Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
How to shoot in heavy woods
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Oct 8, 2019 18:22:43   #
Cat Islander
 
I went for a trek through some dense woods this morning and evening. I saw probably a hundred birds. Some were the usual suspects but others were Yankee invaders that I did not recognize. I tried taking pictures with my Nikkor 18 - 300 f/3.5 but because of the low light and maybe my old D40x the pictures below sub par for identifying the birds.

What is the trick for shooting in these low light situations?

Cat Islander
Take only pictures,
Leave only footprints

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Oct 8, 2019 18:25:54   #
Bill_de Loc: US
 
1.Crank up the ISO. ...
2.Use a larger aperture. ...
3.Slow down the shutter speed. ...
4.If you do have to use a flash, try to avoid the on-camera pop-up. ...
5.Use your camera's exposure compensation capabilities.


https://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/low-light-photography-tips/

--

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Oct 8, 2019 18:44:33   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
The suggestions above are proven techniques. We can help you consider how to adjust your camera / lens to apply one or all these techniques, based on the settings of some of your example images. Just create a response and attach and store one or few examples.



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Oct 8, 2019 19:58:14   #
Gene51 Loc: Yonkers, NY, now in LSD (LowerSlowerDelaware)
 
Cat Islander wrote:
I went for a trek through some dense woods this morning and evening. I saw probably a hundred birds. Some were the usual suspects but others were Yankee invaders that I did not recognize. I tried taking pictures with my Nikkor 18 - 300 f/3.5 but because of the low light and maybe my old D40x the pictures below sub par for identifying the birds.

What is the trick for shooting in these low light situations?

Cat Islander
Take only pictures,
Leave only footprints


Fast lens, current large sensor is the key, anything less represents a compromise. Cameras with current AF systems are a big benefit. I've used a D40X and found it frustrating at best. Your 18-300 is either F5.6 or F6.3 at 300mm, and not that sharp. So, it looks like it would be a good idea to start your holiday shopping list

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Oct 9, 2019 05:58:12   #
neilds37 Loc: North Olympic Peninsula, WA
 
I shoot a bridge camera with the same problems you have. Have had excellent results using a speedlight.

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Oct 9, 2019 06:24:40   #
MrBumps2U Loc: Fort Myers, FL
 
In the woods, use the single spot AF point to avoid getting crystal clear shots of branches.

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Oct 9, 2019 07:37:56   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
Cat Islander wrote:
I went for a trek through some dense woods this morning and evening. I saw probably a hundred birds. Some were the usual suspects but others were Yankee invaders that I did not recognize. I tried taking pictures with my Nikkor 18 - 300 f/3.5 but because of the low light and maybe my old D40x the pictures below sub par for identifying the birds.

What is the trick for shooting in these low light situations?

Cat Islander
Take only pictures,
Leave only footprints


Use a higher ISO and keep your shutter speed at least at 1/500 sec. and shoot at f6.3.
When shooting keep your elbows into your body and keep the camera pressed against your eye and slowly press the shutter as you let out a breath.

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Oct 9, 2019 07:53:21   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
Cat Islander wrote:
...others were Yankee invaders...


Boy, that's a loaded term.

Yes, I think ISO, shutter, and aperture are the tools you have at your disposal. Since the woods are dense, you should be able to lean against a tree and lower the shutter speed. As for the D40, newer cameras have stabilization and better low light performance at high ISO. Now you have a good excuse to start shopping.

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Oct 9, 2019 08:24:13   #
mborn Loc: Massachusetts
 
jerryc41 wrote:
Boy, that's a loaded term.

Yes, I think ISO, shutter, and aperture are the tools you have at your disposal. Since the woods are dense, you should be able to lean against a tree and lower the shutter speed. As for the D40, newer cameras have stabilization and better low light performance at high ISO. Now you have a good excuse to start shopping.



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Oct 9, 2019 08:34:12   #
mizzee Loc: Boston,Ma
 
👍👍👍

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Oct 9, 2019 08:44:01   #
Canisdirus
 
Birds ... low light ... that's tough on any lens and camera.
You are going to have to keep your shutter speed up there a bit.
Set iso to auto, and set to shutter priority. 1/1000 for moving birds ... a minimum.

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Oct 9, 2019 08:57:50   #
dsmeltz Loc: Philadelphia
 
Cat Islander wrote:
I went for a trek through some dense woods this morning and evening. I saw probably a hundred birds. Some were the usual suspects but others were Yankee invaders that I did not recognize. I tried taking pictures with my Nikkor 18 - 300 f/3.5 but because of the low light and maybe my old D40x the pictures below sub par for identifying the birds.

What is the trick for shooting in these low light situations?

Cat Islander
Take only pictures,
Leave only footprints


You might want to post this in the UHH Birds-In-Flight / Birds-On-Water Forum
https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/s-112-1.html

But single point focus full manual mode 1/500 f/4 to f/8 shoot RAW to get more out of the shadows in post.

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Oct 9, 2019 09:00:18   #
ggab Loc: Northern Virginia
 
Cat Islander wrote:
I went for a trek through some dense woods this morning and evening. I saw probably a hundred birds. Some were the usual suspects but others were Yankee invaders that I did not recognize. I tried taking pictures with my Nikkor 18 - 300 f/3.5 but because of the low light and maybe my old D40x the pictures below sub par for identifying the birds.

What is the trick for shooting in these low light situations?

Cat Islander
Take only pictures,
Leave only footprints


Perhaps this is clear to everyone else and it's just me, however, What makes the pictures subpar for identifying the birds?
1- Too dark?
2- Too many branches in the way you can't get the birds in focus?
3- A combination of the above?
4- Not enough reach, 300mm is somewhat short for birding
5- Something else?

Thanks

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Oct 9, 2019 09:04:49   #
ELNikkor
 
My D40 was great until it wasn't. My D5100 was a huge step up. Right now, maybe get a refurbished D5300 or other D5xxx. It will have the same lightweight feel as the D40x, but have a much more crop-in-able image and handle the low-light a lot better. Set the autofocus to single point.

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Oct 9, 2019 09:11:10   #
gvarner Loc: Central Oregon Coast
 
Your camera and lens combo limit your ability to shoot in lower light. Add a speed light.

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