Are you a picture-taker, or a photographer? What is the difference between a hobbyist and an amateur? Maybe you’re a professional who sells copies of your prints. How much of your skill can be attributed to the gear you use, or the intangible creative instinct that can see a picture before you even snap the shutter?
In this series called Project Osprey, I have learned that I don’t have the gear for birding, wildlife, or long distance photography.
As previously noted, my longest lens is a Canon EF 250mm (APS-C). My bridge camera (Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200) has the length, but its 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor isn’t large enough to capture clear, crisp images of smaller, distant objects.
For perspective, this next image shows the distance between me and the Osprey nest. Cropping the original produces an unusable copy that is fuzzy and noisy — not worth showing even for comparison.
The next image shows the closest optical zoom (24x) using the FZ200.
I spent ten hours this weekend capturing photos and videos of the nest, but only one minute of video was usable. The photos were absolutely horrendous. The image above was taken after resetting the camera’s factory defaults.
Though the eye of the camera failed, my creative eye was able to see the beauty of the composition. With the help of a post-processing filter, I was able to salvage a handful of pictures.
It was disheartening to say the least, but we’ve all suffered this kind of disappointment, haven’t we? Especially when using a film camera, but those are stories for another day.
The following group of photos were captured with the FZ200’s 48x digital zoom. Unfortunately, the originals were too fuzzy and noisy to share here.
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