I’ve always had an affinity for trees. Maybe that started with the redbud tree my parents helped me plant and let me water when I was very young. Maybe it grew stronger as I grew stronger and learned to climb. I think it was then that I learned to appreciate their strength (haha). On especially windy days I remember looking up and watching them sway back and forth. I’ve always wondered the stories trees could tell.
This tree in particular has been on my mind for weeks. I drive by it everyday to work and it always seems to catch my eye. It lives in a field in the middle of town. One single, solitary cedar. I enjoy seeing it in different light. Foggy and misty mornings give it an eerie look. Some days the cattle in the pasture lay all around it. But days like today when it’s been incredibly cold, I imagine this tree is basking in the evening sun’s rays and maybe just for a moment feeling its warmth. #seethingsdifferently
Conditions were not very favorable for this shot. As you can see from the eagle's ruffled feathers, the wind was blowing at over 20 mph. The branch was moving wildly. On top of that, I was shooting with a long telephoto lens from my van window. The wind was having its way with my camera & lens AND buffeting my van relentlessly. Even with shutter speeds faster than 1/1000th sec, many shots still showed motion blur, especially in the eyes. But every once in a while, a sharp photo emerged. Hidden motion can ruin a great photo opportunity. Especially when not immediately noticeable through the viewfinder. To see hidden motion, I put my camera into 'live view' mode to view the scene in real time on the large LCD screen on the back of the camera where the motion becomes instantly visible. If the motion is from your subject, the only remedy is to wait for it to stop moving and/or shoot at a faster shutter speed.
If the motion is from your camera/lens, there are several things you can do to mitigate this.
1. Move out of the wind
2. Mount lens on sturdy tripod
3. Lay a beanbag over your long lens to dampen wind vibration.
4. Hang a camera bag from center post of tripod to stabilize it.
5. I use an additional arm that attaches to one leg of tripod and the other end screws into camera tripod thread. Adds stability.
6. Turn on Image Stabilization. (I usually don't use I.S. when my camera is on a tripod. But if the wind or people walking on a boardwalk causes my camera to move, I will turn on I.S.)
7. Use a cable release/remote trigger to trip the shutter, eliminating camera motion caused by your finger pushing the shutter release.
8. Use mirror lock-up to minimize the vibration caused by mirror motion
9. Remove lens hood if wind is an issue. But only if sun is behind you
10. Use a shorter lens, if possible.