By Mike Busch

The Long Island Wildlife Photography group, over 14000 strong, continues to impress with a fantastic variety of local wildlife images.  Thanks to some big help from Jim Botta, we put together a few of the best on the 8 pages below.

Since we have so many new members, I thought it might be time to repost and pass on one of the best tips I have ever received for wildlife photography and focus in general: Back button focus:

We still occasionally include poorly focused images in this feature when the subject or the situation allows but for those of you new to wildlife photography, one of the most important things to get sharp are the eyes.  If your shutter is not fast enough or your focus points are off it is almost possible to get sharp images.  Another issue is the wrong focus point.  For example, if a bird’s neck or wing is perfectly in focus but the head and eyes are blurry it really takes away from the overall image.

The best photography advice I have received and passed on to others is back button focus.  Every modern DSLR has this feature, you will need to do a Google or YouTube search for your particular model.   You are basically removing the focus from the shutter button and moving it to the A/E Lock button, which is in a great spot to handle with your thumb.  When you remove the focusing function from your shutter button you no longer have to worry about holding it down halfway to maintain focus on your subject.  When a bird is in flight, it is easy to push a little too hard and take an out of focus shot.  By the time you recover, the bird will be gone!  

I set my camera to continuous single point focus.  That allows me to hold a different button (AE-Lock) and track the subject and maintain focus the entire time,  allowing the freedom to take the shot at the precise moment I want to or just spray and pray.

This is not just for wildlife photography, it will just become second nature and you will forget how to focus the old way.

It might sound complicated but once you get used to it I doubt you will ever go back!

Here is an article from Nikon that goes into more detail if you are interested.

This week’s cover goes to Michael Gottlieb with a great shot of a Green Heron and Turtle.

Also, check out a few more videos from Natalie Ann and me on the last page.

Feel free to share and have a great weekend!

Belted Kingfisher – Jimmy Johnny

Buck – Garrett Camasi

Green Heron – Christopher Carl

Barn Swallow – Patty Orgera

Black Skimmers – Asia Lee

Osprey – Jill Weigold Wendling

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird – Lisa Glass Fiebert

Robber Fly & Lunch – Justin Starr

Red-Tailed Hawk – Meryl Lorenzo

Continues on Pages 2-8