For many photographers, birds banking in flight make for the best of bird in flight (or BIF) photography. What many do not know is that, while being harder than common flight photographs, there is indeed a way to dramatically increase your chances. Wanna know?

Roseate Spoonbill banking in flight above the blue water - Tampa Bay, Florida

Roseate Spoonbill banking in flight – Tampa Bay, Florida
ISO 500 | f/4 | 1/5000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod in the water.

I consider the Roseate Spoonbill with full breeding colors banking above the blue water photograph above an accomplishment in what I have striven to create. First off, I am a big fan of banking shots, where one can admire the full span of the wings from above. Two, I really do enjoy blue water backdrops!! Note the pink reflection on the water as icing… 🙂

Roseate Spoonbill banking in flight - Florida photography

Roseate Spoonbill inside bank – Tampa Bay, Florida
ISO 250 | f/4 | 1/5000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod in the water.

While outside banks are often preferred, with view of the wings from above, inside banks can be spectacular too when well done. The key here is to be dead one from a sun angle perspective. The blurred pelicans on the left add to the story.

Roseate Spoonbill banking in flight above the mangrove tree line - Florida

Roseate Spoonbill banking in flight – Tampa Bay, Florida
ISO 500 | f/4 | 1/5000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod in the water.

And another one! All three were created during my last private tour two weekends ago. So, what is the secret? First, look for a flock of Spoonbills on the ground. You are very likely to see members of the flock leaving and new members coming. Then, keep an eye wide open for birds coming from BEHIND you! Yes, you read well. Banking is when the bird turns… So if you see the bird coming at you, you are unlikely to see an outside bank. It is actually not that difficult to pay attention for new comers coming from behind.

Used gear for sale!

Canon EF 300mm f/4 L IS

I am putting my 300mm for sale at $950. Quite a saving versus the price in store for a lens in mint condition that delivers pro results for a very small price. You may contact me by email at steven.blandin@gmail.com if you are interested 🙂

Florida Spoonbills and Shorebirds instructional photography tour / $890 / limit 5 people / March 7th-8th 2015:

SOLD OUT!! Contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com to be added to the waiting list for next year.
Bird photography workshop - Florida Spoonbills & Shorebirds

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Steven

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