If you thought trying to catch a running big cat was difficult, try using a zoom lens to focus perfectly on a bird, only to have it fly off just as you click the shutter.
For some, bird photography comes easily. But for others, it can quite literally feel like rocket science. Finding a subject that will stand out instead of completely blend into the background, finding the right lighting and thinking about the overall composition becomes a lot more intricate when your subject is small and prone to moving away at the worst possible moment.
Bird photography is an art and as such it often becomes something that wildlife photographers will specialise in as they invest in specialised in equipment to capture bird images.
Whether you are booking an African photo safari and you are looking for a few tips to help you get great snaps, or if you are just interested in advancing your skills, we have some tips you might find helpful.
Because birds are usually quite small and because they can get a bit lost in the scene, when you are deciding on the subject you should figure out how to isolate the subject so that it stands out. To do this, you should decide what you can leave out of the image and what aspects of the scene will contribute to making something beautiful.
In all of the images you shoot, you should always aim to be as original as possible, so that you work stands out from the millions of photos being created every day. Experiment with different angles, with interesting subjects, and with compositions that have not been tried before. When in nature you can also look out for unusual behaviour.
Much like birders who will spend a whole day sitting in a bird hide waiting patiently to see something, when you are trying to take bird photos, you will need to be patient as well. Instead of chasing after birds, and almost certainly scaring them away, you should let the birds come to you. This means you might need to be committed to dedicating a couple of hours to just sitting and waiting for the bird.
Some of the best captures when it comes to bird photography is that inflight shot. A magnificent eagle or hawk taking off from a kill or just gliding through the air makes for a memorable image but it can only be achieved when you know what your shutter speeds are capable of doing. And remember, the higher the shutter speed, the darker the image.
Camera modes are important for all sorts of reasons and you need to be comfortable with your options before trying to photograph a tricky subject. Aperture priority and manual mode are both excellent for bird photography and both are great for creating a unique image.
At Wild Photo Africa we can take you on that safari of a lifetime. Browse our packages online or contact us today for more information.