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When looking at prize winning images or the ‘perfect’ images, we read about the number of image uses to achieve the desired shot. Sometimes, this number is in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands.

Recently, a bird was making nest in a tree near my apartment. I wanted to grab a picture of the bird in mid-flight. The tree lies between two buildings and is in shade most of the day. Only when the sun is overhead does it get direct sunlight.

I tried many settings and got many blurred shots. The shade adds to the problem. Initially using RAW + JPG output. getting less frames. I switched to JPG expecting more frames. The camera is supposed to shoot 5fps but I doubt that. After the initial burst of 3 shots, the camera seems to shoot at 1fps.

The max setting is 1/4000 in shutter priority. I got a few grabs, but in most cases, the frames are empty. I am amazed at the speed with which the bird flies – particularly when leaving the nest. While landing on the nest, the speed is slower (obviously).

Then I had a brilliant idea. I thought of taking a video of the bird with the idea of extracting frames from the video. While shooting at 30fps, I was hopeful of getting some good freeze shots. but it did not work that way. In fact, I found that the bird was a blur in the video. But the video was of the bird leaving the nest. I need to try a video of the bird coming into the nest.

With this experience, I am able to appreciate the effort needed in taking that ‘ultimate’ shot.

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