The Great Journey in Photography

Seeing Is Believing

Juvenile Sandhill Crane in flight

700mm f5.6 320iso 1/1,000sec

Hi Gang, just a couple of quick tips for shooting birds in flight.
How many times have you heard that you should see through both eyes when looking through the view finder? And how many times have you tried it without success? I know for me after several serious efforts, I have not found a comfortable way to do it. It may very well be the fact that I have one eye that is stronger than the other. In any case, as much as I would like to I just can’t see out of both eyes at the same time, so I use a couple of other techniques. Wether I am shooting hand held or on a tripod I will very often, most of the time in fact, bring my view finder eye to the top of the camera just to the left of the hot shoe. I use the edge of the hotshoe as a guide or a sight to line up my subject with the hot shoe and the lens shade knob then I drop down to the view finder. More often than not the bird will be in the crosshairs at which time I acquire focus and start shooting.

Sometimes, especially shooting hand held, I will let the camera hang down in my hand or cradled across my chest allowing my arms to rest, I look in the distance and watch the action devoloping. Remember that birds are creatures of habit and they will usually repeat patterns and fly into the wind. Keep an eye on them and you will be able to predict their behavior. As you see an opportunity developing pull the camera to your eye and acquire focus. This actually works quite well for me, of course the larger and slower the bird is the easier it will be.

So there you go, a couple of easy ways out of that pesky “see out of both eyes” thing.

You can follow me on twitter at @RonBoyd


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