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ARTISAN

Cape Vulture: ISO 800, 1/6400sec at F/7.1 Nikon D4, 600mm f/4 lens, specialized bracket in a hide

Bearded Vulture: ISO 1000, 1/6400sec at F/7.1 Nikon D4, 600mm f/4 lens, specialized bracket in a hide

The Drakensburg hold a very special attraction, the rare Cape Vulture and the Bearded Vulture.  This image is part of a series of two and the aim here was to capture two different vultures individually in flight, approaching from the same direction and angle. I wanted the same backdrop in both my images, the mountain in this case. To achieve this, I waited for the vultures to fly past my chosen backdrop, (the same mountain). To keep my light constant I had to capture both images on the same day and also more or less at the same time of the day.  This takes patience and concentration.  Shooting continuously (burst) with 12 x frames per second, I had to delete thousands of images. The backgrounds did not match or they came in from different direction and angles.  Out of thousands of images, only two images where a match.  No cropping was done, as I wanted the mountain to line-up – (Lightroom – edit basics as I shoot in RAW)

TIP:  Shoot with a purpose, plan the shot - Consider including interesting backgrounds instead of an empty sky when capturing birds in flight - Backgrounds must not take away or compete with the subject - Select the correct F/Stop for a shallow DOF  - Large birds – F/7.1 – F/8 - Small birds F/4 to F/6.5 – Keep in mind a long focal lens 500-600mm will give a very shallow DOF if your subject is close to the camera, select a sensible Aperture – Fast shutter speeds is key when capturing birds in flight – practice and practice and practice your panning | tracking skills. 

To learn more about this technique, join our wildlife workshop in your area.

 

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