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About lonestranger

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    Old Member
  • Birthday 07/30/1961

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    : Acton, Ontario

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  1. Trying to identify a bird

    Welcome to Whatbird, @Donny. Storage space is very, VERY limited here at Whatbird but if you upload your video to YouTube and then share the link here, you've got a good chance of getting an accurate ID. I won't be able to help with the ID but there's lots of good ears here on Whatbird to help you out
  2. What settings do you use when birding?

    If you are already playing around with exposure compensation in one of the automated modes, switching to manual will be fairly simple. If you haven't yet explored exposure compensation in the automated modes, then switching to manual mode will simply bypass the unnecessary lesson of exposure compensation, which is basically the same as manual exposure without quite as much control. I can honestly say that I found manual mode far easier to get the hang of than I first thought I would, and I learned more in the first few weeks of manual mode than I did in all the previous years going from full Auto mode to Program mode, to Shutter priority mode, and then to Aperture priority mode. Really wish I had of started in manual mode and skipped the early years of not really learning anything. Good luck with your new lens and have fun with your camera.
  3. What settings do you use when birding?

    When I go out with my camera I will start off by presetting my exposure by taking a few test shots. As an example, on a sunny summer day I might set my ISO at 400, my aperture wide open at f5.6 and then point my camera towards a patch of green grass and adjust my shutter speed so that the scale/meter in the viewfinder was centered and then take a test shot. If the grass was too dark or light I would either adjust my shutter speed or my ISO depending on how fast the shutter speed was for the first test shot and then take another test shot. Once I found the right combination of shutter speed and ISO I would consider my exposure to be preset, now I can point it at a bird in the sky, a bird perched in front of a black wall, a bird perched in front of a white wall, a bird on the grass, a bird in a tree and my exposure should come out pretty much the same for all the above situations. I still make minor adjustments in the field, but if I start out with a preset balanced exposure on a patch of green grass before I start, I don't usually have to vary too much from those settings. Now having said that, there are times when you do need to make more adjustments in manual mode, such as a partly cloudy day when the sun intensity fluctuates as the clouds roll by or going into the shade of a forest, but it becomes second nature pretty quickly once you learn to evaluate the meter in your viewfinder, which manual mode will force you to pay more attention to. Nowadays I go out and test myself and guess my settings before taking a test shot, I might try ISO 640, shutter speed 1/800, and aperture at f5.6 and just take a few test shots, if the exposure is good I go with those settings, if not I adjust accordingly, usually dropping my shutter speed to 1/640 before increasing my ISO as required.
  4. What settings do you use when birding?

    Yes and no, you run the risk of not having enough light no matter what mode the camera is in. If you use shutter priority and set a minimum shutter speed of 1/1000's and move into deep shade, the camera will try to give you a balanced exposure but it'll probably fail. It would push your ISO to the limit and still might underexpose the shot so you'd still have to slow your shutter speed if you wanted a decent image. When moving from bright light to dim light adjustments need to be made to achieve a balanced exposure, the camera can make the adjustments in the automated modes, by adjusting the shutter speed, and/or adjusting the aperture, and/or raising your ISO, but you'll never know which adjustment or combination of adjustments the camera is going to make. As an example, in shutter priority the camera may decide to increase the ISO by two stops instead of closing the aperture by two stops to adjust for the dimmer lighting. In manual mode I'd just lower my shutter speed or increase my ISO if I needed/wanted the faster shutter speed. It's not that hard to adjust to manual mode, especially if you preset the exposure and take some test shots before heading out. Yeah, you'll forget to adjust the exposure once in a while and overexpose/underexpose a few shots but your camera will overexpose/underexpose a few shots in the auto modes just as easily when you're shooting a bird in the treetops against a bright sky or bird against a dark background. In manual mode you don't have to worry about the camera exposing for the background instead of the bird, and to me, that is the biggest advantage of using manual. I'm not trying to sell you, or anyone on switching over to manual, just expressing my view on why it works best for me.
  5. What settings do you use when birding?

    Manual is probably a lot simpler for bird photography than most people realize. Once you set your ISO and aperture all you need to do is turn one dial to control the shutter speed. I usually set my ISO to 640 and my aperture wide open at 5.6 and then all I do is adjust the shutter speed to provide a balanced exposure. Any exposure adjustment is done with the turn of one dial, turning it one way gives me a faster shutter speed and subsequently darkens the image and turning it the other way slows the shutter speed and brightens the image. One big advantage of manual exposure is you don't have to worry about the camera exposing for the sky when you're taking a photo of a bird up in the treetops, once the exposure is set you can point the camera at birds on the ground or in the treetops and get the same exposure, something that can't be done in Auto, Program, Shutter, or Aperture priority.
  6. Reply Notifications... HOW??

    A little slow to click the shutter button on that post but with the help of jhauser42, I'm sure you'll get the picture.
  7. Reply Notifications... HOW??

    If you click your name in the top right corner you can go to your 'Account Settings' where you'll find 'Notification Settings' on the right hand side under 'Other Settings'. Be sure to scroll down the page to the second set of options, which can easily be overlooked. If those settings don't work for you, you may need to make changes to your browser's settings to disable the desktop notifications.
  8. Extremely friendly birds.

    We have fed the birds from our hands on a few occasions over the years, and it's quite the experience. One of the most memorable occasions was shared with the forum years ago, but since it was such a great experience, it's worth sharing again. If you follow the link to the old thread, just click on the images to see them full-size as they got downsized to thumbnails during one of the earlier forum upgrades.
  9. Travel storage for birding/photo equipment

    I too am late to the party, and also use a pelican case, albeit a much smaller case and for more local traveling. I like mine for the soft cell, pluck and pick padding inside and a basically indestructible, waterproof case. It's cumbersome to tote around because it has no straps or wheels and only one way to carry it, by the handle, but that's a small price to pay to know that my gear is safe when I am paddling the canoe in anything less than perfectly calm conditions. I have changed cameras and lenses, added and removed smaller lenses and flashes, all easily done by plucking a section of foam out or putting a section of foam in. While dividers in camera bags can usually be arranged to meet your needs, I find the soft cell padding in my pelican case unbeatable in versatility for equipment arrangement and think it would have a better cushioning affect regardless of the case it's in. That's just my opinion but I thought I'd share it, for what it's worth. Here's a photo of the type of soft cell padding I am referring to.
  10. Bird song

    I can't ID the song but I'm fairly confident that it's not a baltimore oriole, that's one of the few birds that I can usually ID by song.
  11. Raven or Crow?

    I wonder if crow could be ruled out just from the description of the behaviour? I believe that of the two, only ravens will use the rising air currents to actually soar as described above. While crows will coast and glide without much flapping, they don't actually soar. Perhaps someone could verify that or correct me if I'm wrong?
  12. Bonaventure Island Quebec Seabird

    I can't help with the ID but I can tell you that your link works and I can now see your photo.
  13. Bonaventure Island Quebec Seabird

    I'm not sure why we can't see your photos, but neither image is showing up for me.
  14. Bonaventure Island Quebec Seabird

    I wouldn't be surprised if the photo was removed or renamed as soon as Sean C ID'd it. His mobile device may have cached the photo before it was removed which might explain why Sean C is the only one capable of seeing it. Just speculating here.
  15. Photographing birds against the sky

    Just remember to reset your exposure compensation back to normal when you are done with it. When I first started using exposure compensation I would forget to reset it and then pick the camera up the next day and wonder why all my photos were coming out overexposed.