When Exotic Nature Photography Isn’t An Option on Photography Life

Our friends at Photography Life have just published a new article, When Exotic Nature Photography Isn’t An Option, that I wrote for the website.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-1000

This new article features a selection of 15 images that were captured during the past week or so at the Hendrie Valley Sanctuary in Southern Ontario. The new posting serves to remind people that there are plenty of opportunities for nature photography in local areas, even if exotic nature photography is not an option for many people.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-1400

Readers wishing to view this new article can use the link provided.

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Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikon 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-1400

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6 thoughts on “When Exotic Nature Photography Isn’t An Option on Photography Life”

  1. Hi Tom
    Great article and great shots. Your are very correct there is always wildlife to photograph close to home. Just this week I shot a couple thousand photos of hummingbirds in my back with various cameras and different lens. And last night I spoted a fledgling robin on its first day out of the nest. Got some fun shots with it.
    There is always something. I also have a question regarding your V3. Do you have menu item high ISO noise reduction turned on or off? And does it have any effect on the raw file?
    Thanks Doug

  2. I read your article and view the photos contained in “When exotic nature photography is not an option”. The picitures were outstanding and made me quite envious. I have attempted to take similar pictures in recent years but with limited success. One of my major difficulties is that the subjects are frequently not in sharp focus. I use a Canon T4i with a Sigma 150-500 mm F5-6.3 lens mounted on a monopod.
    I am also aware that when the lens is used at its maximum (500 mm) slight movements of the camera can be a problem. I also admit that the lens is slow to focus sometimes but that does not explain the consisten lack of sharpness. Do you have any comments or suggestions? Thank you.

    1. Hi Richard,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my latest Photography Life article – thanks for your positive feedback!

      In terms of shooting with your Sigma 150-500mm zoom lens there are a few things that you can consider doing and/or checking.

      1) Like many zoom lenses with long focal lengths, the Sigma 150-500 mm does lose sharpness when shot fully extended. To try to compensate for the optical quality of your lens when fully extended you can try stopping the lens down to f/8. The other thing you can consider doing is shooting at a maximum of 450 mm rather than going out to the full 500 mm focal length. The third option is to shoot at f/8 and also use a maximum focal length of 450 mm.

      2) Make sure you have your image stabilization (or vibration control) turned on when shooting hand-held at slower shutter speeds (i.e. under 1/1000). I’ve only shot with the Sigma 150-500 mm for a limited time a few years ago when I was doing a review of that lens so I don’t recall the IS/VC control settings on the lens.

      3) Make sure you use a shutter speed that is appropriate for the amount of subject motion. Large birds-in-flight would typically be shot at a minimum of 1/1250. Smaller to medium sized birds-in-flight with faster wing movements may need to be shot at 1/1600 to 1/2000. Smaller, fast moving birds (swallows for example) may need to be shot at 1/2500 to 1/4000.

      4) Be aware of the amount of downward pressure and finger speed you are putting on the shutter release as you capture an image. Try to use a smooth finger movement rather than a jabbing motion.


      1. Tom, for item 4 above, I would also suggest (if this camera is capable of it), of shooting in short bursts. That can help to overcome the “push/jam” motion of the button. The first one or two shots may still have the effects, however the shots afterwards should not.

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