Bird photos - Tips =]

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Eventer, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    I'd really love to get some good photos of birds, I recently got a biggger lens (75-300) so now I want to really concentrate on birds. but I need some tips. because...
    A) I'm not very stealthy and I cant get a shot off before they fly!
    B) Have trouble with birds sitting in trees and getting sharp shadows on them
    C) Unsure of what settings to shoot on

    I had a go at this fantail flying about, these birds are naturally quite friendly but they dont keep still for two seconds!! but unfortnatly got covered in a dark shadow from the tree. I know its not very good as its been cropped a bit, and I tried to brighten it a bit...
    but looking for any advice, Id like to get some birds in flight too, but I find that even harder!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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    If I were to go about catching bird shots I'd bring three things:

    1) My patience

    2) Beer

    3) A tripod to counteract the beer.

    But in all seriousness, I think patience is the most important thing. I'd sit near/under a tree (or any good vantage point you choose) and just wait. Wait for the bird(s) or other critters to come to you. Find a few good branches or spots that have proper lighting, take a few sample shots, and wait for them to fly into or land on that spot. If it doesn't happen, well at least you've enjoyed nature for a while and got some sun!

    Also, check out the Nature photography section in this forum for tips and other people's shots. PM some of the guys/gals and ask them what their technique is. That's what I would do anyway. Wish I could help more...
     
  3. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for that!
    Im going to have a go tommorow I think. patience probably my downfall yes, Need to learn to be much more patient! There a few native birds that hang around our place everynow and then, Keen to keen some Tuis, wood pigeons etc they make great photos and they are coloured so nicely :D
    Awesome ill go check out the Nature section now :D
     
  4. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    I would try to shoot in bright light and use a tripod or a monopod. A ball head would probably be more useful on your tripod to allow faster and more precise movement when tracking the birds. Try to shoot in bright light so that you can also use a fast shutter speed ( especially during any handheld shots ) and still be able to keep your ISO under 800. It will also take some patience. A tip if you want some quick practice. Look up and see if there are any bird sanctaries/preserves around you. I just found one this weekend. Lived here for 6 years and never realized it was there. I will probably post some of the pics this weekend, but it was my first attempt at birds also.
     
  5. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    oh that actually a really good idea, i live close to "the Kiwi house" Which is a native bird santuary. Might go alog, + We live right alog side a river so ducks always hapd around there. Might go duck stalking soo I think.
    As far as tripods go I only have a flexi little "gorrila pod" Though its not actually a gorillapod, its a copy haha, $20 Score!! hahaha. So i dont know if th=at would be good enough?
     
  6. MAV90

    MAV90 TPF Noob!

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    It's hard to shoot birds (in a photographic sense) in the wild with a smaller lens, unless shooting birds in an environment where birds are used to humans, for example: seagulls, pelicans, etc. From what I've learned you would like to make sure you're out early while the sun is is giving off a softer light, when the sun gets hotter it becomes much harder to photograph birds. Even with soft light you can use a faster shutter speed to stop motion while a bird is in flight. Also birds give off some awkward shadows with their beaks and other body parts, the bright hot sun doesn't help that. You also want to try to use rule of thirds, instead of having the bird in your photo look out of the picture, you want the bird looking into the picture. Don't be afraid to get on your belly either and get at eye level with the bird, remember early bird gets the worm.
     
  7. Eventer

    Eventer TPF Noob!

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    Yep the sun is one of my main issues, and shooting birds which definatly arnt used to humans makes the job even harder unfortunatly, hence why I have to pull out my stealthy ninja skills! :lol:
    If birds were friendly It would make the job heaps easier!
    I went out this morning and wandered through the paddocks with my camera but didnt relly get anything...
    Except this... She followed me around haha! - My "bird" shot for the day!
    [​IMG]
     

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