Blond-crested Woodpecker

Had to shoot fast

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I have talked before about the “frame rate” of modern cameras; ie, the ability of the camera to take many pictures per second-in some cameras now up to 120 pictures per second. Usually this ability, “fps”, is used to capture action, like birds flying. This image shows another advantage to a high fps rate. Deb took this picture of a Blonde-crested Woodpecker in SE Brazil this last summer. This species is often very wary and does not like people near. As a consequence, when this bird flew up and landed on a tree near Deb, she had to focus and shoot quickly. It was very dark-just after dawn, so her shutter speed was very slow. Ordinarily this would lead to blurry images, but she just held the shutter down and took about 25 images in just over one second. Only one of them was sharp and well focused; the others had “motion blur”. Had she only shot one or two images the chances of a sharp one would have been low. Shot with a Canon R7, 100-500mm lens at 500 mm, SS 1/50, ISO 1000, f/7.1, EC of 0.3 (probably a mistake). Yes, she could have shot faster and raised her ISO, but this bird was on the side of tree only 2-3 seconds. Processed in PS, with about 50% crop.

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LeegramasJamesDMike WarnerMuskyMike Recent comment authors
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Terrific Image!!

Mike Warner

The Blonde WP is a simply stunning bird! I’ve been learning more about the R7 lately and a big criticism of it is the unreliable Autofocus – goes in and off focus regularly. Your suggestion to hold down the shutter and take a lot of pictures is the “cure” for that in the hopes of getting a few in-focus frames.


What a beautiful and colorful bird!


This is among the best pictures I’ve seen on this site!