See them soar
Jason Parnell-Brookes takes you under his wing to show you how to photograph flocks of birds swirling gracefully though the skies
Capture the graceful shapes of flocks of birds swirling over gorgeous scenery at dusk with our camera technique tips
From time to time, many of us flit into bird photography, whether it’s while looking out of the window into the garden or on a more deliberate trip, such as a falconry experience day. But rarely do most people plan ahead for more than a few shots; often getting what they can on the day after playing around with settings.
Bird photography might sound difficult, but with a plan and the right camera settings you can get great photos. If you find a popular location and arrive a little early to set up, you can nail fantastic shots in just an hour or so.
Here we’re being ambitious, by photographing a whole swooping and swirling flock of birds. The hypnotising shapes that starling murmurations make at dusk are famous, but plenty of other bird species also create wonderful fluid patterns as they fly in a flock, so these tips work in any area and at any time of year.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to camera settings, yet there are some valuable key settings to aim for, which we’ll explain. Take along atelephoto zoom lens with a fast aperture so you can get in close on those faraway birds, and follow our simple tips to help to make your photography take flight…
Plenty of bird species create wonderful fluid patterns as they fly in a flock