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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


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« Speed culling Sony a9 Images Best Software | Main | Bald Eagle SNOWY PORTRAIT a la Sony a9 Silent Shutter »

Bald Eagle FRESH CATCH How to freeze birds in flight

American Bald Eagle FRESH CATCH (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO 1,000 f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

1/5,000 of a second to freeze action

Here's another Eagle from my recent Eagles Galore workshop in Alaska; it's a full frame image from the Sony a9 mirrorless camera captured at 1/5,000 of a second to ensure a critically sharp image from wingtip to wingtip. I can't stress enough how important it is to use enough shutter speed to freeze the motion of your subject, but there is more to it than just that! The resolving power of todays cameras and lenses require high shutter speeds to freeze YOUR MOVEMENT. I can't tell you how many times I have people approach me to tell me that there is something wrong with their camera, that it won’t produce sharp images. It usually doesn’t take long to realize the failing had nothing to do with the camera, rather the users unwillingness to use a high enough ISO to allow a fast enough shutter speed.

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Reader Comments (2)

A perfect capture! What about the settings on the lens? Is IS (steadyshot) on or off? If on, Mode 1 or Mode 2? Thanks!

April 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke M

Hi Brooke,

Thank you

I turn off the IS (or steadyshot) to save battery life and because it likely has no effect at 1/5,000s.

Both Nikon and Canon use a mechanical system in the lens, and they have both stated that you should turn off VR or IS off at 1/1,000s or faster shutter speed, as it can have an adverse effect on image sharpness at that speed or faster.

Hope this helps.


April 1, 2018 | Registered CommenterChristopher Dodds

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