water their trajectory was at least 150 feet out in the river from me.

Equipment wise, I am actively looking for the right used larger lens. Setting wise, with available light, I felt like I had a good compromise of shutter speed and ISO but in hindsight probably should have used a faster shutter speed and taken the hit on ISO.

Thoughts? Thick skin, and appreciate input.





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DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thoughts? Thick skin, and appreciate input.
Seems to me you're getting pretty much close enough especially in that bottom shot. I'd likely try to shoot a scene like that in good light with my 600mm + TC-14 iii for 840mm of focal length and that would be getting pretty close to clipping wingtips in your bottom image if I didn't nail the tracking. You'd be in even tighter if shooting a D500 or your Z7 II in DX Crop mode with your existing lens plus TC combo. And doing both (840mm + DX Crop) and you'd almost certainly clip the bird's wings.

I'd say most folks shooting Osprey out in the wild that aren't shooting from a carefully placed blind or from a very lucky situation (e.g. Osprey fishing a very small watering hole where it can't get too far away) aren't getting a lot closer but are either using a longer lens (there's a reason bird photographers tend to gravitate towards a 600mm f/4 + optional TC or 800mm f/5.6) or a crop body camera (or a high resolution camera like your Z7 II in crop mode) or often both.
 

Ductape

Active member
Thread starter
or your Z7 II in DX Crop mode with your existing lens plus TC combo.
Is there real benefit to shooting the Z7II in DX mode as opposed to just cropping to the equivalent later in Lightroom?

I have the wildlife photography bug bad right now, (Thus reading too many forum threads and watching a ton of how to videos while going out and practicing what I view) and am actively searching for the right used 600 f4G lens which shouldn't be a problem, while staying within my budget.
 

Jeffrey Davidson

New member
Is there real benefit to shooting the Z7II in DX mode as opposed to just cropping to the equivalent later in Lightroom?

I have the wildlife photography bug bad right now, (Thus reading too many forum threads and watching a ton of how to videos while going out and practicing what I view) and am actively searching for the right used 600 f4G lens which shouldn't be a problem, while staying within my budget.
You get more megapixels shooting FX The extra reach is better if you use the same amount of the frame in FX mode and then crop.
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Is there real benefit to shooting the Z7II in DX mode as opposed to just cropping to the equivalent later in Lightroom?
No IQ advantage, just smaller files and better buffer performance. But my point wasn’t that you need to crop in-camera, just that you’re getting close enough that a reasonable amount of cropping will give you plenty of subject size for those Osprey(at least on a high resolution camera like your Z7ii)
 

Neil Laubenthal

Well-known member
Is there real benefit to shooting the Z7II in DX mode as opposed to just cropping to the equivalent later in Lightroom?

I have the wildlife photography bug bad right now, (Thus reading too many forum threads and watching a ton of how to videos while going out and practicing what I view) and am actively searching for the right used 600 f4G lens which shouldn't be a problem, while staying within my budget.
Not really a difference either way…DX mode gives you reach factor but doesn’t put any more pixels on target with a 7II…doing the math (IIRC because I’m on my iPad and that spreadshert isn’t easily available) DX mode is very slightly worse in pixels on target. However…tracking in DX mode and not wingtip or talon clipping is likely harder so I would guess that for BIF…at least for most of us…FX and crop later will be easier.

OTOH…if buffer performance in DX results in more FPS and viewfinder control is sufficient…DX might give you more frames to select the best pose…but I can’t remember if frame rate goes up in DX mode and a quick google didn’t answer the question.
 
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Warren D

Well-known member
I'd go higher on the SS if you can. While not on your list of concerns, I'll mention that the first shot is too hot, the whites are over. Not unexpected with the darker water behind. I'm certainly seeing the effects of atmospherics (heat waves) which you can get over water as well as over land. Not much you can do about it other than shoot in the morning before things heat up. The sun this time of year has lots of strength in spite of lower ground temps. Keep in mind these effects are magnified with increasing distance. We get longer glass to get more reach but end up paying for it as we also get more heat waves!
As for osprey, they have individual tolerances. I've observed some that couldn't care less that I'm 20 feet away and others that don't want me within 100 feet. One nesting pair I watched over the course of several seasons became acclimated to me. I wear the same hat and they got to recognize me and over time, learned that I just watched and the big eye that clicked wasn't a concern. Each spring we'd have to get re-acquainted but after a few visits, they started ignoring me again. Others are set in their ways and you just have to respect that. You can usually tell by their calls if you are too close or way to close. Many just fly off. I slowly get closer until I see signs that they are starting to get uncomfortable and then back off a bit. As with most wildlife, patience and observation will yield better photo ops.
 

Ductape

Active member
Thread starter
You can usually tell by their calls if you are too close or way to close. Many just fly off. I
I have spent the past few weeks working on my relationship with this couple. They are easier than most birds to read.

Thanks for the input.
Tim
 

EricBowles

Well-known member
From last nights walk. I know where the osprey like to roost and watch the river and set myself up accordingly. Limitations on access close enough to the roost with visibility of the river is an issue. Getting the sun more at my back wasn't an option If I wanted to see the river and also be close to the bird.

Z7ii/300 F2.8/TC2III. 600mm, 1/1000, f5.6, top pic 500 ISO bottom pic 720 ISO. Monopod was used.

I could not control the flight path of the bird or how big his catch was. I get it, that would come with commitment of more time and patience to shoot the right moment. Just using what I got last night, and thinking out loud.

What I was focused on when I went out to shoot: After reading one more thread here on the BCG forum about over cropping, was filling the subject in the frame with the tools I have. I understand how critical this is. Pic 1/2 shows before after crop. Pic 3 is not cropped. I have dealt with this specific bird before, he/she will let me know if I am too close. I was on that line. I am amazed when people here express how close to the birds they can get. Before the bird flew, he was 30 feet up above my shoulder in a tree another 40 feet away horizontally. When they dove for the water their trajectory was at least 150 feet out in the river from me.

Equipment wise, I am actively looking for the right used larger lens. Setting wise, with available light, I felt like I had a good compromise of shutter speed and ISO but in hindsight probably should have used a faster shutter speed and taken the hit on ISO.

Thoughts? Thick skin, and appreciate input.
A large number of osprey shots are coming into a nest, leaving a nest or perch, or a few that involve fishing. Depending on where you live, they can be quite common and they are relatively tolerant of people. The trick is lining up the wind and the light so the subject is well lit and landing or taking off into the wind. Because they nest on platforms, they are relatively easy to find. There are places - like Fort DeSoto in Florida - where nesting ospreys are so common you don't bother to photograph them. So it's a great bird in some locations, but over photographed in other areas. That's part of why you see so many great photos on the internet.

If you want to photograph osprey and fill the frame, find a nest on a platform and set up with optimum light. Two or three osprey chicks in a nest will keep the adults busy bringing back small fish on a regular basis.

Raptors have great vision. They see you from a half mile away. Just be obvious, quiet, and don't push close too quickly. Once they get comfortable with you, you'll be able to move closer. It does take commitment and dedication to a single subject to get really good photos.

I just got through judging a photo contest for a local club. They had six osprey images submitted - and three of them were carrying fish. At least it wasn't a Great egret - there were more than 50 great egret submissions.
 

Capturingtheunseen.com

Well-known member
Supporting Member
In addition to a higher shutter speed (with a 600mm lens the MINIMUM shutter should be 1/1200), there also appears to be a metering issue here. I know nothing about the Z7 series, but if there is a spot metering option you might try that. On your last image in particular, the dynamic range looks poor. The white on the Osprey's head (one of my favorite birds as well) is blown out while the area on the bird's back and part of the wings is too dark.

Lastly, filling in the frame with Birds in Flight is not a realistic goal, imo. Most of the time you won't be able to get that close, and if you do you might be TOO close. Almost all of my shots are cropped when doing BIF. To me, it's no big deal as 95% of the time I'm just sharing the images on social media anyway, so it doesn't matter how tightly cropped they are. I think the obsession with filling the frame is very much over done. My opinion. Steve talks a lot about filling the frame, but if you look at his images (God bless him, I love what he has done here and I have all of his ebooks) he doesn't routinely shoot BIF.

Here is an image that is very tightly cropped as I wanted head detail.

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Capturingtheunseen.com

Well-known member
Supporting Member
BTW, I just realized that you had mentioned you were using the TC2lll. I recently tried that teleconverter out and sent it back as it was too soft. That may be part of the issue too. The 1.4 is much better.
 
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