Today I decided to have a go at remote shooting using Pocket Wizard PLUSX remote triggers. Pocket wizards are wireless remote triggers that enable you to fire off flashes or remotely trigger the camera from long distances enabling you to sit right back from the action where it may normally be impossible sit and get a picture, this of course can also be less worrying to the subject that your trying to shoot. Ok starlings on my bird feeder are probably not a good example as they let you get close enough to almost touch them but they were a good subject for this exercise, in fact the little buggers took to landing on the actual camera. I set up a perch next the bird feeder in the garden and focused the camera at that point. I then made the perch by bending a stick with one end pushed into the ground and the other pegged out with some paracord. One of the things I discovered during the exercise is that I needed a thicker more sturdy stick, when a Blue Tit or Robin landed on the perch there was next to no movement but when the Starlings came in there was enough movement to take the bird out of frame. When the Starlings landed on the perch (normally 3+) it dropped quite a bit then allowing side to side movement. As I was shooting at F5.6 there is a very shallow depth of field meaning any side to side movement and the subject became out of focus. The reason for shooting with a shallow depth of field is to give a nice blurred background so as not to detract from the subject. The lighting was changeable so I switched the ISO to auto to cope with the changing sun and clouds.
Here are a few shots and you can clearly see where the weight of the bird took it out of frame but that said some of the shots a pretty sharp and there are always uses for photos with the subject to one side if you require a nice clear space to insert something else like txt or a logo. Starlings are actually pretty birds when you take time to look at them.
Lesson learnt will be to next time use a sturdy perch that does not move even if a Pigeon lands on it. During this time of course you sit and wait and watch as with most Wildlife Photography and it was great to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker land on the fat feeder which unfortunately wasn’t where the camera was facing, one downfall I guess of remote shooting, once you pick your spot and focus that’s it for the duration. But seeing the Wildlife is what its all about, pictures are a bonus.