Lots of folks enjoy watching and taking pictures of birds. One of the great things about these animals is that you can usually find birds to photograph most anywhere—in your backyard (stopping for a bite to eat at a bird feeder, or resting on a tree branch), at a wildlife sanctuary, zoo or aviary, or even when travelling. Many birds are made up of beautiful colors and their plumage makes them ideal subjects. Also, don’t forget about the larger birds that can’t fly—like the ostrich, emu, penguin and domestic turkey (wild turkeys and chickens can fly!). Read on for a few tips to help you photograph them more successfully…
Birds are like most small animals that don’t like to be approached, so you’ll want to use the longest telephoto or zoom lens that you own. If you have to tell the viewer where (or what) the subject is, you’re probably too far away. For those of you using one of Nikon’s D-SLR’s with a DX-format image sensor, with its cropped view, can make that telephoto give you a tighter image.
When approaching birds, think about what they’re familiar with. If you’re walking on a trail, they’ll almost certainly fly away as soon as you get close. At an outdoor sanctuary, they’re more likely to be accustomed to cars driving through. They may remain if you stop the car, so in that case, try shooting from the car, using the window frame as a brace to steady the camera (lower the window first). Be sure to turn off the car’s engine, or the vibration may cause blur in the photo.
Sometimes though, certain birds will become so used to the presence of humans, that they will let you come closer than normal. Pigeons in big cities, sea gulls at the coast, and ducks, geese and swans on bodies of water often venture closer if you’re patient. Even with birds such as these, keep your distance from mommy birds with her chicks, because she will act protective if she feels their babies are in harm’s way. For more tips and the rest of the article, click here.