Friday's "Photo Failed It To Photo Nailed It!" Capture a Bird in Flight

From time to time here on my blog I'll run a post: Friday's "Photo Failed It Photo To Nailed It!" The concept is twofold:
1) I'll share a pair of pictures, along with tips, that illustrate how you can nail a shot;
2) You'll see that pros don't always get it right the first time. :-)

This post: Capture a Bird in Flight (BIF).

I took the opening photograph on one of my Alaska photo workshops. I feel as though I nailed the shot because:
• I had the focus point set on the gull;
• Auto focus was set to AI Servo - which tracks a moving subject;
• I got a good exposure – by checking my histogram and highlight alert;
• My camera was set at high-speed continuous shooting.
• I captured animal behavior;
• I was in the right location for the right light;
• The background was not distracting;
• And . . .  I was damn lucky to get a perfect silhouette of the gull's head on its wing.

The funny thing about the photograph: the gull did not "nail it." He dropped the fish after a brief catch!

My gear for the shot:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100-400mm IS lens.
Exposure Info: ISO 640, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec., exposure compensation: -0.33 (to preserve the highlights while shooting on the Av mode).

Above is one of my Failed It shots from the same shoot. The failure was caused because:
• My camera was accidentally set on One Shot AF;
• I did not have the focus point set on the gull:
• My camera was not set on continuous shooting.

See what happens when you "shoot before you think" - and don't double check your camera settings! :-)

Learn more about bird photography in my on-line class, Master the Art and Craft of Bird Photography." Save $10 with code: rsbirds1.

Explore the light,