More From the Pangas

This Blue-footed Booby image was created from a panga with the handheld Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3.

When working from any type of water craft, IS and VR lenses are extremely useful; they can help you produce sharp images even when the engine is running.   The same goes for fast shutter speeds.  Though I wound up with 3/4 frame vertical portraits of this bird, I prefer the wider view here with the booby background look.

American Oystercatcher; same gear as above. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/4 in Tv mode.

If your camera offers an auto ISO feature you can use it to get great results when working from a boat in low light.   Activate your camera’s ISO saftey shift or auto ISO feature and then set your camera to Tv (shutter priority) mode.   Next set the shutter speed to 1/500 sec.  This will usually yield sharp images with lenses of 400mm or less.  Dial in the correct exposure compensation; you may have to point the camera at the light sky and depress the shutter button to do this….   Now you are ready for action.  The camera  will automatically set the ISO high enough to yield the 1/500 sec. shutter speed.  This will allow you to work quickly while producing sharp images without having to think too much.  (When using this technique I usually set my ISO to 400.)

This Brown Noddy was photographed with the same gear as above. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/4.

When you are working in Av mode, setting the widest aperture will always yield the fastest possible shutter speed for a given ISO.   At times, the panga drivers get us so close to the birds that we cannot focus….

As always, you can click on each image to see the larger version.   See y’all again very soon.

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3 comments to More From the Pangas

  • avatar Larry Brown

    Thanks for your prompt answer.
    Larry Brown

  • avatar Larry Brown

    Hi Artie,
    Could you eplain exactlly how you activate the camera’s iso safety shift? I have a Canon 50D. I am familiar with the Av and Tv safety shift and know how they work to provide an aceptable exposure but the ISO safety shift is something I do not understand how to use.
    Larry Brown