Flight Photography

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Pro Tip: Setting the scene with a flight shot

_djc1740When we usually think of flight shots we think of birds against a gorgeous blue sky. Sure, those are classic, but showing a bird’s environment can be even more dramatic. In the case of Horned Puffins, which live in the cold seas off Alaska, the snow-covered mountains ringing the coast make a great backdrop. Unfortunately, with the traditional background-isolating technique of wide-open aperture, any mountains caught in the frame would be blurred beyond recognition. Fortunately we had plenty of opportunities to capture colorful horned and tufted puffins in flight on our recent Alaska bear and puffin photo safari. Read more »

Insure Your Flight Shots by Following a Plan

It's easy to get excited about great, close-up flight images. But not as easy to duplicate them. One mistake many photographers make is to zoom in as far as they can right away and desparately try to focus on the bird--often against a mottled background. They would probably be better off just taking a deep breath and making a plan to work their way into the shooting opportunity.

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Flight Photo Secrets -- Horned Puffin Take-Off

On cloudy days or for a change of pace, flight shots taken in front of colorful landscapes are a great alternative to the more traditional shots taken against a blue sky. But auto-focus systems have a very hard time with birds flying in front of landscape backgrounds. Unlike clean blue sky there isn't much to provide the contrast your AF system needs. So what to do about showing a bird like this Horned Puffin flying in its environment?...