Bird photography is one of the most entertaining types of photography for all photographers. But, there are a few tips that make them look good, and makes the photos seem professional.
If a bird would take the time and pose for you, this would certainly make things easy. But, the cute little animals have a built-in nervousness about them, because they are food for other predators. The predators that usually affect the normal birds we see around our house are also birds: the hawks, the eagles, etc. thrive on eating anything that moves, like smaller birds.
That has been a problem we have had recently as we feed birds in our backyard. Generally, our bird feeders have birds eating all day long, some seeds that we put out in the morning. We have recently gone outside to find no birds there, absolute silence, and they appear to be hiding. As I walk around the yard, I find a hawk sitting in one of the trees nearby waiting for the moment when a smaller bird makes the wrong move. I quickly scare it away so there won’t be any bloodshed in my yard.
However, I will admit, it would be an amazing photo experience to get on a photographic record, the hawk capturing a small bird to have for it’s dinner. I somehow, however, have this over protective feeling for these cute innocent birds, the sparrows, the finch’s, the Chickadee, and even the Dove’s who like to come in hoards:
BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT:
My personal equipment that I use for my bird photography is usually this:
- Canon EOS Rebel T6, with a 75-300mm zoom lens.
- Tripod: Zomei Professional Tripod with ball head (I love a ball head and will only use a tripod that has one)
- 58mm protective filter
- 58mm hard lens shade ( I have had too many photos that ended up with a light flare on the lens, to not have this. I think it’s a must if you shoot anything outside. And besides, it is something so cheap, but so worth protecting your hard earned good photo.)
Just a note to the above photo equipment: This is one type of photography that can get you by without having to go into expensive camera equipment. I still have my “kit lens” as well that serves for the other type of photography, and other filters for special effects.
CAMERA SETTINGS FOR BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY:
- I usually want to have only the bird in focus, so, I use a large aperture, usually 4.5 with that big lens. That will make the bird in focus, and the background out of focus.
- Shutter speed, usually around 1/1000 second, or close to that depending on the light. Just in case the bird moves, it could stop action.
- ISO setting usually around 100 or 200, or if it’s overcast: 1000.
SOME GREAT PHOTOS OF BIRD PHOTOGRAPHS, FROM VARIOUS ARTISTS:
A CRISIS IN BIRD POPULATION MAKES BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY MORE VALUABLE:
Just found this article that really concerns me:
North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds in 50 Years
A sweeping study says a steep decline in bird abundance, including among common species, amounts to “an overlooked biodiversity crisis.”
Slowly, steadily and almost imperceptibly, North America’s bird population is dwindling.
The sparrows and finches that visit backyard feeders number fewer each year. The flutelike song of the western meadowlark — the official bird of six U.S. states — is growing more rare. The continent has lost nearly 3 billion birds representing hundreds of species over the past five decades, in an enormous loss that signals an “overlooked biodiversity crisis,” according to a study from top ornithologists and government agencies.
This is not an extinction crisis — yet. It is a more insidious decline in abundance as humans dramatically alter the landscape: There are 29 percent fewer birds in the United States and Canada today than in 1970, the study concludes. Grassland species have been hardest hit, probably because of agricultural intensification that has engulfed habitats and spread pesticides that kill the insects many birds eat. But the victims include warblers, thrushes, swallows and other familiar birds.