One of the most popular subjects to photograph for amateur photographers is birds. I only have experience with shooting birds that pretty much stay still; like at the zoo or the geese from my previous post "When the Clouds do Not Cooperate".
The best time of the day to shoot birds would be when the sun is high in the sky, the more light the better. Usually when shooting outside, bright sun light is the last thing that you want because of the high contrast and sun spots that can sneak into your photographs. But while photographing subjects that can move pretty fast, the bright sun can give you the ability to use high shutter speeds between 1/1000 of a second to 1/8000 of a second depending on what kind of camera you have. Higher shutter speeds allow you to freeze a bird in the air and avoid motion blur.
I also set my camera to record at its maximum FPS (Frames Per Second). The benefit of using faster FPS is so that you have a higher probability of keeper shots. Such as the image where the bird has its mouth open or the cover image of the bird in flight. If you have the capability then switch your camera to continuous focus so that your camera will continue to focus on moving objects. Make sure you turn it off when your object is stationary or your may focus on something you didn't intend to focus on.
One of the most important equipment when photographing birds would be what lens you are using. I used a Nikkor 70-200mm on a Nikon D300, with the cropped sensor the maximum zoom equals 300mm. Since birds tend to stay farther away from you, the extra distance that you can get with a good zoom lens makes all of the difference. But if you are using a lens with ("VR" Vibration Reduction for Nikon, or "IS" Image Stabilization for Canon) then turn that feature OFF! The mechanism will work against you when you are panning your camera to get those shots of the birds in flight. The same goes when you are shooting motorsports, other fast paced sports "football", and airplane shows.
I am satisfied with the results that I was able to get being the first time shooting birds. I really enjoyed the experience and definitely intend to continue photographing birds, the only challenge being where to find more interesting specimens than the robins in my backyard.
Let me know what you think of the images. If you know where some interesting birds can be found around the Akron, Ohio area post and let me know where.
Click on the images to enlarge them...
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I am a family portrait and real estate photographer based out of Akron and Canton Ohio. I love what I do and enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences to those who care. Throughout this blog you can read all about my photographic adventures whether its from a current body of work or vacations with my family.
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