Yesterday afternoon I went downtown Johor Bahru to attend to some personal business. On my way home as usual when I passed by Lido beach, I gave a quick glance. This time I was yet again presented with another surprise. I stopped and whipped out my camera. The lone
duck cormorant that had another two of its kind for company recently was now a group of six. I wonder where the others came from. Anyway good for them at least they can fly longer distance if they need to.
I decided to stay a while and practise shooting bird in flight and hopefully to get a few good shots. Yet to get a good sharp picture of bird in flight, I experimented with some settings that I had not tried before.
Alas I came to my sense. For bird in flight, I really need a very high shutter speed. No point in shooting at shutter speeds below 1/2000th. At lower speed I am just hoping to be lucky. The flying speed of the bird, the 500mm focal length, the needs for steady hands, the focusing and the framing were just too much. I must use a higher ISO setting at 800 or above which so far I had avoided. It is better to have a grainy picture rather than having a blurry one. The Sigma 150-500mm telezoom lens f-stop at 500mm is 6.3 max. So the sun must really be shining without any veil, which usually it is not the case at the critical moment, in order for me to get up to speed. Optical stabilizer did not help although for stationary subject it did help a lot shooting hand held. If the bird happens to fly across my field of view, the vertical stabilizer is good for panning shots.
I must say, any bird in flight is a majestic sight to look at especially when it is about to perch or land. With its wings spread wide you get to see its full splendour in full colours and grace. It is just simply pleasant and marvelous.
I left Lido beach feeling happy because there were now six ducks and two Red-backed Sea Eagles (Brahminy Kite) which came to Lido beach just before I left for home. Now I am hoping to see White-bellied Sea Eagle up close at Lido beach.