Shooting Handheld with a 170-500mm Lens

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cascadehush/482468889/The point of my trip to Toorbul was to see if it was viable to shoot handheld with such a long (and heavy lens). I got enough material to say that it is, but with birds as large as Pelicans, a 400mm lens would be plenty long enough and much more managable.

This shot was taken well after sunset, just as the birds were getting active and stirred up with interest in returning fishermen. They must get a snack of fish heads and guts when a catch get’s cleaned near the boat-ramp.

It could have been a great photo. I hadn’t really accounted for the fact that it was getting rather dark, so I hadn’t adjusted the camera enough. The problem was an under-exposed shot made worse by a high ISO. I think that the K10D isn’t so bad at 800 ISO so long as the exposure is good, but it’s terrible if you under-expose.

Perhaps shooting action shots of birds is not a suitible past-time for Winter, when the twighlight is so fleeting…

The main lesson for the day, though, is not in this shot, but the many potential shots that were lost when I shot some landscape shots but then forgot to open up the aparture. Landscape requires a narrow aparture, wildlife a wide aparture, and if one is going to try to switch between the two, one must be careful not to forget to make the correct adjustments.