20 March 2012

Coot dive rehearsal

Shooting with long tele lenses is a craft that needs regular practice. In Oslo we have a small nature reserve in the middle of the local suburbia where wildfowl are plentiful and accustomed to pedestrians with more bread than they bother to carry home. Østensjøvannet (links to English Wikipedia) is an excellent place for rehearsing the shooting technique.

So basically this was just a rehearsal shot. I was trying to improve my timing on shooting coots as they dived. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to capture the bird exactly when the tip of the beak touch the water. A frustrating experience, because I was unable to identify any particular behaviour preceding the dive.

All my shots turned out to have from one third to one half of the bird below the waterline. My reaction time felt positively sluggish. The below shot is one of those mishaps. But on the other hand; a significant part of rehearsing is to define goals that are attainable within a reasonable amount of excercise.

I believe therefore I will rather try to pursue this effect again over that beak touch idea. I see a number of ways in which to improve my technique on this type of shot. That means I've learnt something, doesn't it? Not what I set out for, but no less inspirational.

Pentax K-5, Sigma EX 500mm f/4.5 DG, monopod
1/750s, f/4.5, ISO 1600

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