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Its time for me to get some time behind the scope.
The reason I started on this journey that we call digiscoping, is because I was not happy with the ability to get pictures at very long distances with my traditional camera equipment.
I did not want to spend a ton of money on a HUGE, HEAVY, camera lens, so I looked at digiscoping.
I practiced all summer, and thanks to the help of Danny, I am now ready for my main event.
Birds and small animals that will let you get close to them are fantastic fun, but they usually let you get close enough to digiscope on 30 - 45 power magnification and get nice results.
I got into this beacuse I needed MORE POWER!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday I went out for the first of many, many, trips to do some serious long distance stuff.
Boy, what can you say. They are important.
Ideal conditions in my mind are clear, bight, skies with a very light wind.
Why the wind? It keeps the heat waves and heat shimmer down, clears the atmosphere out a bit. Seems to help clarity.
The trade off is you have to be stable. Especially when you turn up the magnification!
The conditions I had yesterday were not quite perfect.
Wanna see? Watch this video.
Partly cloudy skies, sometimes sunny, sometimes not so sunny.
Wind like a banshee!!!!!! That is not me shaking the scope, that is the wind I had to deal with all day.
I shot that video on 70X magnification, with the wind soming straight at me, blowing right into the scope lens.
Can you say NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!
Anyways, lets get to some photographs.
This picture was taken on 70X magnification.
The distance was somewhere in the neighborhood of 915 meters, or 1000 yards.
the ISO was set to 400 due to the clouds. The shutter speed was set to 1/200, and the whitebalance set to daylight.
Its not the best picture, but it is better than what I would have been able to get with my traditional camera equipment.
This next one was 70X magnification, the distance around 730 meters or 800 yards.
The ISO was still at 400, the shutter 1/160, with the whitebalance set to daylight.
You can see in these pictures that the high ISO is causing me to have blown out highlights.
The light was shining off the anlters and the detail in those areas is gone.
But, I had to use a high ISO to get the shutter speed up. If I did not gte the shutter up, the images would have been blurred and useless due to the wind shaking the entire set up.
Considering the high power magnification, camera shake is also magnified. You have to adjust, compensate, try and find a sweet spot.
The end result becomes conpromise in your pictures.
The same settings and very long distance 1000 plus yards.
I did manage to get one buck to stick around for a closeup.
He was only about 73 meters, or 80 yards away.
I believe I used 45 power magnification. The ISO set at 400, the shutter set at 1/160. Whitebalance set to daylight.
This particular image would have been easier to get with my traditional camera, but I would have had to crop 75% of it away. As it was, I got 18 megapixels of frame filling animal.
So, I bought my digiscoping gear this spring, practiced all summer, and now that I am back into the the beginning of winter, I have come full circle. Back to the reason I decided to start digiscoping in the first place.
Am I happy with my decision? Oh yes. Is it easy? Not even close.
I still fight it. its a struggle. I am still learning and trying new things all the time.
I have not found a substitute for getting close. Getting close makes all the difference in the world, but long range digiscoping is producing some results that I have never been able to achieve before.
There will be more to come in the next few months. I spend a ton of time out there at this time of year. Should be fun.
Out and about again, two more times this last week.
Got some more pics to share.
I also have a few videos. I will be loading them up after I get them on you tube.
A few that were taken directly into the sun.
This next one is my favortie. "Blowin smoke" is what I call it.
Not the best quality, but for the sun being directly behind them, I was happy with what I got.
Things got a little better for me as far as the shots I was ablt to get.
Some small BULL MOOSE.
I will post up some more pics with some video a little later.
The video will show the conditions I had to deal with. Sunny but very windy. Lots and lots of camera shake. I had to use an ISO of 400 and try to keep my shutter speeds up as high as possible to keep the images from coming out blurry.
So, if you have ever wanted a "real time" look at how digiscoping works, but just have not got access to the equipment, watch this video I shot.
This is a still shot I took of the same set as the video.
So, from this next video you can see the conditions. Lots of wind.
Blowing the grass and brush. Also blowing my scope.
Any vibration is made much worse by the magnification of the scope. The higher the power, the worse the shake becomes.
I get around this in my still images by jumping the ISO up and also the shutter speed.
But, the video suffers.
I plan to fix this by making a custom sand bag for my scope and tripod.
More excellent info here, and great help for others. Great that u made the most of non ideal circumstances too. And for the record, those moose were not small!!!!!
it seems like balancing exposure is no longer an issue for you. How do you find that now?
practise paying off I reckon? Well done
Balancing exposure is always tough.
For the most part, I get it where I want it. The histogram is the best way I have found to do that.
Yeah, those moose are not "small", but they are just young moose.
Those snow drift fences keep the snow from blowing across the roads in the dead of winter. The fences are about 10 feet tall. (3.5 meters)
So, those moose are not small.
It is still a struggle to get EVERYTHING lined up ALL THE TIME.
There always seems to be some element that has to be tweaked or adjusted to get the shot to come out.
I know the images look good, but they could be sharper. I was able to compensate for some of the camera shake, but I still can see there is some of it in there.
Lots and lots of practise. I get more and more practise every time I go out. I still need more practise though.
I made that sand bag today. I will have to post up a pic of it. Hopefully it helps dampen some of the wind vibrations.
All in all, I am happy with my progress.
Again and again, I thank you for all your instruction and help. You get as much credit for my success as I do.
I hope Swarovski sends you a big Christmas card and fills your stocking this year.
It seems we will be turnign this post into "the mule deer buck post".
I got to go out and do some digiscoping again this weekend.
We got a bit of snow. The snow is making for nice contrast to the pictures and some of them are quite nice.
The lighting on a few was fantastic. Ideal in every way. Some, not so much. Very low light, before the sun was up.
Either way, you can see, I am getting some great images, some good images, and some not so good images.
Yes, we all get some images we dont like, even after all our efforts.
This guy never gave me a chance. As soon as he saw me, he bolted for the trees.
I am really proud of this shot, even though the photo is not the best composition.
To get the buck in focus, on 45X, as he ran away from me at a distance of about 400 yards, was good enough for me.
I wish he would have stood and let me get a few shots before he ran off.
Too bad he was standing on the edge of a farm field, next to the irrigation pipe.
Kind of ruined a great photo.
I was really upset that this was the best shot I got at this deer.
Very soft focus, background blending, he just would not stop walking away.
This next one is my favorite picture from the day. I just love the way it turned out.
I digiscoped this guy on 50X with the sun getting low in the west. The long shadows and the colors just apeal to my eye.
You dont always catch them with the antlers in the perfect place. Would have been nice if he was a foot or two to the left.
Low light. Before the sun came up. This is the same deer that I had the steam coming out of his nostrils in the upper post.
I cant seem to find him with great lighting. The sun is always at hos back as well. The sun was not up yet, but it was going to be over his back when it was. So, the light scource was backlight.