Blog Archive

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thoughts on Bird Photography

Wedgetailed Eagle on road kill Central Australia

Little Corellas flying alongside our car Central Australia

Galahs in late afternoon light Central Australia

by Geoff Thompson

Bird Photography is one of the great challenges of photography.

We have all been impressed by the marvellous Bird studies by famous
Professional Photographers and think how great it would be to get similar

In the new age of digital photography it is now a lot easier to get great photos of just about any subject. Birds included.

Digital SLR cameras when coupled with zoom lenses can bring you right in close to wildlife and the magnification factor of the digital sensor actually increases the power of the zoom.

Many of the Digital Cameras now have Image Stabilization built into the camera or lens which means you can hand hold the camera a lot more successfully.

Couple this with multi point autofocus and all you need to do is study your subject and practice! practice! practice!

The modern digital movie camera also means that you have a whole new world open to you with photography. Many of the new Digital video Cameras are also offering a high megapixel digital still feature which means you can capture stills and video on the same camera.
Also now we have digital slr’s and also compact digital cameras that are offering full HD Video.

For the birdwatcher photographer this almost gives you the complete package. You can capture movement and sound of the birds and choose individual frames for printing off a still image of your choice.

You can then make a cd recording of birdsong from the video tape and when coupled with a computer and video editing you can create your own
wildlife documentaries or relaxation videos.
Birds of course are found just about anywhere and a place without birds would be similar to living on the moon.
Another good thing about birds is that they are most active in mornings and late afternoons when the light is the best for photography.

So what do we need to get into bird photography?

1.    A knowledge of bird behaviour, types and habitats  is something that needs to be acquired.
2.    A good bird identification field guide is essential.The beauty of digital capture is that you can look at your shots later and identify what you have “captured”
3.    A pair of binoculars would be helpful.
4.    A tripod used to be of some help but less so now with optical stabilisation built into the camera   body  or lenses on some digital slr’s
5.    Time.
6.    A Digital SLR Camera with a Telephoto Zoom Lens.Film is still good if you can afford it but it is  not as convenient.
7. You can now get very good Bird Indentification Apps for your phone or ipad.In Australia there is one by Michael Morecombe and also a good one by Pizzey and Knight. Other countries have their own apps. These apps also give you the audio of birds' calls.Great to have with you when out and about.

Bird Watchers and Bird Photographers come to Australia before you get too old.

1 comment:

  1. Hi friends,

    Bird photography is one of the most challenging types of nature photography. Wild birds are often difficult to approach and they never stay in one place for long. Due to the small size and fast-paced behavior of songbirds, large telephoto lenses are often required and expensive, fast-focusing camera bodies are usually needed. Thanks for sharing it.....

    Wildlife Photography