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Birds In Flight

I've been out using the Sony A7 mkIII and 100-400mm combination, so I thought that I would post a short blog entry as the last one didn't have any images.

As to this combination, in short... Wow, just simply... wow.

The speed and accuracy of the auto-focus is breath taking. The quality of the images is exactly what I've been looking for. Or better said, it fits to what I expect to see.

I'm not going to go into the technical aspects of the camera; you can find technical reviews of the Sony A7 mkIII on the internet from people that understand these aspects of cameras far better than I do. I decided for the A7 rather than the A7R among other reasons, because of the auto-focus, and I am not disappointed.

I have two images to share today, in two sets. Both are from the Basel Botanical Gardens. As I was walking through this week, I saw a plastic Heron in the central pond. I thought that it had been put there to protect the fish until the reeds had, had a chance to grow back. I was looking at it and thinking to myself that the quality was very good or it was brand new, as it looked so realistic; then it moved! I stopped in my tracks, took my camera out, and slowly approached via another path so that I could get a little closer and take some images without scaring it away.

The first set is to show the detail in the image when cropped nothing else has been done to the RAW files. The first is the entire image and the second zoomed right in to show only the head.

Unfortunately the person in the background of the next set didn't see the heron as early as I did, and startled it. It was not their fault and on the plus side it meant that I could get my first Bird In Flight shot with this setup; only just though! I hadn't expected the Heron to take off and wasn't prepared at all. I swung the lens round and followed the bird while pressing the shutter button. Although all of the images were perfectly focused on the Heron, most of them had parts of the Heron missing.

The second image in this set has been altered. Apart from the standard colour and lens corrections that are required on a RAW file, you can also see something that I rarely do; I removed someone from the image. This usually isn't necessary as I tend to be in places where there aren't many people or at these places at a time when most people are still in bed. This image is the only one in which I was able to catch the whole bird while it flew past, but it had the person that startled the Heron in the background, and quite prominently in the background. As it is the only image that I have from this moment, I don't mind making such a change, so I imported the image into Photoshop and used a simply combination of the Content Aware Fill and Clone tools to remove them.

That's it for this short post. They'll hopefully be more soon; I have a weekend of wildlife planned!

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