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Red Top Cruiser

Red Top Cruiser
Photo Information
Copyright: Howard Cheek (marhowie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5731 W: 1197 N: 98] (486)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-01-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM, Digital ISO 1250
Exposure: f/11, 1/3000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite bird in-flight photos 3, Masterpiece in Nature-Photography! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-01-09 15:21
Viewed: 5080
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It was clear & sunny with pleasant temps in the low 70's earlier this week. The Red-bellied Woodpecker is one of the smallest and quickest woodpeckers out there, so it gives my AF fits. You cannot track it like you would a large bird..So my method is thus:
I have a raised platform with seed so I can grab some sky. I set my camera at the highest shutter speed & F stop combination I can. I manually focus on the bird just before it takes flight, and swing out with it in burst mode. This is why I need the wiggle room of F/10 or more. I have tried all other combinations of AF settings on the small birds inflight, but this method has proven to give the best success rate using natural light.
300mm f/2.8 + 1.4x ext. 85% of original.

CeltickRanger, Miss_Piggy, tuslaw, Xplorer, jusninasirun, PeterZ, Ilducabianco, rubyfantacy, samiran88, ramthakur, maurydv, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2012-01-09 15:27]

Howdy Neighbor!
Love that woodpecker. Your in-flight shots are always so outstanding!
The wing position, the seed in the beak, the expression on the face...
Everything in perfect sharpness and light... Just fantastic, as always.
You are my inspiration. I keep telling myself that when I grow up,
I want to be able to take pictures like Howard! : )
TFS. : )

Hello Howard

One of TN's best in-flight photos, great POV
and framing, excellent contrast, superb focus
sharpness and details, TFS


Wonderful look to this Howard. Burst mode really paid off for you. I love how the focus is bang on the eye. It's got wonderful colours and you've framed it very well. It's also great to see the wings fully extended with their patterns. TFS Trevor

WOW this is AMAZING!!!! You must have been stoked to capture this!!!

Hallo Howard
I am delighted in many ways, one seeing an image of you on Trek Nature, and then of course for the excellent image you share. Technical quality is excellent as usual. Details captured and shown of the wings such a pleasure to look at and the overall picture worthy a huge smiley. Thanks for sharing. Please don't stay away again. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-01-09 19:50]

Hello Howard,
Great to see a post from you again!! Every time I see a photo contest in one of my magazines I look to see if you have an entry.
This is a fine inflight shot which shows this beautiful bird in an attractive opened wing pose. Detail is exceptional and colors are true and natural. Thank you also for sharing your method of capturing such awesome images. Well done!!

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2012-01-09 21:57]

Hello and Hapy New Year!
Amazing in fligh capture!
Thanks for sharing!

Fantastic time, beautiful action. Hooray for reflection! A very interesting bird.

Fantastic in flight photo Howard! The timing, the composition, the colors and the sharpness are excellent. Interesting note too.

Hello Howard.
This is a great in flight capture with a bonus of something between the beaks. Sweetest focus on the head and vivid exposure of the plumage. Well done and kind regards,

Hello Howard,
nice see a new post from you again, we both are seldom here this days in opposite to the early days when we started TN.
This is a great in-flight shot, I have never tried to shoot an woodpecker in flight, they are very fast, look at the wing tips, still in motion movements even at 1/3000 sek.
This is to your normal high standard, expect nothing else from you.
Great shot, old friend.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-01-10 0:24]

Hello Howard,
How nice to see a new photo from you. And this is really art! What a fantastic photo. Perfect exposure. Very high quality. Thanks for this great gift.

Hi Howard,

perfectly "frozen" in its flight this Woodpecker's specimen.Sharpness, colour, composition, well contrasting BG, exhaustive and explanatory note, everything is perfect in this photo.Really very good!



  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2012-01-10 5:49]

Beautiful image of this lovely bird on flight, good details and composition. tfs.

hi Howard,
i am quite familiar with this small Woodpecker. so i can understand how tactful you had to be to get this tiny bird in flight. nice capture and excellent clarity!

very nice timing. flight shot is not a easy job but you did with optimum accuracy. nice cilour and sharpness.

Ciao Howard, nice see you again on TN, great capture of fantastic in-flight Red Top Cruiser, perfect focus on eye, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done my old friend, ciao Silvio

Your new year's gift to us in the form of this image is very precious, Howard. Gone are the days on TN when you used to make starry-eyed novices like me sit up with a regular stream of your professional wild life imagery and dream of emulating you. Thanks for sharing this signature image at the outset of 2012!

Hallo Howard,
a fantastic capture of the Red Top Cruiser in flight, superb sharpness and fine details, marvellous natural colours, great timing in a very beautiful composition, very well done
Best regards

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-01-11 5:49]

Hi Howard,
Excellent capture of flying bird. Nice colours good composition and sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

marvelous. extremely good pic

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-01-12 11:01]

Hi Howard.
I am happy that you are here again and shared a wonderful in-flight shot. Superb use of the wonderful equipment and precise technique. Very impressive magnification, POV and details. Well done.

amazing photo moment and performance!
best wishes for the 2012 Howard!

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-01-27 3:03]

Hello Howard,
top class shot of this inflight bird. The fine feathers are well detailed and its is such a joy to see the frozen flight.
Lively eye contact giving meaning to you composition.
Well presented shot.


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