Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
I found another photo of a panned cormorant that I like as much, or more, than the one from a couple days ago. If the light level remains the same, you can fine tune the shutter speed with each attempt until you get just the right look. That is what I did here, changing the shutter speed until 1/45th second gave me the look I wanted. Everything is nicely blurred but the cormorant is relatively sharp. The bird is centered in the photo because I was trying to keep the active point of focus on it's eye. If the subject being centered bothers you, you can crop the photo later off-setting the subject.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Panned photos are not for everyone. Maybe its because my own vision is defective (sans glasses) that I find them interesting. They are similar to how I see the world if I'm not wearing corrective lenses. There for a while I was doing a lot of panning to try and get a handle on the technique. Cormorants were a good subject because they would frequently fly by right along the edge of the river opposite where I would stand. I figured if I messed up, I wasn't losing much, since it was just an old cormorant. Once in a while I would get something I liked.
Panning has so many variables, you really can't use a recipe of settings to get a known result. There are just too many things involved like: how fast the bird is flying, how much light is available, how far away the subject is and more. The background is also important because that is what is going to blur. The more variation in color and texture, the better it will look as opposed to a monochrome background.
One key thing that I did learn - and I haven't seen this fact published in anything I have read about on how to pan - is to keep something in the frame (the eye, for instance) in exactly the same spot the entire time you pan. Most instructions get no more detailed than to say try to keep everything in the frame. It is more than that. If you don't keep the active sensor in exactly the same spot - in this case, the eye of the bird - the subject will have it's own blur going on in addition to the background blur and probably won't be a very pleasing image. What you are attempting to do is blur the background, but keep the subject fairly sharp.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Caught this woodchuck out on the "lawn" earlier this summer. I don't have a problem with them. I don't own any cattle, so I don't have to worry about broken legs. I shot this through the window. There is no way I was going to sneak up on it outside. They are very wary and alert. It was living under my tool shed.
I've seen them down at the river, but they were in the trees. You don't believe me, do you. I'm not kidding. I heard something in the tree near me and, when I looked, it was a young woodchuck that was eating shoots off the tree.
I was walking our dog up the driveway several years ago when it spooked a woodchuck. The thing went right up a tree. That was the first time I learned they can climb and it surprised the heck out of me. Who knew? You always think of their talent at digging holes, especially in rocky New England where I came from and there was one in every stone wall.