Photographing the Cambridge Peregrines – Part 1

A couple of people have asked me about the Peregrine photos I blogged a few days ago, specifically, what camera, lens, and settings I used to get the shots.

Well, first off I was standing at street level on the opposite side of the road to the church, it was a dull and overcast day. The female Peregrine was perched on a corner spire of the church tower about 34 metres above street level when I arrived, I used shutter priority to get a few shots of her and then tested aperture priority. When the male arrived and they mated I was in aperture priority mode and had to be quick to tweak settings as events unfolded.

Canon 6D, Sigma 150-600mm zoom. For what I consider the clearest and best shot I got, I had optical stabilisation switched on (to compensate for hand-held camera shake. I’d set aperture to f/11 to get some depth of field, centre-point focus and left the camera to choose the shutter speed (1/500s) and ISO 1600. I had also nudged the EV up at various stages and for this shot it was +3 to compensate for the camera reading the brightness of the sky, which would otherwise under-expose the birds.

The original photo was snapped in portrait orientation 3648 x 5472 pixels, cropped down to an approximately 1500 square for posting on social media, on Sciencebase it’s a watermarked 768 square. A few PaintShop tweaks included, bringing the blacks in, lightening shadows slightly, turning up the vibrancy a touch, and applying a relatively gentle unsharp mask.

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.