Shoot­ing ad­vice

Amateur Photographer - - Technique -

On coasts, waders will of­ten work their way in one di­rec­tion along the shore­line. This means that with a bit of plan­ning, im­ages can be ob­tained with­out dis­turb­ing the birds. Watch from a dis­tance to see which way they are go­ing, then move ahead of them and position your­self so they are com­ing to­wards you. I’ve of­ten found that if you are ly­ing pros­trate on the ground, birds are much less both­ered than when you are stand­ing up. Look­ing at tide times is also im­por­tant when shoot­ing at the coast.

I al­ways like to pho­to­graph wildlife from their level, and it’s no dif­fer­ent with waders. The re­sult­ing im­ages are far more in­ti­mate. Dif­fuse fore­grounds and backgrounds mean the sub­ject re­ally stands out. Oys­ter­catch­ers will pro­vide a range of dif­fer­ent im­ages, from in­di­vid­ual birds feed­ing to flocks roost­ing at high tide to­gether. Birds will of­ten fly up and down the coast, giv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to pho­to­graph them in flight, and at high tide, large flocks can be pushed onto in­land gravel pits. This gives the chance to pho­to­graph huge flocks as they wheel around to­gether in the sky. Ex­per­i­ment with slow shut­ter speeds and mo­tion blur. Try to keep your cam­era track­ing the bird as well as pos­si­ble though, to keep the head sharp.

Oys­ter­catch­ers of­ten fly up and down the coast Nikon D800, 400mm, 1/4000sec at f/7.1, ISO 500

At high tide, large flocks will gather Nikon D850, 400mm, 1/8000sec at f/6.3, ISO 1600

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