Photography is a powerful tool, but it can also be intimidating. The more you practice and the more you explore your options, the more you realize how much there is to learn. That does not mean you should stop learning, though. There are many ways to improve your photography and to ensure that you are doing it right. Here are five tips to help you start out on the right foot when it comes to bird photography.
- Use a tripod or monopod
When people think of great photographers, they often think of spectacular shots of exotic locations and iconic celebrities. But what about the photos that are taken every day, the snapshots that show just how simple photography can be? If you want to take great photos of birds, you can start with a simple tool: the tripod or monopod. These small, feathered creatures are the most challenging subject to photograph, but they are also some of the most rewarding. A tripod will let you use long exposures and maintain focus. If you are in a hurry, use an app like Focal, which will let you set a timer and determine when you need to snap the photo.
- Make use of shutter priority mode
Before taking a photo, make sure you have the right conditions. This can mean adjusting the aperture, the shutter speed, and even the ISO. Use these different settings to get the right exposure, control the depth of field, and get the perfect photo opportunity. This camera mode (also referred to as program mode) will help you capture sharp photos. When the sun shines, and the birds are singing, it is easy to miss the subtle details in the scenery. Therefore, a useful technique is to use a slow shutter speed to show the motion of the birds in the sky. The best type of scene to do this with is when the birds are flying directly overhead. This allows you to use a slow shutter speed to freeze moving objects in motion.
- Get the perfect timing and location.
For some, photography is a passion; it is a hobby for others. Either way, both artistry, and photography have a lot in common. Like the best art, photography requires patience, perseverance, and a little practice to achieve the desired result. When shooting birds, one of the most important things you can do is get the perfect timing and location. This is often a challenge for bird photographers because birds are typically active during the day, and this makes it difficult to find the best location, but noticing their patterns and reading up on specific birds can help with planning out what to do.
- Background should be clean and simple.
A bird photographer’s goal is to get the shot, and this does not always mean the bird itself. You might be getting the bird, but what makes the shot is what you see behind the bird. A background that is busy or distracting will ruin your shot. This is why you want to shoot from a spot that is not cluttered and is free of any distractions that will draw the eye away from the bird.
- Cover with a green or brown cloth to hide the camera.
Get your camera set up in a place you know fills with birds as you never know what you could capture. Some birds are very happy to see you, while others may get spooked and fly away if you make your presence known. Do not get frustrated, you will get the shot you want, it just takes time and patience. One of the most important tips to get the best quality pictures of birds has always been to be quiet. Being quiet will allow you to pay attention to the environment, which will allow you to take the best possible pictures. You may want to consider getting a bird camera as a new bird photographer. Many of them come with a built-in tripod and a remote shutter release, but that is not all you need. You need a decent quality lens and a lens hood, too.
Bird photography is a wonderful hobby that many people enjoy, but not many people can make a living from it. It takes quite a few years to become good at it, and it takes patience to get a good shot.