Top tips for pho­tograph­ing gar­den birds

Amateur Photographer - - Technique Bird Photography Tips -

Put feed­ers out

Win­ter is the best time to feed your gar­den birds. Put some feed­ers out with a va­ri­ety of foods, such as sun­flower hearts, peanuts and niger seeds (goldfinches love these).

Po­si­tion perches

Once you have birds reg­u­larly com­ing to your feed­ers, po­si­tion some perches nearby so they will land there on their ap­proach, or while wait­ing for the feeder to be­come free.

Back­grounds

When po­si­tion­ing perches, think about what back­ground you want, and ad­just ac­cord­ingly. If you can­not get a clear back­ground, you could con­sider us­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial back­ground such as a print out of muted green or other colours.

Use sea­sonal props

There are a huge range of perches you can use, from var­i­ous branches, to more ar­ti­fi­cial items like wa­ter­ing cans and gar­den tools. Be cre­ative.

Think about light

Try to po­si­tion your­self so the ear­ly­morn­ing sun will be over your shoul­der, show­ing off your sub­ject per­fectly.

Ex­per­i­ment with light

Try shoot­ing into the sun too, for dra­matic re­sults that are a bit dif­fer­ent.

Widean­gle lens

A re­mote re­lease and widean­gle lens can give a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive, show­ing the birds in the con­text of their en­vi­ron­ment.

Tri­pod

Place your cam­era on a tri­pod and be ready in an in­stant when birds ap­pear at your set- up.

Bird be­hav­iour

Un­der­stand­ing bird be­hav­iour will help im­prove your im­ages. Make sure your perches fit with the sub­ject’s nat­u­ral be­hav­iour, to keep your im­ages look­ing nat­u­ral.

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