Birds can be one of the most exciting and attractive subjects for photography for a lot of people. After all, they are colourful, gorgeous and there is just such a magnificent aura around them all the time. However, bird photography can be tricky, especially for beginners.
It can’t be the same as nature photography as birds are constantly on the move. You need to have a deep understanding of how birds live and behave. There is just so much more than buying a good camera, as there are a lot of other factors to consider.
So, let us know about some useful tips for bird photography for beginners!
- Get closer to them without them knowing
If the birds get to know that you are somewhere close to them, they may hide somewhere or fly away quickly. So, it is necessary that you hide or conceal yourself in some way. You can either use public blinds, available in some bird sanctuaries and national parks. But, there is often a sort of competition for those as everyone is trying to get one. Or you can be careful while stalking them. You can wear colours that go with the environment, mask anything that creates reflection, and watch every move of the bird slowly, so as not to get caught.
- Camera and lens
Any good DSLR camera lets you take great pictures. In the end, it all comes down to the model you are using. There are some models which are faster and let you capture quite a number of frames within one second, while there are some models which are comparatively slower and you just need to be patient with them. As far as the camera lens is concerned, a lens that is 400 mm or higher is the most useful.
- Light has to be right
Having the correct light setting is very important when it comes to bird photography. Try to click pictures in the morning or in the afternoon. That is the best time for photographing birds. There is a soft light during this time of the day and the birds are also out and active. You can see the real colours of the bird during these hours and also there are no unnecessary shadows or anything. The birds glow and you get your perfect click!
- Composition is important
The composition is very important when it comes to clicking good pictures. Every frame needs to convey something. You need to look at every single thing in the frame minutely. Try and avoid background clutter. You should also use the basic composition techniques such as filling the frame, rule of thirds and using the backdrop to its maximum potential. You can usually crop the photographs to fill the frame.
- You need to tell a story
Bird photography, wildlife photography or any kind of photography is all about telling a story. You cannot just click random pictures without conveying anything. Try to say something specific with every shot. It can be a quiet moment that a bird is spending with its children or you can capture it while it is flying away in its full glory. A picture with a story like this gets the attention of the viewers easily.
- See the world from a bird’s view
We humans, obviously see the world from a higher view than a bird, when it is on the ground. In such a case, if you click the bird pictures standing, you would never get an intimate portrait of a bird. Try to go down to the level of a bird and then take the shot. This would give you their eye-view and you would, in a way, become a part of their world. Also, since you would not be moving a lot, the birds would not get scared and fly away. It might be a bit uncomfortable to go so low and photograph the birds initially, but it is definitely worth it!
- Photograph them during their flight
Birds look the most magnificent when they are flying. There is something very majestic about a bird flying away in all its beauty and splendour. So, if you want to get a really cool shot, capture them during their flight. It might not be easy in the beginning, but you will learn. Start with larger birds at first, as they are easier to track than smaller birds and they are not very quick in their movements either. Also, know about the flight patterns of a bird by following them for some time. Remember that if there is a group of birds together, chances are that if one bird flies, the others will join in.
- Catch them in action
Catching the birds in action will always make for great and interesting pictures. It would be just like getting a candid shot of the humans. But, catching them in action is not that easy. If they get to know that you are nearby, they become alert and do not behave the way they usually do. Try to hide or conceal yourself in some way so that they don’t see you. Early morning or late afternoon is a good time to capture the birds in action. Also, do enough research to know enough about the birds you are out to capture. Photographing a bird when they are hungry is comparatively easier as chances are that they won’t take much notice of you. But, always remember to stay away and not cause any sort of disturbance to them.
Also Read: The Best Binoculars for Bird-Watching!