taking pics of birds & landscape (settings reccomended)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ISI_Stang06, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. ISI_Stang06

    ISI_Stang06 TPF Noob!

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    im planning on taking some pics tomorrow of the wildlife in a local state park tomorrow afternoon around 3-5 pm in the afternoon. i just got my D80 w/ a 18-135mm lens and im not sure if it will be the best to take pics of birds but hey, im a newbie and gotta start somewhere. its all about testing tomorrow to see what i like and ill come back later.

    but i was hoping you guys could give me some pointers on the settings i should be running and in what mode for landscape and wildlife, such as what shutterspeed, aprerature, whitebalance, exposure level, etc.

    thanks guys for the help
     
  2. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Use whatever shutterspeed that gives you correct exposure at the given aperture with the set ISO. Set the whitebalance to what will give you the correct color temperature.

    There is no dead set settings for shooting anything. It all depends on the available light. Only you will know this at the moment you are there ready to take the shot.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'll try and elaborate a little more. For birds in flight, you want a shutter speed of at least 1/125 to freeze them (lower if you want a 'moving' look), if you're hand-holding your camera, keep your shutter speed at 1/60 or above to eliminate camera shake, and higher as your focal length gets longer (shutter speed should always be at least 1/fl). Set your white balance as appropriate for the conditions (sun, shade, etc) altough 'Auto' usually works well (and if you shoot RAW, you can change it in PP). Check your apeture using your DoF preview to ensure that you've got the right DoF, that is, you may not want a sharply focused background. (Oh, and shoot in Manual).

    Hope that helps.
    ~John
     
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Just put it in program (P) mode, turn on Auto ISO and set it to maintain at least 1/125s for you, and take things from there. The D80 is prone to exposure blow-outs especially if you have a darker subject in the center of the frame, so you might need to chase the exposure compensation around a bit (the +/- button on the top of the camera). Generally leaving it parked at -0.7 will work, but adjust as needed. For moving birds, you might want to set it to shutter priority and 1/250s or 1/500s. Leave white balance set on Auto.

    Or when in doubt, just use the "scene" aka dummy modes. For landscape, set landscape. For moving birds, set it to sports mode. You can look at the settings the camera applied later and learn that way, while also enjoying nice photos. :)
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How eactly does one achieve this?
     
  6. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Custom Settings Menu -> ISO Auto (or Auto ISO), and then all the settings are there. You can also define a maximum ISO that it'll jump to.
     
  7. Alan Ellis

    Alan Ellis TPF Noob!

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    This may sound dumb, but how can you find out what the settings were for photos that you previously took? Thanks

    AE
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    All of the info is contained in what's called the EXIF data which is encoded into the JPEG files. Pretty much any photo viewer/sorter will let you look at it. Assuming you're running Windows, you can do it right from an Explorer window. Just right click on a file, go to Summary, click the Advanced tab, and it'll show you all the data. It looks like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Alan Ellis

    Alan Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!!
     
  10. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want shots of birds in flight

    Turn continuous shooting on
    Put the camera in Aperture Priority mode
    If you have spot metering turn it on
    If you don't have spot metering use partial metering and over exposure by .5 to 1 stop
    Also shot in RAW as it will help if the exposure is a bit off
    Set the Aperture to the smallest number you can, probably F5.6 on your lens
    Follow the bird and gently press and hold the shutter button. Take 4 or 5 shots
    Hopefully you will end up with something like this
    [​IMG]

    For Static shots of Birds

    Again camera in Aperture mode
    Set F5.6 to blur the background
    If the bird is in a cage try and put the lens as close to the wire as you can and zoom right in, making sure you don't damage your lens, so that the wires disappear in the photo
    watch for objects in the background as they can ruin a photo

    [​IMG]


    Hope this helps
     

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