Like us, you are a part of the most prestige hobby on the planet, you are a bird watcher and photographer. Bird photography is one of the most relaxing things to do on the planet to this day and will remain so long as there are birds to be seen.
Bird photography is one of the best hobbies to ever have, because as I said it is extremely relaxing, but it is also one of the most difficult hobbies to get right and will require substantial amount of practice. So, to make this a lot easier for yourself, make sure that you do not beat yourself up too much if you can’t get the pictures that you want, in the time that you want. It will of course take time to get you to the level of skill that you are going to want to have and that’s completely okay.
Of course, though, as there many things in life, there is a right way to do things, and bird photography definitely has a right way of doing what it does best. Whether you are new to this hobby, or simply need a refresher on what you should be doing in bird watching and photography. Both of which are completely okay, and is actually encouraged, we should always be learning and moving forward in our own personal lives, and society.
So, there are better ways to avoid doing the wrong things when you are taking photographs and there is a way that will take your pictures to the next level, which as you can imagine is something that any photographer of birds would want to have in their arsenal of skills.
You need to have the best ways that you can take your pictures that in a way will help you advance your hobby or even career, which is probably the reason that you decided to come to this deep dive analyze. So, for your convenience and pleasure, here is a conveniently compiled list of all the best ways to take photographs of birds.
Also, just a little note for you to keep in mind is that these tips, tricks, and improvements can be used for any type of wildlife, mainly animals and wildlife that are moving quite fast. Of course, though we will be focusing on birds, and the many wonders that can be captured with your camera.
Locating and finding Birds
Ok, to start out we need to find the birds that you are going to be taking your amazing pictures of. To do that you are gonna need to start with the most common birds, if you are new to this particular hobby. Just as other skills, jobs, and hobbies need to have a beginning, you need to start slowly and build up your skills in the field in order to progress in a functional way.
So, to find the amazing birds that you want to take a picture of, starting out at least, simply get up early in the morning, and go on a nice relaxing walk down your local trails and paths, you’ll be able to find dozens of birds that all are amazing in their own right.
Now, the reason that you should start with more common birds, like sparrows, finches, robins, etc. Even finches for sale need to be photographed. They are really good ones because they are easy to find at most times of the day, especially in the morning early as that’s when they are out and about most of the time, but they are also some of the best birds to take a picture of because they love to hang out on branches, and beams, and wires that you can find anywhere.
The average bird loves to just hang out, making it super easy for you find them, and then take an amazing shot, as they are perfectly still for you to find the right angle, and to find the absolute best lighting that you can with the bird that you found. Maybe if your super lucky, you could find more advanced birds, or more exotic ones on one of these fun little walks.
How to Approach Birds Without Scaring Them Off
Now, obviously, it isn’t great if the bird you’ve found, whether their ones you found on these amazingly relaxing walks or their ones that you’ve seen in more exotic settings, you don’t want to have these beautiful creatures fly off into the distance before you can take your perfect picture. There are certain things that you can do to avoid making them skittish and making them fly away before you get that just perfect, best shot at the best angle.
Keep in mind that there are tons and tons of ways that you can approach a bird in the wild and not scare it away, and there tons of different people that use tons of different methods. For these few that we’ll be talking about today though are the most generic, basic ways of doing things, something that shouldn’t be too difficult for you to imitate in your own progress in bird photography.
The key to figuring out how to approach a bird is to understand how a bird works what their ticks are, how they operate, and how they interact with the world that surrounds them at all times. All of these things that we’re going to be talking about are things that you should definitely keep in mind when you are out there in the wild.
The first and foremost thing that you should always consider when you are having fun with this amazing hobby is to make sure that you can the people and the animals surrounding you are all perfectly safe. Make sure that you are in a safe place for example, you don’t want to be caught in the middle of the forest during hunting season while you’re trying to have fun with your hobby.
Another thing of safety is to make sure that you are not in an area that contains dangerous wild animals, you don’t want to have a surprise run in with a wild grizzly bear, while that animal is a beautiful site to see, you won’t be thinking of that when it starts charging you. So, make sure that you keep your eyes open, and make sure that you keep an awareness of your surroundings.
Now, we’ve gotten past the safety warnings that you should definitely keep in mind always, we can continue on to how to actually approach a beautiful bird. All birds have a different tolerance levels, just like a human, and because of that they will all fly away depending on how close you get. For instance, a specific bird can have a tolerance of only two feet, meaning you have to stay away from it by at least two feet, another bird for instance can have a tolerance of fifty feet, you may not even get close enough to see it before it gets scared of you. So, some birds are very shy and some of them are extremely tolerable.
The key to getting closer to them is to understand how to make them feel safe and absolutely natural. The only way that you are going to learn how to get close to birds by making them feel safe, is by experience. Tons of experienced bird photographers have been able to get way past birds’ natural tolerance level and have even been able to take shots from almost a foot away.
All of those experts always say the same thing about this technique and how to best utilize it. They say that you simply need patience, which is something that tons of people don’t have in this line of work. Birds need to feel safe, and the way to do that is by moving extremely slowly, very extremely slowly, and to not look at the bird directly, which is how most animals feel about being safe. So, patience, slowly, and don’t look directly at them, and you should be able to get a pretty decent picture.
Taking the Perfect Picture
Moving on, we now have the arguably most important part of this entire analyze and guide into taking the best possible pictures of birds. For this you are going to need to have a decent knowledge of your equipment, how your camera functions, the settings on your camera, what kind of lens your using, etc. It’s very important that you know what your camera is and how you can use it in the best possible way, and its especially important to know those things when you’re taking these particular pictures, as the moments that you are taking will vanish in a blink of an eye.
First thing first, your camera needs to have an incredibly high shutter speed. If you don’t have a high shutter speed, then you are going to have a very blurry picture, and that’s not something that you are gonna want to have if you want a clear crisp picture. A great shutter speed to use would be 1/1000 to 1/1600, it works great for birds that are in midflight and moving at incredibly high speeds.
You can if you want to and are able use a lower shutter speed, but I wouldn’t really recommend it in most cases. You can use a lower shutter speed if the bird that you’re taking a picture of is standing still, or moving slowly at least, is a bigger bird, so you can have more pixels focused on the bird instead of the background, and it depends on how fast the bird is able to flap its wings. A great example of that would be the famous hummingbird, this bird can beat is wings a crazy eighty times per second. That’s insane, I mean, try and flap your finger in a second and see how slow you move in comparison to this amazing beautiful bird. To freeze a hummingbird’s wings, you should use a shutter speed of 1/1600, which is incredibly fast, but it will still only likely make the birds wings at least blurred.
The next thing that you should keep in mind when you are taking your shot is to focus on one of the eyes of the birds. One of the eyes of the bird should always been in focus, this will make your shot just in focus and clear. This will make your life a lot easier now that you have a specific part of the bird that you need to have your shot taken of.
So, we talked about tons of things that you are going to need to know in order to find the best ways to photograph birds. We covered a multitude of things that you will want to know, starting with how to find the birds that you are going to need to find for your shots. In that shot we also talked about the way you should start with more common and basic birds in order to have an easier time locating them.
In the next section we talked about how to approach birds and how to make sure that they don’t fly away to early before you can get your perfect shot. The key to getting close to a bird is by making sure to stay calm and patient, incredibly extremely patient, if you aren’t, then the bird will fly away before you have the chance to take the perfect picture.
The next and last thing that we talked about was taking the perfect picture. We explained that you should use higher shutter speeds and the potential effects that you can create using varying shutter speeds, depending on what kind of situation, area, and bird you’re taking the picture of.
Hopefully this list was helpful to you, and hopefully you were able to figure out how to perfect your craft in this amazing relaxing hobby that almost anybody could enjoy. Hopefully it was educational and that you had fun learning about this fascinating subject before you head out onto your next bird photography escapade.