KelsaeJohn's picture

Grey Heron

Observed: 28th February 2012 By: KelsaeJohnKelsaeJohn’s reputation in BirdsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in BirdsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in BirdsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in Birds
Grey Heron
28-2-2012 Cobby 058
Description:

This is as close as I've managed to get to a heron since acquiring my new camera - but it's still not as sharp as I'd like!

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) interacts

Comments

ranon.2011's picture

What lens are you

What lens are you using?

Manual or auto?

chrisbrooks's picture

Focus

Hi John, I think your auto focus has picked up on the background and not the subject. Is there an option on your camera to select focusing points, if so select the single centre point focus option. In that way it will focus only on what's in the central frame. Regards Chris

KelsaeJohn's picture

Lens

Hi Robert,
I have a Fujifilm S3200 'Bridge' camera with a Fujinon 24X Optical zoom lens (24-576mm) I think I had it on max zoom for this pic.

KelsaeJohn's picture

Focus

Hi Chris, thanks for your suggestion. However, I'm pretty certain I have the focus set for 'Centre spot' or whatever it's called - there are 5 options in all. I suspect the failing is entirely my fault! But I keep trying.

Regards

John

Ray Turner's picture

Double Check

I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself John, I agree with Chris. Have a good look at these two pictures particularly of the reeds immediately behind the heron; you will see these are pretty much in focus (Bit grainy though, were you on a high an ISO?) so the camera has decided they should be the subject. Have a double check of those focus settings.

Ray

Ray

KelsaeJohn's picture

Camera focus settings

Well, Chris and Ray, it looks like you could be right. I've had a look and this is what I found:
I had the camera set on 'Auto'
Shutter speed: 1/550
Aperture: F5.9
Exposure mode: Auto
Metering mode: Pattern (don't know what that means as I can find no mention of it in Manual)

Focus: Auto

I suspect my problem stems from using the Auto mode. Can you suggest a more appropriate shooting mode for this type of subject?
I know I have focus set to 'Centre' in those other modes where I have the option i.e. 'Shutter', Aperture' priority, 'Manual' etc but I don't know what's happening in 'Auto' mode.
PS The choices in AF mode are: Centre, Multi, Area, Continuous and Tracking.

chrisbrooks's picture

Mode

Hi John, do you have a "P" (program) mode anywhere. That is like auto but allows you to make your own settings etc. Where auto mode does not allow you to make adjustments you should under "P" mode be able to select centre point focusing. Regards Chris

Ray Turner's picture

I suspect ...

... your problem is in how the auto focus is set; if it is centre spot (default?) the heron may not actual be inside the focus brackets when looked at through the viewfinder. I see how the camera does this can be changed (page 81, assuming the pdf manual I have found is the right one), might be worth trying with it set to Multi. Failing that have a play with Focus Lock (p33), this might seem a bit awkward at first if you are not used to it but does become second nature.

I guess ultimately it is a question of playing with the kit and finding what works for you.

Hope this helps
Ray

Ray

KelsaeJohn's picture

'P' mode

Yes Chris, I do have a 'P' or programme mode but it is the one programme I have ignored so far. It is the mode that seems more 'technical' than all the others. Are you suggesting that, if I try that, I will get better results in that mode?. Do I have to decide before-hand, all the settings? ie Shutter speed, aperture, etc.?

Ray Turner's picture

Fancy Modes

A good halfway house is to use one of the “semi automatic modes”, A for Aperture Priority is a good one. This (as you could guess) lets you select the aperture and the camera picks the right speed. The advantage of this is you can then play with depth of field (dof), that is which parts of the picture (looking nearest to furthest) are in focus. A large aperture, for various reasons, indicated by a low number gives a smaller window in focus, a shallow dof. This is how the pros get those nice sharp shots of a subject against a blurred background.

Ray

chrisbrooks's picture

P Mode

Hi John, P mode is very similar to auto in that the camera will select the best aperture and shutter speed but you can make your own adjustments to the settings. Hopefully one of those is the centre focusing. Regards Chris

ranon.2011's picture

There is often the temptation

There is often the temptation to point and shoot, especially with birds, bees and butterflies, because as we all know that as soon as you point the camera at them, off they go. Take a little more time to get the point of focus where you want it. The advice to use either the 'P' or 'A' modes is good and I would agree with the idea to 'play' with different settings when you have a new camera and see what is best for you.

KelsaeJohn's picture

Camera shooting modes

Thanks all for the advice. The sun has just come out so I will take a walk down the Cobby (it's just a minute's walk from home) and 'play' with the different modes and settings.