Bird Photography

Simple method for photographing Flycatchers in action

One of the most fun experiences in birding and bird photography is watching flycatchers hit the water to grab insects. Unfortunately, it is usually only that – an experience. Actually capturing photos of the birds in action is one of the hardest tasks in wildlife photography. It is possible (just barely) to do it by actually tracking the birds, if you have the right gear and just the right setup and background. But most of the time, that simply isn’t an option. However, there is a fairly simple set of steps you can take to give yourself a chance at getting some interesting images, and maybe even some really good ones if you are persistent enough. We experimented with it on our recent Texas bird photo workshop with some good successes. Here is what you need to do:

Texas bird photo trifecta: Pro tips, live presentation, and discounts on our April South Texas workshop and ProShow software

We’ve got all sorts of goodies today for bird photographers. First, I’ve written up some of my favorite “pro” tips for bird photographers in a (makers of ProShow, our favorite slide show software). Photodex also put together a cool video from some of the shots from our previous South Texas bird photo workshops to accompany the blog post.

And tonight (Wednesday, February 3rd) I’ll be speaking (and showing illustrative images, with plenty of tips and tidbits of advice) on South Texas Bird photography at the Bay Area Bird Photographers meeting (7:30pm at the Palo Alto Baylands). It is free and open to all. I hope you can join us! (Meeting info at the end of this article).

Pro tip: When and why to use a tripod

Photographers have all sorts of opinions about tripods. Some won’t use them, some won’t shoot without them, and most of us use one sometimes. Especially with image stabilization and high-ISO options on modern digital cameras, tripods are not as essential, nor do they need to be as heavy, as they used to be. But they still provide value in many cases – some obvious and some not so obvious. It is worth going over the advantages of using a tripod so you can make an informed decision for yourself:

Wildlife Photos: Subject + Light + Background–Painted Bunting

When most people think of wildlife photos – whether of Mammals, Birds, or Reptiles – they think of the subject. But there is a lot more to making a compelling photograph of an animal in nature than the subject. Light plays an essential role, for starters. Dull, drab, images are seldom capable of commanding our attention. Backgrounds, while under-rated, are also key. All three came together in this image of a Painted Bunting from our Hill Country bird photo workshop this week. Each element plays a role…

South Texas Birds--Rio Grande Valley Private Ranches April, 2017

Date: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 18:00 to Monday, May 1, 2017 - 08:00

[Maximum 6 photographers, Spots open]

LAST-MINUTE SALE: $400 Off this popular workshop!

This Harris Hawk image from our Rio Grande Valley Photo Safari won the Grand Prize in the 2012 National Wildlife Federation Photo CompetitionFor the avid bird photographer, nowhere in North America is better than the top private ranch photography in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Photographer-friendly blinds sited in a natural environment make for some of the best woodland and desert bird photography anywhere. We're returning for our 8th year, with another top-of-the-line small-group workshop this year. Once again we'll also be hosted right on the ranches, with excellent accommodations, home cooking, a big-screen TV for teaching and looking for images, and an air-conditioned lounge area for relaxing and editing between shooting sessions.

Insure Your Flight Shots by Following a Plan

It's easy to get excited about great, close-up flight images. But not as easy to duplicate them. One mistake many photographers make is to zoom in as far as they can right away and desparately try to focus on the bird--often against a mottled background. They would probably be better off just taking a deep breath and making a plan to work their way into the shooting opportunity.

[flickr-photo:id=4167200979,size=-]

GearGuide: Digital Cameras for Bird Photographers

More and more birders are becoming interested in photography. To go beyond the limitations of digiscoping (limited low light capability, tricky auto-focus, limited panning or ability to capture action, etc.) requires a fairly serious investment in a camera body and lenses. In this section of our exclusive GearGuide we'll cover tips for what to look for in a camera body...

GearGuide: Camera Lenses for Bird Photography

Even more important to excellent bird photography than having the right camera is having the right lens. There is no point in purchasing that dream camera body and crippling yourself with a cheap lens. In the 8 years I've been leading digital photo safaris I've had the chance to use or at least see used just about every likely lens made for Nikon and Canon camera bodies and have plenty of hopefully useful thoughts to share with you:

DPS 7-04: Hot Deal on Nikon D700, Sigma 120-400mm Lens Field Test, Camera Straps, SpyderCube, Lensbaby Composer and more...

Welcome to DPS 7-04--the nikondigital.org newsletter.We've got some great new product announcements and updates as well as the results of our Sigma Lens field test for you in this issue, plus an upgrade to our November Botswana Safari and an announcement of our Texas Bird Photo Safari for next April. Mixed in you'll find some useful photo tips we picked up in Texas this April.