markesc wrote in post #18650533
Thank you! What helps: Remaining calm in the moment, get your elbow in, and support the lens more ontop of your fingers around the tripod mount area, this way you can keep your arm more parallel to the ground, which then helps overall in extending the time period you can have the lens pointed up at your subject. So for example, pointing out at 90deg angle is easiest if the bird is say 10' up in a tree, but most owls are going to be higher, so supporting the lens on your fingers helps to increase the angle to maybe 110-120deg while still keeping your arm parallel.
The other part is -1/3rd or -2/3rds and push processing can buy some shutter speed and/or allow for a lower ISO than typically chosen. One other strange thing I've noticed, is that the IS sometimes is not at it's best in the first few seconds until you really calm and steady yourself, so I take a moment to do that and do a few half button presses to make sure I REALLY am focused on the Owl and not some random branch that's not even near the center point that Canon has decided is the next best option...
What NOT to do: Just walk up, OMG! OWL!!! Then just start firing away like an 80's Rambo movie! Those shots for me atleast never work out in poor lighting conditions.
The other part is getting your shoulders squared up and comfortable foot position, as those also contribute to camera shake. If you played basketball then all this makes sense!
Good tips for keeping steady during those "long" exposures. I need more advice on approaching owls though, as I can't get anywhere near them even doing my best slow motion. Literally, I'll move a few feet every few minutes, completely silent, crouched down, while wearing camouflage, not staring at the owls or walking straight at them, and these GHO's panic as if I'm the greatest threat they've ever seen. And they're 40ft up in the trees. So yeah, I've completely stopped wasting my birding time trying to get close to them (along with Green Herons, utter waste of time).