My Thoughts on A & B and Lots of Lessons « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Thoughts on A & B and Lots of Lessons

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This Sandhill Crane pan blur was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/30 sec. at f/6.3 in Tv mode.

My Thoughts on A & B and Lots of Lessons

Thanks to all who offered their opinion. Of the two images in the December 9, 2010 post, I greatly prefer Image A to Image B. Before I let you know why, here are the tech specs for both images. Yes, as some surmised, the set up for each image was identical: Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1 stop in Tv mode. 1/8 sec. at f/10. Image A and Image B were not only created at the same shutter speed, there were actually created in the same 1/100 of a second at 06:57:28 as part of a two-frame sequence. I have written and said many times that I rarely hold the hammer down for flight photography: I wait until the bird is in the zone and then I create one or two (as here) or three images at most.

Several folks figured that the shutter speed for each image was the same, and they were obviously correct. And some nailed the reason also: the panning rate was different for each image (even though they were created at almost the same instant). In A I was probably panning a bit faster than the bird was flying in order to catch up with it as it took flight. In B my panning speed better matched the speed of the bird in flight, thus the sharper heads in B. More on that in a second.

I prefer the more abstract look of Image A and as someone hinted at, the blurred wings in A are more attractive. And I much prefer the colors in A to the colors in B. With the heads of the two birds in B a bit sharper, it draws attention to the fact that the birds are flying slightly away and that their heads are also angled slightly away. (Congrats to Joerg for nailing that!) You all should know how I feel about poor head angles: I do not like them even in intentionally blurred images. Another plus for A.

Compare Image B with the image above. In the opening image here the bird is pretty much flying parallel to the imaging sensor and the head and neck are angled ever so slightly towards us. I greatly prefer the opening image here to Image B. Heck, I do not very much care for Image B at all.

As detailed in A Guide to Pleasing Blurs, I have chosen an intermediate blur speed (from the low end of the range) in an effort to render the eye or eyes sharp and the wings blurred. And I succeeded. Strangely enough, the Image B RAW file file was darker than the Image A RAW file. I over-compensated a bit by lightening it too much. Lastly, no flash was used with either image.

As Paul Mckenzie noted in his comment, “blurs are very much a matter of personal taste.” If you love B and I love A, not to worry. Your opinion is just as valid as mine.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is a list of the gear that I used to create the image above.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Tripod
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

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