Friday, September 20, 2013

Wild Birds Flying by Paul Nelson

Wild Bird Flying, shot by Paul Nelson
Image Source:
I was browsing the great site "Lost at E Minor," which covers various aspects of art, design, and creativity, when I came across this cool photo project by Paul Nelson. Capturing wild birds in various poses of flight, Mr. Nelson produces intimate views of birds that are impossible to see watching them in real-time.
Capturing birds in flight is a challenging and rewarding pursuit. There are multiple ways to go at it. It looks like he uses strobes of some kind to freeze the motion so effectively. This approach would make it very difficult to capture a natural look in the images, but that's not his goal. Instead, he isolates the birds from their surroundings, and I think to great effect.
(Click Here) to go to Mr. Nelson's web page and see more of his work.
I enjoy capturing bird pictures that show more of their natural environment. Here's one where I got the timing pretty much right:
Wings Spread, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO Lens (rented) at 500mm
iso 640, f7.1, 1/1600 sec.
I rented this Sigma 150-500mm lens at Baker Photo & Video in Yukon, Oklahoma, while I was visiting my parents.
(Click Here) to find Baker Photo. If you're ever in that area, be sure to drop in. It's a real camera store with very knowledgable and helpful staff.
The Sigma 150-500mm is a very good birding lens. Just barely hand-holdable (at least with my arms), the image stabilization worked very well for me. It would be a challenge in anything but bright daylight, but that's the norm in bird photography. I don't really understand why Sigma makes their zooms so wide. I can't really imagine carrying this lens around to shoot at 150mm. But, that said, I was quite pleased with the images I captured with it. If I were looking for a handheld birding lens, especially for birds in flight, I would seriously consider this lens.