I am no expert on taking pictures of birds, in fact I have just really started in the genre. Bird photography is one of the most popular areas of photography for beginner photographers. As a young boy I remember getting out the camera, film in those days and taking pictures of birds in my back garden.
Taking the picture is really easy, but getting a nice photograph at times can get tricky. So I have put together tips from my limited experience that is working for me. Bird photography is a ongoing learning curve, when you think you have cracked it, think again.
- Patience: Number one, it takes time, so be in a rush. It is a waiting game, but if you put the following tips in place that gem of a shot will come.
- Use your back garden: My your back garden bird user friendly. Build a bird feeding station to attract the birds to you. Build perches nearby the feeding station. So the birds can land on for you to take pictures before they feed.
- Know the Birds: Read all you can about birds, get to know their habits, how they feed, what time of the day do they feed. This is very important has a bird photographer, give you the opportunity to be ready to capture the perfect image.
- Camera Settings: The camera settings for best performance. Continuous drive to get off multi shots. This will maximize your chances of getting a nice shot. Set camera to AF-C for Nikon and AI Servo mode for Cannon. This will help the camera to continually focus and track the moving bird as long as the bird remains in AF-frame. Single point auto focus, set the AF point to the center, setting AF point expansion (Canon), Dynamic AF-Area mode (Nikon) will allow you to expand the Auto Focus Points, and thus make it easier to track a moving bird. I set the ISO to auto, the reason for this is sometimes the light may change, making it difficult to get the ISO setting correctly. Shutter speed, I use over 1/1000 of a second or even higher. Aperture set lowest as possible, f/2.8. My lenses don’t go that low so I use f/5.6.Use your camera to take movies of the birds, this has worked for me. A little tricky at first but the process is coming together.These are just a few basic tips that I have found work me, give them a try. You may need to play around with the settings to suit your own style.
My Camera Equipment, not expensive but does the job:
Nikon D300, D3200
Nikon Lens: 18-55mm, 55-300mm
I will post part two at a later date.