When all the photographic stars align......


Furtographer Extraordinaire!
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Jun 23, 2015
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Petawawa, Ontario
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and you realize you're an idiot!

This hawk was perched in a tree a bit out of my range but I tried to get a shot. IS on, 1/640th....then he took flight. IS off...........1/640th of a second :BangHead:.

This is cropped a bit and not to bad considering the shutter speed but just learned another lesson.

hawk by seastud, on Flickr
Looking at it closely your IS wouldn't have changed anything. The wingtips are moving faster than the head and body hence the slight blur there...which to my way of thinking is a plus as it ads 'action'. You probably know this but birds ALWAYS take off into the wind. Also raptors tend to make smaller jerkier head movements just before taking off....except when frightened, then its blast off time! ;) Nice capture, and don't get hung up on IS. What I have found is the motion IS corrects is mostly the small circular motions you make when trying to hold steady. The shots handheld and following action are rarely improved with IS. Shutter speed is the key. I leave it on, but not for tripod, nor monopod. Nice, but not critical in most cases of bird shots.
I've been tracking a local hawk.

One day, it actually was right near my house and 3 crows were attacking it.
I grabbed my camera and afterwards noticed my shutter speed was something for portraiture. I didn't even notice it looking in the viewfinder. No usuable photos at all with the shots at 600mm and them flying all over the place.
At one point the hawk flew upside down as the crow attacked it. Clearly saw the talons right up to the crow. Great shot in my head but not digitally. :(

maybe next time.
Good catch despite the limitations. What kind of hawk is it? I started out with a Canon 100-400 with IS. I never felt the IS did me much good and ended up switching to the 400 5.6 prime lens. Much happier with that.
Not sure on the type but it looks like it could be a juvenile Short-tailed.
I have 400mm 5.6 and love it but since the 500 has IS and I've never used a lens with IS before I find it's great to have when they are perched. I just need to remember to switch back to my normal shooting mode once they take off.

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