More Midway!

laysan-albatross-bent-wing-flight-_y9c0846-midway-atoll-nwr
Laysan Albatross. This image was created with the handheld 400mm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1. Opportunities for flight photography are unlimited as the sky is constantly filled with birds. And the windier the better. As always, you can click on each image to see a larger, sharper version.

The first group leaves tonight after dark on the plane that is bringing the second group to bird photographers heaven.   For each of the photographers on the first trip, the week has been an unforgettable experience.  And our visit to Eastern Island was simply unbelievable.  Please see Bulletin 320 in about ten days for details <smile>

black-footed-albatross-coming-at-you-_y9c9463-midway-atoll-nwr
Black-footed Albatross. Same gear as above. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops in early morning light: 1/1250 sec. at f/4.
white-tern-pair-on-branch-_y9c8108-midway-atoll-nwr
White Terns. Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens on a tripod with the EOS_1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/7.1. I went for a bit of extra depth of field in an effort to sharpen up the second birds. Participant Ron Horn shaded the pair with his body to eliminate the filtered sunlight.
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10 comments to More Midway!

  • Arthur, I notice that these days you seem to be using the 400mm f/4 IS DO lens as your goto lens for handheld and flight photography. Aside from price, how do you think it compares to the 400mm f/5.6L for similar use? Why do you now choose this one instead of that one?

    • I feel that the 400 DO is far superior to the older 400 f/5.6 for handheld flight photography for two very obvious reasons: it is a stop faster and the image stabilization makes a big difference in sharpness at least for me. The few times that I have gone back and tried to use my old “toy lens” it seems that the lens is jerking around all over the place as I attempt to frame the image: I am unable to hold the lens as steady as I used to even when tracking moving subjects. I will admit that I have been doing so much flight photography here on Midway that at time my left wrist does hurt! For folks with a steady hand and a smaller budget the 400 f/5.6L lens can be a great flight lens. On the second Midway trip well more than half of the group has both the 400 DO and the 70-200 f/4 L IS and we are all using them ALOT!

  • Artie,
    In the BAA #319, the technical data for image of the barred Owl mentioned a Canon 840 f4 DO. Is this a typing error or is it possible that Canon has a new lens that you test?

    Thank also for your absolute unselfish sharing of bird photography information. I am a staunch “Artie” follower.

    Cheers
    Geurt

  • Thanks, Artie!

    BTW: I just finished Alan’s e-book on Songbird Photography. This is just so good!!!!!
    I don’t know of anything similar or even remotely as good as Alan’s e-book.

    I will try a lot of his stuff during spring and summer!

    Markus

  • Those are three beautiful shot. I especially like the two flight shots. It is amazing how long and narrow the wings of the albatrosses are.
    In the 2nd shot I like the visible ocean and beach.

    Did you use the central AF sensor only for this shot or more?
    I am currently testing the AF of the 7D with either the central sensor alone, the central sensor with the surrounding 4 sensors or the Zone AF with the central 9 sensors and found that all deliver a good rate of keepers.

    Markus

  • avatar Gayle Clement

    The white terns are such beautiful birds. I would have expected to see these on a beach. The perch makes them look even more exotic.

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