Modern day digital cameras are part mechanical, part optical, and part computer. As an example, my new camera has at least two computer processors tucked away inside.
The computer part means today's cameras offer the ability to customize how they operate. On this camera, there are at least 80 menu items in its firmware and each of those items offers at least two choices to make. Some of the main items ... the autofocus settings as an example, can really effect the cameras performance so setting it up the properly for your type of photography is a process that takes a little time, some patience, and a bunch of "picture taking."
Lately, I've been testing using Forester Terns as subjects ... they are small (about the size of a gull or pigeon) and extremely quick making for a real challenge. Last week, the new camera and I (another important ingredient) finally started to achieve the performance I had hoped for. The proof of which is the following sequence of 11 photos. The images of two Forester Terns are shown in the exact sequence they were taken as one Tern confronted another.
The Aggressor spotted the Interloper in this first image:
The next three images were captured as the Aggressor started down. It was moving fast and squawking up a storm ... yelling at the Interloper ... as it went!
I managed to keep the Aggressor in my viewfinder for the first four images but lost it, and picked it up again in the next image as it caught up with the Interloper crossing the wooden bridge I was standing on.
The camera did amazingly well capturing and keeping focus of the two birds... the camera operator didn't do quite as well as he managed to clip the wing tip on these two images.
The birds climbed to gain altitude. Again, I lost the initial climb but picked them up again in the next image ... clipping one the top bird's wings ... again!
This is my favorite shot of the sequence!
In the last two images, the action drifted to the left of the frame. I don't know if the birds flew there or, as is more likely, I moved the camera ... in any event they ended up over on the left.
Now, here's the big deal:
According to the clock in the camera, all of the action in these 11 images took place in under 3 seconds of elapsed time!!!
The camera performed admirably ... the camera operator, it seems, needs a little work! :)
Thank you for looking,
P.S. Remember to click on an image to see a larger version of it!
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