Dave Williams

Dave Williams Big Year 2017

546 posts in this topic

It's too cold, damp and miserable to go out at the moment and with 2 weeks gone my species photo count is 1.

We get the odd Snow Bunting over wintering from Scandinavia here in the UK and fortunately there were 3 on our local beach recently. Worth the effort, these very confiding little birds easily lend themselves to photography.

31282509644_5c90cb8afd_b.jpgStretch by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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A great photo to begin the year.

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I'm looking forward to this thread

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@@Dave Williams

A beauty to start the year!

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Posted (edited)

Nice to see you already starting this year, @@Dave Williams ! It will be interesting to compare what you will find on your upcoming trip.

Edited by xelas
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Thanks for the words of encouragement all. The weather is so abysmal here in North Wales it might be some time before I take another shot! Roll on Namibia!

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Posted (edited)

Yipee, the sun came out today for the first time in ages. Down to the local reserve to see what was about and get a bit of practice trying back button focus.

The subjects were all distant and I'm still undecided on back button. I think I might waste more battery power constantly re-focussing but that might be me in practice mode.

Still, at 50m with a full frame 1D, 500mm and a 2.0x TC then a virtual 100% crop you can't expect too much but what I did capture was my first ever Redshank with a fish !

32043230720_41b332876e_b.jpgRedshank by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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For that distance, and crop, it is amazingly good photo. But you should start numbering them, @@Dave Williams !

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For that distance, and crop, it is amazingly good photo. But you should start numbering them, @@Dave Williams !

 

+1

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Out at the local RSPB reserve with the new 7D2 yesterday to see how it performs.

3)Moorhen with a 600mm + 2xTC

31644535634_c6586d20b0_b.jpgMoorhen Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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4) Another with the 600mm and a 2xTC

Shellduck

 

32366308621_b75323697c_b.jpgShellduck Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

I am happy with the results when you limit the ISO. I have to switch to a new , well actually my old manual ways. Fixed ISO, set my own aperture and shutter speed and watch the meter.

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5) The 7D2 On a naked 600mm

Little Egret ( you can tell the difference by the distinct yellow feet when in countries that have white morph Reef Egrets too but that doesn't apply in the UK.... yet!)

 

32336174772_7d16c7bb88_b.jpgLittle Egret Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

Here it's caught a prawn.

32336174372_10e3490b5f_b.jpgLittle Egret Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

It's probably my fault but it looks just as sharp a combination using the 2.0x TC as without

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6) The Dipper.

A favourite species of mine but they tend to like fast flowing streams that usually seem to have trees all around them. Finding one in decent light isn't always easy.

Back to the 1DX2, 600mm and a 1.4TC for the conditions. Very slow shutter speed of 1/100th to try and keep the ISO low at 1250 . Lens as wide as wide can be at f5.6.

32488935345_308d7030bd_z.jpgDipper by Dave Williams, on Flickr

With still only 1/320th the ISO has jumped to 4000 but the 1D handles it nicely. The shutter speed too low for capturing any action though as the bird begins to dip it's head under the water.

32448368956_aae1ea77c2_b.jpgDipper by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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I am happy with the results when you limit the ISO. I have to switch to a new , well actually my old manual ways. Fixed ISO, set my own aperture and shutter speed and watch the meter.

 

Dave, does this mean that, with your camera on Auto-ISO, you can't see the selected ISO? On my camera (totally different systems, I realise), there is a setting that allows one to see the selected ISO in the viewfinder most of the time (it is replaced by the buffer capacity when you press the shutter button past half-way).

 

The results you are getting at these very long focal lengths are excellent!

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And, also on Nikon body, I can select the min and max ISO. Very handy. But I just let the ISO to float as the camera thinks is best. Those photos that are too grainy I can always delete later at home :P .

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@@Peter Connan @@xelas Just as with Nikon,you can see the ISO reading both on auto and when it's manually set when looking through the viewfinder. The difference between a 7D2 and a 1DX2 is that:-

 

1) ISO performance is not anywhere near as good on a 7D2 ( nor would you expect it to be) but I can pre define the limits as you can on a Nikon body.

 

2) The 7D2 doesn't allow you to set +/- EV when using manual settings ( only when you use AV &TV aperture and shutter speed priority) , the 1DX does. That means I can select my depth of field and attempt to freeze the action, let the auto -iso decide yet overwrite that camera made decision by adding or subtracting light as and when I know what is needed. I always tend to use evaluative metering i.e. average across the whole frame, so if it's a white or a black bird, bird in flight against the sky etc I know roughly what I need to add or subtract. Of course at the same time I do need to watch the ISO and make decisions if I think the ISO is going too high and that noise level will be less acceptable than the loss of DOF etc.

 

The other major advantage a 1DX2 has over other bodies in the Canon range is the ability to move the single focus point around all 61 available ones when using an f8 lens combination so an f4 lens and a 2.0TC for example. A big advantage for subject framing and when using multiple focus points. The few other Canon bodies that allow AF in this situation only do so with centre point and a cluster of 4 surrounding it.

 

Please bare in mind though that I'm no expert by a long chalk, far from it. As a fairly recent convert to photography I am self taught whilst picking up tips along the way and like all things self taught I am probably missing out on some obvious steps in the learning curve.

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Dave, I am sure I read somewhere that the 7DII was the first Canon body to allow the use of exposure compensation in manual mode with auto-ISO.

 

I am wondering if this is either controlled by a setting or if this was part of a firmware upgrade that you don't have?

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Dave, I am sure I read somewhere that the 7DII was the first Canon body to allow the use of exposure compensation in manual mode with auto-ISO.

 

I am wondering if this is either controlled by a setting or if this was part of a firmware upgrade that you don't have?

 

 

I must admit that thought had crossed my mind too Peter. Being a used model, it might not be up to date. Thanks for the heads up. Dave.

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Dave, I am sure I read somewhere that the 7DII was the first Canon body to allow the use of exposure compensation in manual mode with auto-ISO.

 

I am wondering if this is either controlled by a setting or if this was part of a firmware upgrade that you don't have?

 

 

I must admit that thought had crossed my mind too Peter. Being a used model, it might not be up to date. Thanks for the heads up. Dave.

 

 

After spending an age trying to figure out what was going wrong in as much as I could only set bracketing in manual mode I eventually realised the reason was it only applies to auto-iso and not to a pre programmed figure. I had got the 7D set to ISO800. One it was set in auto-iso I could use the joystick and Q button to change EV.

See what I mean...I'm no expert!

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Some stunning winter sunshine today so it was down to the beach as the sun came up to see what was roosting on the rocks as the tide came in.

7 & 8 )

31678124844_0580ce7d97_b.jpgOystercatcher & Turnstone by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

Oystercatcher and (Ruddy) Turnstone.

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10} Dunlin

32521912785_ec15ecd79b_b.jpgDunlin by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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11) Chough

Distinct from Alpine Chough which has a yellow bill the Chough that's resident in the UK has a red bill in adulthood, yellow as a juvenile. They are far from common and are only found on the west coast of the UK. It's a local speciality but one that I have found difficult to get close to for a photograph ! Maybe I should start a project!

 

31678136384_9a6010d688_b.jpgChough by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Posted (edited)

12) Chiffchaff

These are probably the most common of our summer migrant warblers which also tend to be the first to arrive in late March to early April. To see one in our garden yesterday was a smashing surprise, by far the earliest sighting I have ever had but I think this one stayed for the winter having applied for citizenship. Another sign of global warming perhaps?Mind you we had a sharp frost overnight for the second day running, it comes with the clear skies and sun. You can't have it all ways!

31721152073_d73c511c62_b.jpgChiffchaff by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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what a lovely photo of the dunlin @@Dave Williams and its always nice to see a chough-we have seen them in their Islay stronghold they seem to fly acrobatically just for the fun of it!

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