Birding at home made simple: Part 2


Today, I was up at 6:30am and took our dog out, then set up my chair in front of the door window. I have figured out that between 6:30am and 8:00am is when the birds feed. I have a bird feeder hanging in a tree just 10 feet away from my chair that inside. And I also spread some seed on the ground around the tree. it is much more natural looking than having a bird on the feeder. My Olympus OMD-E-M5 had a Nikon 100-300mm f/5.6 AiS, and I adjusted to f/11, and the E-M5, I used ISO 1600 – 2000. I also use Noiseware Professional 5 Plug-in with CS4. CS4 is my tweaking software and if I need Layers and other things that Coral Aftershot Pro (ASP) can’t do.  I use Olympus Viewer 2 to import the RAW files, w/o any editing, that I do in ASP, and finish up in CS4. My Software I use for reducing these for web sizes is “FastStone Image Viewer”. It has many many features, including batch renaming if you need that.

Here are my keepers from today. There are more keepers though. These are the TOP PICKS. In case you wandering how many photographs I take of each bird? 20-50, and with the motor drive set on “High” (9-10fps).

One of the things I should mention, is that you will need about 1 hour of time where you can just sit behind your door with glass, and wait for the birds to come up to the feeder and or ground with some seeds scattered about. Don’t make sudden movements, when you in the line of sight of the birds. many “Scare” easily. a very few don’t. If you don’t have a way to be inside, then you will need make sure that you are around 30 feet away from the Tree/Feeder area.

So, a summery of Part 1 is:

  • ISO 800-2500 depending on light quality
  • f/11, with manual lenses, a small f/stop will help you keep birds in focus as they bob about while picking up seeds. When you are cranked out in the 200-300mm, the Zone of Focus at under 12 feet is only about 8″ deep at best. At greater distances, the zone of focus is deeper for the same f/stop.
  • If your camera has IBIS, you may get away with 1/80s with your camera stabilized as you are sitting (Use a chair with armrests for that). But try to keep the shutter speed up around 1/200s by changing the ISO.

Here is my setup. Olympus OMD E-M5/Nikon 100-300mm f/5.6 AiS

Click on the 1st photo to view a slide show

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