The Art & Science of Photographing Birds in Flight with the Sony α-1 (e-Book/PDF link sent via e-mail)
First of all, if you use Nikon or Canon (or Olympus or Fuji) gear, do not be put off by the title. While a portion of the guide deals with the Sony α-1, there is a ton of priceless material covered that can help you become a better flight photographer no matter what system you are using.
Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris have created the definitive and most comprehensive ever treatise on photographing birds in flight. With more than sixty years of experience photographing birds, they know what you need to know but have not figured out yet! You will be astounded by the depth of their knowledge and the tips they have to offer. More than six months in the making, the guide contains 229 pages, 24,321 words,97 exceptional and inspirational flight images — each with a legendary, enlightening BIRDS AS ART caption, and 22 screen captures. The guide contains a wealth of useful, practical, and for the most part — never-before-available information.
We will teach you the basic concepts that you need to master to become a great flight photographer along with the techniques used by the world’s best flight photographers.
You will learn that most any telephoto lens can be perfect for flight photography in a given situation; focal lengths for the images in the book range from 200mm to 1200mm and everywhere in between.
We discuss the merits of various lenses in depth, including and especially comparing the 400mm f/2.8 lenses with the 600mm f/4s.
We guide you in getting your hands on the flight photography lens that will best meet your needs. We offer a variety of handholding and rest position tips and include tips on working with a big lens on a tripod when working with a flight lens that is otherwise too heavy for you.
Both authors offer their thoughts on getting the right exposure when photographing birds in flight. You will learn to get the right exposure on foggy days and even when photographing black birds in white sky conditions.
You will learn the tremendous importance of pre-focusing, of finding the bird in the viewfinder quickly, acquiring focus almost instantly (with tips on doing all three).
You will learn the role of image stabilization in flight photography and the best settings.
Both authors share their thoughts on using the focus range limiter switch. In the same vein, you will learn to use Direct Manual Focus to make your flight photography life easier.
All will learn about the best wing positions and the importance of the background with images of birds in flight. With lots of examples.
You will learn about the best shutter speeds (and the best aperture) to use when photographing flying birds.
You will learn to photograph flight while seated and the many advantages of doing so.
You will learn the best methods of controlling high ISO noise.
All will learn to properly and safely format their flash cards.
You will learn what to do when your AF system is temporarily blinded.
All will learn the huge effect that wind strength and direction has on flight photography and to evaluate the quality and direction of the light on both sunny and cloudy days.
You will learn why it is vitally important to shoot aggressively when photographing birds in flight.
You will learn to carefully observe and evaluate a variety of bird behaviors that may shine light on some excellent opportunities for photographing birds in flight. And about getting into the best position from which to photograph.
You will learn to be a much better flight photographer.
Exactly how Artie uses Zebras to come up with perfect exposure after perfect exposure.
The fine points and recommended settings for Optical Steady Shot (OSS).
The concept of Auto-Focus (AF) tracking in the α-1.
Everything there is to know about the complex Sony autofocus system.
About all the AF patterns, how to quickly switch them, and about those favored by each author. And why.
The Tracking and Non-tracking AF patterns. When and why Arash uses Non-Tracking Zone. And why Artie uses only two AF patterns.
How to set and use Bird Face-Eye detection for flight photography.
How and why to assign various custom functions to the various programmable buttons on the α-1 body.
The perfect settings for the many, many Menu items that are vitally related to flight photography.
How and why the Sony α-1 uses both contrast and phase detection AF to determine focus (and the benefits thereof).
Which are the best memory cards for the Sony α-1.
To quickly access frequently used menu items.
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