Not so long ago, I was looking at some birds that where flying around some trees. I took my camera and tried to make some photos of these flying birds. Unfortunately I can’t show any photos of this shoot. In all the photos the birds where just out of focus or they weren’t in the photo at all, because the flew too fast. Therefore I deleted all the photos.
This isn’t necessarily bad. Sometimes it is good to take bad photos, because you can learn from it. One of the things I did not correctly was taking time to focus. Sometimes I thought a bird was in focus, but in fact the leaves in front of the bird were. This happens although I used auto focus and this is probably also the reason, autofocus tries to focus on the nearest object it can find (even when using the control points) and in this case it found out that the leaves where closer than the bird itself. I don’t think I can solve this by using another method of auto focussing, but it could be solved with manual focussing.
The other problem was the birds moving too fast. Most of the time they surprised me when the started flying, so most of the time I was just to late with pressing the shutter and other times I could follow them for a while with my camera, but since it was getting dark, the shutter time was getting longer and I couldn’t keep my camera still enough while panning.
What I learned from the last point is that it would be easier to shoot at midday when there is enough light (although this could give other problems of course…). An other possibility is to find out where they will land (or land regularly) and watch that spot for a while. Just be patient and wait for the action and when you see some action in the corner of your eye, you probably already to late to take a photo of it.
So taking bad photos shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you can tell what went wrong and can find an answer on how you can do it better next time.