My Go-To Focus Setting For Birds In Flight

Better BIFs Starts With Better Focus

Nikon Group Area AF
Good flight shots start with fast focus acquisition.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve struggled with photographing birds in flight for years. The number one problem I and others have is focus acquisition. With birds in flight (BIFs), the ideal situation is to lock focus early while the animal is still at distance, track the approaching bird, and then capture a rapid burst of shots when the bird begins to fill the frame.

For me, my struggles have always been two-fold. First, when birds are very far away, it’s often hard for the camera to discern the difference between the subject and the background. Often times the camera will focus on the background instead of the bird. When this happens, you need to quickly re-cycle the focus system (pump the focus). The other challenge is when the bird drops below a background object such as trees or a mountain ridge. Again, the focus system can quickly lose track of the subject unless it’s fairly large in the frame. Continue reading My Go-To Focus Setting For Birds In Flight

Birds In Flight!


I’m trying out a new camera accessory designed to make capturing birds in flight easier. The (BIF) BullsEye™ Arca-Swiss camera stock is a lightweight aluminum shoulder stock that makes tracking flying subjects smooth and steady. I mounted my Nikon D850 with the surprisingly sharp Nikon 200-500 VR lens to the (BIF) BullsEye and took it into the field in Florida. Here are some of the shots I’ve gotten with it so far. I love being able to stay mobile without a tripod using this rig!

(BIF) BullsEye Arca-Swiss camera stock
Bald eagle in flight, Merritt Island NWR
(BIF) BullsEye Arca-Swiss camera stock
Great egret in flight, Merritt Island NWR
(BIF) BullsEye Arca-Swiss camera stock
White ibis, Merritt Island NWR
(BIF) BullsEye Arca-Swiss camera stock
Roseate spoonbill, TM Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area

Nikon D850 Firmware Update Available

Nikon D850 Firmware 1.01

Nikon has issued a firmware update for the D850 DSLR.

This update, version 1.01, addresses the following items:

  • Users exiting Clean image sensor after adding it to and entering via MY MENU would be returned not to MY MENU but to the SETUP MENU.
  • Photos taken with On selected for Long exposure NR would sometimes have increased noise or shadows with a greenish cast.
  • Slight aperture reset lag would sometimes occur after shooting at shutter speeds under 1/10 s (type E and PC-E lenses excluded).

The firmware update is available from your regional Nikon support site.

Nikon D850 Firmware Update (North America)


For Photographers, It’s a Matter of Size

How Size Impacts Everything in Photography

Size matters in photography
It’s a big universe out there… photograph it!

I want to spend a little time talking about the importance of size in photography. While there are numerous factors we photographers must face when we are making decisions about our photographic subjects and adventures, we can’t escape the importance of size. Whether you’re choosing a camera, lens or your next adventure, size does matter. Continue reading For Photographers, It’s a Matter of Size

NYC Night Photography Workshop

NYC at night
Photograph NYC at night May 31-June 3, 2018

New York City Night Photography Workshop May 31-June 3, 2018

I’m excited to announce an urban night photography workshop in New York City! Space on this tour is strictly limited to six (6) participants.

Each day, will start with an afternoon photowalk to explore the city and then finish at an iconic site for sunset, twilght, and night photography. I will teach you creative techniques in the field for capturing unique fine-art photographs. Every morning, we will have group image review sessions and I will provide “ask me anything” sessions on workflow and post-processing. You will have lots of free time during the middle of the day to explore Manhattan on your own, too!

Topics covered

  • Long exposure photography both before and after dark
  • Blue hour & twilight photography
  • Cityscapes and architecture photography
  • Creative post-processing techniques

Locations include, but not limited to:

  • Brooklyn Bridge/DUMBO/Manhattan Skyline
  • Times Square/Rockefeller Center
  • World Trade Center Memorial & surrounding areas
Workshop Instructional Fee

$879 per photographer  before March 1, 2018 | $979 thereafter

Book here