Saturday 29 May 2021

A dotterel in the Cairngorms - the big lens goes up a hill.


Today I finally took my new big long lens (see this post) up into the hills. On my way up to the Cairngorm Plateau I spotted two dotterel moving slowly across the rough ground. Previously I'd have watched these lovely birds a while but not tried to take a photograph as they were too far away and I didn't want to disturb them by approaching any closer. This though was an opportunity to see what the big lens could do so I very carefully extracted it from its bag and took two picture before the birds moved further away and disappeared into the rocks. One image came out sharp and I have to say I'm pleased with it, especially as it crops well (the top picture). The full image is below.

There's a problem with the success of this image. I'll now feel I should carry the big lens on more hill walks!

For those interested in the technical photographic aspect of the image here are some notes. The weather was bright but the background to the bird quite dark. I had the ISO already set at 200 and the f-stop at f8, which gave a shutter speed of 1/320. A smaller f-stop and a faster shutter speed would probably have been better but I didn't know how long the birds would remain close enough to photograph. I have my Sony a6000 set up so the top dial alters the shutter speed so that's the setting I can change most quickly. I wasn't thinking of wildlife photography at this time. If I had been I'd have already changed the f-stop. A lesson for the future.

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