This evening Pam and I dodged rain and humidity in pursuit of photographing pelicans in flight at The Pier using her new Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS L lens. This was also the first lesson of the second four pack of DSLR Photography Lessons Pam has reserved.
We met in downtown St. Petersburg and made our way on foot out to The Pier where along the way we got our settings for photographing moving subjects dialed in. Due to the overcast skies, light was already fading two hours before sunset, so we immediately went into manual mode setting the shutter speed at 1/800th of a second to insure we could freeze gliding pelicans. To compensate for this fast shutter speed Pam needed to use the max aperture setting of f/4 for her lens, along with ISOs that eventually topped out at 1600 by lesson's end!
The pelicans always seemed to stay 50 meters ahead of us, but eventually we were able to photograph some in flight. I taught Pam my tracking technique which is not an easy thing to pick up on if you are not used to using your lens as a scope and then quickly ducking your eye into the viewfinder, all the while trying to get a focus lock on a small, rapidly moving subject. However, Pam now knows the technique and can practice it on her own before our next lesson next week.