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How to Photograph Birds in Flight (Canon 1DX Mark i) |
  • Wednesday , 30 September 2020

How to Photograph Birds in Flight (Canon 1DX Mark i)

Code Canyon

How to Photograph Birds in Flight: A bird photography tutorial as I go through all the techniques I use to capture birds in flight. Suitable for most levels including beginners. You can also watch my follow on video for more advanced bird photographers which includes Canon AF Case Settings: .

Topics in this video:

0:16 Lens Choice
2:16 Camera Settings (Shutter speed/Aperture)
3:08 Autofocus Mode
4:06 Continuous Shooting / Frame Rate
4:51 Focus Area / Focus Points
5:40 Exposure Modes

I forgot to include the bit about Image Stabilization: IS or VR essentially reduces camera shake when hand-holding. It will have no effect on reducing subject movement – this is down to your shutter speed. As most of the time when shooting birds in flight you are using a shutter speed of around 1/1000 second, the image stabilization is not really necessary to reduce camera shake. However, it does stabilize the viewfinder so in that respect it can be helpful in keeping the bird in frame. I rarely use IS for flight photography.
Please like and share the video. Tell me how you set your camera up for flight photography – and feel free to ask me a question in the comments below!

Buy the Canon 400mm f5.6 or GH700 Movo Gimbal head and I receive a small commission.

View some of my Birds in Flight Photos:

Read my Blog on Photographing Birds in Flight:

My Website:
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Flickr Stream:…

Filmed in Yorkshire with Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500. Camera used: Canon 1DX Mark i. Lenses: Canon 400mm f5.6; Canon 500mm f4 IS Mark i. Induro CT404 tripod with Gimbal head.

Music: Staccato, Vibe Tracks

Original source

3d Ocean

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  1. Pat Pathinayake
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Hi Paul, This is one of the most honest videos I have seen. I relearned so much now need to put into practice. Your images are brilliantly crisp I wish I could do that. Thinking of using a combination of 5D MK III & Sigma 150-600mm (S) for Redkites. They are abundant and quite tame. I like razor-sharp images please could you tell me how I can achieve this, Thank you.

  2. Jim1971a
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Hi, just confused about shutter speed for flying birds. You said 1/1000, and then you said 1/2000 and then your picture showed a setting of 1/2500. Your camera was set at 1/1000.

  3. chris saunders
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Thanks Paul all the people I know here that shoot birds, seem to be talking about back button photography, but I notice that with a few of them,.it doesn't make their photos any better lol.. it's not for me, don't like it at all. good message, thanks.

  4. ToToWildlife Film
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Great video mate! 👍

  5. Nishit Dave
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    I tried back button focusing for a while, but started to find misfocused shots frequently. I guess I was easing on the button while I pressed the shutter. I've stopped using BBF now. It's not that useful for BIF.

    I prefer to use the centre focus point on my 70D. Changing it for composition means that spot exposure metering can go wrong, as it's not tied to the focus point on this camera.

  6. Sarah Huggins
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Thanks for that will try it out this weekend

  7. Akshay Singh Khanna
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Nice video, Paul. I have a Nikon D750 and a Sigma 150-600 C lens setup. Could you let me know if my setup is good enough for wildlife photography? I am having trouble with quick focusing. Cheers

  8. Conney Hardy
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    very good

  9. Hypatiakitten
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Interesting comment on BBF. First time I tried it I knew it was for me, loved it. I can't imagine not using it now. Just goes to show there's more than one way to skin a cat.

  10. Wildlife Videography
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    You're doing pretty good work. Well done. I'm looking forward to your next video.

  11. Jerry Eisner
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Well Done Paul! I love it and you are so friendly, helpful and informative. I love the way you teach and demonstrate and your photos are spectacular! I'm a NEW FAN as of right NOW!!!!!!

  12. Fueling my Birddiction
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Excellent video. I shoot with a Canon 550D and a Tamron 150-600. Like you, I also shoot manual and set my aperture at about 7.1. Exposure has been tricky for me, but I have finally settled on setting my ISO first (since noise is high on this old camera body), and then adjusting my shutter speed so that the exposure meter is roughly +1 when shooting at 100% sky, and between -1 and -2 when shooting against the trees (counting on the light on the bird)
    I'm looking forward to getting a better body so that I can implement your continuous mode and focus point tips! Thanks!

  13. KG's Photography
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Nice one Paul. Good to know I am doing most things right…. lol

  14. Craig Storton
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Hi Paul thank you for keeping me sane with your video. I have been very happy with my photography for a while then started watching YouTube to see if there any tips and techniques to make little adjustments and improve? Sadly all it did was confuse. Your video took me back to what I know best as I shoot pretty much in your style – phew straight talking easy photography tips.

  15. roy steele
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    this has been a great help to me thank you ROY

    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Amazing Excellent

  17. john arsenault
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    a good solid, no nonsense presentation. I found the information to be very much in keeping with own experiences in attempting bird photographs. Well done!

  18. Buster Lynch
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Great video, very helpful, clear explanation with some brilliant images. Keep up the good work!

  19. GrassyPoet
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    I'm new to photography and your videos have been so helpful

  20. Henry Blau
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Lots of great guidance and suggestions, I can't wait to try some of these out.

  21. Barry B
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    I wanted a video about BIF and started the search with your channeland voila! A perfect video on the subject! Thanks!

  22. Ruwantha Kasun
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    What is the best metering mode?

  23. timothy raven
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Thanks for that some great tips on there.

  24. Henri de Feraudy
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Loved it! I have the same 400 mm which can be bought second hand for a modest price now. It's very sharp.

  25. Gayan Weerasinghe
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Does photography competitions accept Auto Focused photos?

  26. Steven Torrey
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Very helpful. I always review the info on my photos to see what settings seemed to work; eventually, it becomes 2nd nature.

  27. mariano de miguel
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    liked the video: Have no idea about what settings I feel comfortable because I am Green at this. How about shooting birds perched with heavy cover (Magee Marsh bird week) ? I can only think that single point center focus, wide aperture; 1/500 sec; auto iso and -07.EV. That make sense? Pos EV if overcast-rainy?

  28. mat v
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Lol, camouflage lens cover and Flouro orange jacket. Good vid though thanks

  29. Luiz Lapa
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Hi Paul, Thank you for your video; I learned a lot and have appreciated very much your personnel comment about the back autofocus button!
    I will try to use it and see the results.

  30. Subhojit Chatterjee
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Beautiful….fantastic explanation

  31. Sanjeev Das Mohapatra
    May 24, 2019 at 10:33

    Very good and to the point.

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