Catching movement

Modern travel zooms are really easy to carry with you, yet still have the capability to zoom in on birds from a reasonable distance. My Panasonic TZ80 has most of the capability of the hefty SLR system with largish 300mm lens that I used to lug around decades ago.

But they do have their limitations, and photographing hunting birds is one of them – always on the move, never staying still for long. It’s tempting to destroy the blurry shots that come out, but some are actually quite attractive, like these consecutive shots of wagtails taking off, using the TZ80’s rather slow ‘burst mode’ and standard auto exposure.

You really get the impression of movement. Here are consecutive shots of a pied wagtail taking off and then in flight.

And here’s a grey wagtail taking off and turning in the process.

The other thing about travel zooms is the complicated array of buttons and menu options – different ways of taking the photograph. I guess I could have used ‘creative video mode’ or ‘4K mode’, either of which could have probably given more and sharper frames, but that’s for another day – and the blurring does have its own attraction!

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