Travel Photography 101 12.5/18

5 09 2008

Confessions, musings and tips from a snap-happy wanderer.

The Hummingbird: renowned for never being able to remember the words.   (Elliot Lake, Ontario)

Early worm gets the bird.

 

Actually, you don’t have to be a worm or even get up early to photograph birdlife, but you do need the patience of a Venus Fly Trap and the skill of a Bald Eagle to get photos that will make you happy. Birds are generally small, always shy and often fast moving. You may get lucky and grab a few snaps just by being at the right place at the right time, but unless you’re a professional with a mega-jumbo lens, a well-made hide and the expertise of an ornithologist, there’s no guarantee of success at all. However, you can improve your chances of capturing your prey on mega-pixels or celluloid by knowing where they feed, where they nest or sit, and what time of day is best. All of this can be found in common bird identification books or online. Failing that, if you’re using a bird feeder as a lure but want your photos to look more wild and less domestic, choose your angle carefully and try to snap them as they approach or leave the feeder… or crop the photos afterwards.

 

So, pick your spot to ensure that the light is in the best possible place (ie not directly in front of you), wear a hat if it’s summer or a warm jacket if it’s not, bring a bottle of water, make yourself comfortable, ready your camera, take a chill pill and wait for the subject to come to you.

 

Photo and post by: Simon Vaughan

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