Bird Photography

One of the most popular genres of nature photography, and one of my biggest passions regarding photography, is bird photography. Photographing birds can be interesting but it can also be quite the challenging experience, too.

The Perfect Lens

The biggest jump into bird photography is the right lens. It’s recommended to use a lens that is at least 200mm long. I personally use a Nikon 70-300mm lens for my wildlife shots and I think it works great for taking close up photos without shoving the camera right into the birds face.

For a more long distance photograph, a minimum of 300-500mm telephoto would be ideal, along with a tripod if the lens becomes too heavy. If your photographing small birds in the garden, a remote trigger might be a good investment as a shorter lens is easily used. This idea does require patience, however.

For the Love of Birds

For those just entering the world of bird photography, it’s a good plan to start out at a local park, where the birds residing there are already used to people therefore making it easier to approach without scaring them off.

Here, we take a trip to Tropical Birdland in Desford, Leicester.


Birds are unpredictable

Birds can be unpredictable and with that, you need a fast shutter speed to capture every movement. The last thing any photographer wants is a blue blur of a wing. You want a nice crisp shot with the bird fully in focus and with minimal blur, unless the blur is intentional of course.

For a clean, crisp shot, I’d recommend a shutter speed of 1/1000th or faster. Don’t forget, your ISO must be high enough to match this shutter speed!

For these photographs, I used a Nikon D3200 with a 70-300mm lens but of course with a much faster camera, the photos could be a lot more crisp than mine.

Even plain birds are beautiful

In this shot, I was trying to take in the beauty of the fern-green bird but this creamy white bird wanted his time in the spotlight, too.

The bird doesn’t need bright and fluorescent feathers to make a great shot. Sometimes, a simple white bird with a splash of colour like red eyes or a yellow feather peaking through. Or maybe no extra colours at all!



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