Getting Longer Reach

*** myPhotoWalk — Photo Tech Talk ***

I was perfectly happy with all my camera gear until one early morning at the beginning of a new year. I had decided on a myPhotoWalk photo shoot to a nearby lake here in the Coachella Valley of California where I had seen some Canadian Geese the previous day. I was not disappointed; there were dozens of them. And to my great joy after capturing hundreds of images, I made a new discovery. Bird photography! I was particularly excited about 15 Snowy White Egrets that seemed to be dancing across the water and having the time of their lives. It was truly a most amazing experience trying to capture images of these wild birds out in God’s majestic creation.

But I made a few discoveries that morning. I realized capturing clear images of flying birds is not an easy task. Why won’t they hold still? And then, there was the distance problem. I realized I did not have enough reach with my lens to get as close as I desired. That was the moment I decided I wanted to get an appropriate lens that could capture the gestures and delightful movements of these amazing birds from far distance.

I’ll never forget the day my Nikkor 80-400mm lens arrived. I immediately put it on my Nikon D7000 and began capturing images. But the real test was going to be taking photos of the birds in the wild. I decided to try it first on my Nikon D7000 because it is a DX cropped format sensor, enabling my 80-400mm lens to expand to reach 1.5 times the length, to 120-600mm. Oh, I loved the thought of having a full 600mm to play with in capturing those birds out on the water, walking alongside the water, and flying through the air.

So the next day, I decided to go find some birds. I went to another small pond and, sure enough, there was a Great White Heron walking proudly along on the other side. It was quite far away and I wondered how the lens would work. I was amazed to discover how close it got me to that bird. I was able to capture all kinds of gestures including this one where it was just proudly strutting along and seeming to talk to itself or anyone who would listen as it opened its beak. I was laughing the whole time I was shooting these images.

Since that time, I have learned the importance of having a high enough shutter speed to capture movement when you are using a lens of this length. I’ve learned that a good rule to follow is for the shutter speed to be higher than the length of the lens. In order to get that kind of high shutter speed, the ISO can be adjusted. In the case of this image, I think I could have doubled the ISO and it would have taken me to a better shutter speed for this image. But considering I had only used the lens for one full day, I’m fairly happy with the result. Of course, there are even better telephoto lenses that can get you closer to the birds, but this Nikkor 80-400mm lens gets me in the ball park.

I have now used this great Nikkor 80-400mm lens to capture all kinds of wildlife including ducks, geese, lions, tigers, and even small sparrows at the top of distant bushes. It is, without a doubt, my very favorite lens, and I always take it on photo shoots in case I have the opportunity to capture images of birds or animals.

So, if you need a longer reach, go for a longer telephoto lens like a Nikkor 70-300mm or the wonderful Nikkor 80-400mm.

And enjoy the view!

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!


myPhotoWalk Devotional

Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
Hebrews 10:35

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: The Confident Bird
  • Description: Capturing a great white heron in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 04/04/14
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80-400mm, FL 400mm, ISO 640, f/5.6, 1/320sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk PhotoShoot in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software, On1 Photo 10 Software, Topaz Software.
  • Copyright ©2018 Catherine Martin – myPhotoWalk™ – Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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