shooting birds in flight with a tripod

Discussion in 'Photographic Technique' started by pcake, Jun 7, 2017.

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  1. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    i've always loved shooting BIF freehand, but i decided i wanted to try it on a tripod. for one thing, that will let me use heavier lenses and maybe a heavier camera, and for another, maybe it'll let me get different pics. at this point, i won't be using a gimbal head, although i could rent one, but i'd also have to rent a lens with a tripod mount - right now, i'm shooting with the 55-250 STM, so we've been going where birds are relatively close. i have a very smooth video head, and was considering loosening everything to a degree, then holding the camera as i usually do but with some of the weight taken up by the tripod.

    since i haven't tried it before, does anyone here have any suggestions or tips?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017

  2. dmr

    dmr Member Site Supporter

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    A couple weeks ago at a local forest preserve where I hike there was a guy shooting wildlife with a monopod and what looked like a 500mm or so telephoto. Looked like a Canon 1DS of some type.
     
  3. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    i'm not the best with a monopod, but i'm sure there's one in my future - i actually already bought monopod feet even though i don't have a monopod :D
     
  4. KiloHotelphoto

    KiloHotelphoto Member Site Supporter

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    I would say buy a gimbal head. They can be expensive but are great to use and a must for long lenses.

    I picked mine up at B&H used, it was a floor demo and was half price. It didn't come with the little storage bag but other than that it looked brand new.

    I have a mono pod also but I've never been good at BIF with it. For walking around and getting birds in bushes or mammals it's great but a good solid tripod and gimbal is the way to go for BIF.
     
  5. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    while that sounds good in theory, i don't have any lenses heavy enough or long enough at the present time to use a foot, so there's no way to use a gimbal head the way it's supposed to be used.

    do you keep your face up to the camera and use the VF when using your gimbal head or do you use the screen when you track BIF?
     
  6. KiloHotelphoto

    KiloHotelphoto Member Site Supporter

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    I always keep my face to the camera, I've never tried using the VF before, maybe I should just to see if it helps or not.
     
  7. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    you keep your face to the camera but don't use the viewfinder? how are you using the screen?
     
  8. KiloHotelphoto

    KiloHotelphoto Member Site Supporter

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    I use the optical viewfinder yes, for some reason I thought you meant Liveview.
     
  9. pcake

    pcake Active Member Site Supporter

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    thanks for responding. that's how i hope to shoot BIF in the future - face up to the camera on a gibal head.
     

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