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Page 3 Chuck Kling

Written By onci on Friday, July 3, 2009 | 9:59 PM

Flight shots of Eastern Bluebirds… It can be done ! by Chuck Kling

For a number of years now, I have been photographing Eastern Bluebirds in our mountaintop cemetery in Montreal. Currently I have more than enough photos of these birds perched on various nest boxes and trees on the property.

My recent purchase of a Nikon D300 body and battery grip has given me the ability to shoot at a rate of 8 frames per second. This combined with my fast 300mm f 2.8 VR lens and matching tele-converter, has put me in the position of attempting flight shots of these bluebirds feeding their young.

Just recently, at a nest box in a quiet section of the property, I put my new setup to the test. With my gear on a tripod, about 50 or 60 feet to one side of the nest box, I locked in focus just on the very front edge of the box.

I then re-composed and made sure the gear was locked into a position that left lots of air space for the adult to fly into. I sat quietly off to the side, partly hidden and with my cable release in hand, waited patiently.

The female, who in this case, was the only one feeding the young, always perched nearby- before making a bee line for the box opening. As soon as I sensed her leaving her perch- I fired away at 8 frames per second- often catching her suspended in mid-air, with a mouthful of insects!

My current shooting has been done in ever-changing morning light and often at 1/3200 second, f4 and iso 800.

Finally….I had some variety to enliven my portfolio!

Chuck Kling.

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