The Unobtainable

The limits of photography are always being move forward. In the days of film these advances were very small – today digital technology moves forwards faster and this can be seen in the story below.

Late one evening our hound wandered up the backyard and by chance my eye was drawn to a bird flying to a rest in a tree nearby – illuminated from the indirect light of a flood lamp 20 meters away. Around here a bird flying at night can only be an owl and with a quick trip inside I grabbed the first torch I could see – a cheap LED unit – and went back out. There it was perched in a tree – surely it would be gone by the time I’d gone back in and got a camera and lens…

So armed with a 5Dmk3 and a 400mm f2.8 IS I had the best chance technology could just about give me…

ISO:           25000
Aperture:  f/2.8
Shutter:     1/6 sec
Lighting:   cheap LED torch

…and to add a bit more of a degree of difficulty didn’t have time for a tripod or any other support…


Now I can’t say technology is perfect since the image below shows the difficulty the camera and I had in focussing in such low light – about 20 missed shots. But the one at the end is something that 30 years ago would have been utterly unobtainable.



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  1. Kathie Thomas July 14, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    And you did an awesome shot. Thanks for sharing the story.

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