Image stabilization and dumb blonde moments

I admit it. I am as bad as any other dumb blonde! Maybe that’s because I am not practiced enough with certain situations, or maybe I have to learn by seeing the results. My latest faux pa was while I was at The Oregon Garden. In part of the garden was a blue heron looking for dinner. I got a few shots of him and decided to wait until he went fishing. Eventually he decided that there were better opportunities elsewhere and flew off – which was fine by me as it enabled me to click off a few shots as he left the area.

Now in all of the time he had been sitting there and I was getting shots of his or her different expressions, I could hear the whirr going on inside my lens. That is the little gyroscopes that kick in as I press the shutter release down slightly so that it can get rid of any camera shake when I take the shot. They are particularly useful in telephoto lenses which I was using for these shots. There have been times with other lenses where I have managed to take shots at 1/15 second with no blur to be seen. I love image stabilization (IS).

Now when I looked at my pictures, all of the ones with the heron in flight are blurred. Why? Because I had the image stabilization on and it was trying to counteract the panning I was doing as I took the shot. Duh! With the one in full flight I think I almost managed to overcome the correction, but that was just pure luck and stupidity.

The Canon lens that I was using is the[amazon_enhanced asin=”B0007Y794O” /] . It has two modes of image stabilization that basically align with the two axis of stabilization it provides, namely horizontal and vertical. In normal operation you want both kinds of stabilization. For these shots I only needed vertical stabilization so I should have turned off the horizontal stabilizers (mode 2 for this lens), or probably should just have turned them both off and ensured that I was using a fast shutter speed. I also posed the question about the use of IS when the camera is mounted on a tripod n an online forum. The consensus there is that IS should be turned off under those conditions as well, as it is possible that the IS may actually make the shots more blurry.

So we live and learn, but I wish I had of thought of that at that time rather than later when I saw the shots and immediately knew what I should have done!

Brought to you by Brian Bailey

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