I love taking pictures of birds. They are so pretty with their varied colors and features, plus, often they do interesting things. You just have to be patient to find one pecking at a tree or carrying a bit of string to its nest. The time of the year really defines the photo, as well, because different colors can look spectacular on a seasonal backdrop. I’m thinking about a bluejay getting peanuts at the campsite in the summer or a cardinal pecking sunflower seeds in the newly-fallen snow.
There’s one thing about birds, though, you do have to watch closely and you need to stay hidden to get the best pics. So let’s take a look at what I think is helpful when photographing birds.
#1 – Get As Close As You Can:
We all know that birds are going to fly away as soon as you come close enough to get that great pose. And, we also know that you must be close to get something people can even see in the pic. Depending on where the birds are may help to get the pic. For example, if you are at a bird sanctuary where people walk regularly, there is less chance of the birds flying away. No, you are not going to get within inches, but with a little work, and by staying still, you should be able to get something interesting.
Taking photos from the car can be helpful, too. Just stabilize your camera on the window and use it as a frame. Be sure, though, to turn the engine off first. You don’t want to scare away your subjects and you don’t want the ruckus of the engine blurring up your creations.
#2 – Find Their Eyes:
If you are taking a side profile pic, be sure the bird’s eye is open and visible to the camera. When working on a different frame, try to get both eyes in the picture. This gives the photo dimension and will add more pizzazz, creating higher impact for the viewer.
#3 – Watch For Movement:
Be ready to take a picture when the bird does something of interest. A freeze-frame is an amazing photo. For example, when the bird takes off from its perch, or when it grabs an insect in the air to eat. These can all be photographed even by amateurs and can make you feel very proud when you see the final product.
#4 – Fast Shutter Speeds:
This will certainly depend on the size of the bird, but for the most part, you will be taking photos of smaller birds which are quite fast. You will need to get the pic as soon as the bird does something. Basically, faster shutter speeds are necessary to grab the moment because a blurred photo cannot be fixed after the fact. While photography and graphic software can eliminate many problems and can enhance pretty much any photo, they cannot take the blur away.
#5 – Your Back Against the Sun:
While setting up, look for the sun. Try to take your photos with your back to the sun. This usually provides better light for your subject.
Birds can be a lot of fun to photograph and I am sure if you take the time, you will notice them doing some great stuff to make your photos pop.
Boy oh boy, can you ever learn a lot from this article on photographing birds. The bird enthusiast even provides the settings for your camera. If you read one outside resource mentioned on my site, this is the one!