Earlier this week I had the opportunity to do a Bird Kingdom return visit, allowing me to get a bit more practice photographing perched birds and a few other critters with my Nikon 1 J5.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
This time of year Bird Kingdom is always more crowded with families on vacation so I planned my visit for the morning to avoid the crowds as best I could.
Some of the birds were a bit more playful during the early part of the day and it can be quite a bit of fun capturing them in unusual positions.
As you can tell from some of the EXIF data I’m still not completely used to my Nikon 1 J5s yet. The odd time I still inadvertently apply exposure compensation.
I have been finding that my hand-holding technique at slower shutter speeds is improving somewhat, although I still can’t match shutter speeds obtained when using my Nikon 1 V2.
I brought my 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 and some MOVO extension tubes with me, using them to capture the above image of some spider legs. This is my favourite combination to shoot macro-type images.
Having visited Bird Kingdom many times in the past I made a point to also bring my 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 zoom. The 10-100mm non-PD lens has a shorter minimum focusing distance than the 30-110mm. I’ve found that it is ideal to capture images in the small bird aviary, especially when shooting with one arm outstretched.
The nocturnal display area at Bird Kingdom is always a good place for a challenge, like the above image of a bat captured hand-held at 1/60th at ISO-12800. Even with PRIME noise reduction this type of image pushes the J5 to its absolute limits. It’s just something that one needs to accept when using a smaller sensor camera.
Waiting for the right moment is always helpful when photographing perched birds, especially ones with long beaks. Capturing these types of birds at an incorrect angle can result in a portion of the beak being out of focus.
Some of the individual birds can be quite jittery. This can make it a challenge to capture an image as they seldom stay still long enough to acquire focus on them. The specimen above was more cooperative than usual during my recent visit.
Others will stay perched for longer periods of time, allowing for some fun with symmetry and depth-of-field.
No visit to Bird Kingdom would be complete without a snake or lizard image thrown in for good measure.
Getting decent framing and focus on the small, faster birds is always a challenge and makes for good practice.
Others, like the Red-Capped Cardinal above, often perch in dark, secluded areas making it difficult to get a decent exposure. During this visit I had a bit of luck with this specimen perching in somewhat better light than usual.
Folks who visit Bird Kingdom often tend to have some favourite species. The White-Cheeked Turaco above, is one of mine.
All images in this article were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 J5 and native 1 Nikon lenses (CX 70-300mm, 30-110mm, 10-100mm non-PD). Images in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of OpticsPro 11, CS6 and Nik Suite. All images were composed using the J5’s rear screen only.
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