TIP: How to Photograph Birds in Flight
Mode: Shoot in either Manual or Shutter Priority
Shutter Speed: 1/2000 or higher
ISO: 200 or lower
Focus: Group or 9 points (or close — depending on your camera)
Shutter Release: High speed
Exposure Compensation: + as needed**
Same as with Optimal Settings except for:
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 if light demands a lower shutter speed
Aperture: Wide open (largest f/stop number)
ISO: Up to 800***
*The optimal aperture can vary with different lenses and different bodies. F/8 is usually a good choice.
**Exposure compensation is likely needed unless the sun is behind you and striking directly on the subject. If the subjects are too dark after a test shot, raise the Exposure Compensation to +1, +2, or higher as dictated by the test shots.
***Different cameras and different lenses can have very different abilities to handle noise and degradation caused by higher ISO settings. You should make some test shots to see what the acceptable limit is for your lens and camera. 800 may be a good guideline for many cameras, but some can go much higher.