Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

What’s the best frame rate for photographing birds in flight?

Is 20+ frames per second really necessary in wildlife photography?

Brandt’s cormorant on final approach, La Jolla, CA | Nikon Z9 + 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6S VR Z Nikkor

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Introduction

Wildlife photographers love mirrorless cameras because many of them offer incredibly fast frame capture rates. I recently got the new Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera, and one of its best features is its ability to shoot RAW at up to 20 frames per second (fps) with no viewfinder blackout. Other mirrorless cameras, like the Sony A1 and Canon R3 offer frame rates as high as 30 fps. The appeal of such fast burst rates for still photography is that these speeds increase the probability that you’ll capture a moment of peak action, or a dynamic animal pose.

The downside to capturing images at these high frame rates is the sheer volume of images you’ll end up with. Not only will you fill your memory cards faster, but you’ll also have to slog through hundreds or even thousands of shots in your triage/culling workflow. Another challenge with setting your camera to high-speed frame advance is that it becomes nearly impossible to fire off a single shot. Even with practice and good shutter release technique, once the camera is set to capture images at greater than 12 fps, shooting individual images is really difficult.

Obviously, there are certain subjects and situations that call for fast burst rates, and for most wildlife photographers, flying birds are most frequently that subject. In most wildlife photography scenarios, super-fast frame rates just lead to lots of redundant images. But when you’re trying to capture flying birds, high frame rates do offer an advantage.

Continue reading What’s the best frame rate for photographing birds in flight?

The Image Doctors #128

When to use HDR in your photos

10 years ago, it was commonplace to see extreme HDR tone-mapped images all over the photographic community. Between cameras with better sensors and a change in tastes, HDR isn’t all that noticeable anymore. This week, we look at the role HDR plays in our own photography and the techniques we use when processing our images.

How to Customize Lightroom’s Menu Fonts

Create a custom Identity Plate for a personalized look in Lightroom Classic

People often ask me how I changed the fonts in the Lightroom module menus. Here’s a simple way to customize the fonts and colors in your own Lightroom Classic catalog.

Whenever I give online classes or teach a workshop using Adobe Lightroom Classic, a common question I’m asked is “how did you change the fonts in your Lightroom toolbar? The trick is to use a custom, personalized Identity Plate. This video will show you how to do it!

The Image Doctors #125

Photographing Holiday Lights

‘T is the season for festive holiday light displays! This week, we’ll offer our tips and tricks for getting impactful shots of holiday lights, including the best times, places, and equipment to use.

Nikon Announces Two New Z-Mount Lenses

Earlier this week, Nikon announced two new Z-mount lenses.

The Nikon 28-75mm f/2.8 is a fast, midrange zoom intended to offer a lower-cost option for available light shooting as compared to the 24-70mm f/2.8S lens.

The Nikon 800mm f/6.3 Z Nikkor was announced as “in development.” We don’t know much other than it will incorporate Nikons Phase-Fresnel (PF) design elements to reduce size and weight.