Great Bird Photography Tips Especially For Beginners
Birds despite their fleeting and elusive nature are wonderful subjects for photography. And best of all, you don’t need to travel around the world to capture beautiful bird images.
You need skills and practice and of course a little bit patience in order to become a professional bird photographer. These helpful tips are worth reading especially if you are a beginner.
Read through the article, check out the photos and let us know what you think!
The colour and texture of birds’ plumage makes them fascinating subjects for photography, made all the more exciting by their fleeting and elusive nature. With a lot of patience and practice, and the help of these tips, you’ll soon be on your way to making memorable photographs of our feathered friends.
To capture the best bird photography, the most important thing you’ll need is a lens with a very long focal length. How long, exactly? Generally, the longer the better for maximum magnification. But keep in mind that lenses get remarkably heavy – if you’re hiking up a mountain, it might not be practical to carry an extreme telephoto lens, which can weigh in at over ten pounds.
A 70-300mm zoom lens is one of my favourites because it is very versatile and some of them are fairly lightweight. But you’ll get a sharper image with a fixed focal length lens. I recommend trying out a 300mm or 400mm prime lens.
When photographing birds, using shutter priority mode and a fast shutter speed will ensure you are ready for any action that might happen, even if the bird is standing still at the moment. You never know when it will take flight and you want to be ready when that happens.
Using a wide aperture like f/2.8 or f/4 will give you a shallow depth of field, which helps to isolate the bird from its background and direct attention to its shape and colour.
When you want to have total control over the shutter speed and aperture, use manual mode and set the ISO to auto. That way, the camera will decide which ISO is the best to balance the exposure.
If you have a colourful sky, one option to try is to expose for the sky and allow the bird or birds to become silhouettes.
How you focus on your subjects will depend on which approach you’re taking, as well as what equipment you have. Some lenses and some camera bodies auto focus faster, and much more accurately than others, so some experimentation is needed to get a sense of how quickly your auto focus motor moves.
Birds are moving subjects, so if you do use auto focus, change it to the “continuous focus” mode (usually called AF-C or AI Servo) which tracks motion. However, you might find that you get better results by learning to focus manually.
There should be an AF/MF switch on your camera and/or lens. If you switch it to MF (manual focus), you can turn the focus ring on your lens to adjust it by hand. This is fairly easy when your subject is still, but it takes a lot of practice to be able to do this quickly enough to lock in on a moving subject.
Getting the Shot
Timing and Location
Birds are very active in the spring – the ground softens, plants and seeds starting coming out, and bugs are everywhere. They finally get the feast they’ve been struggling to find all winter. Similarly, in autumn they are avidly gathering food before the frost sets in. Both of these seasons are the best for finding birds near the ground – and whatever the time of year, early mornings and sunny days will draw the most action.
Read the entire article and see more images here: Bird Photography Tips for Beginners
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