Discover how to take your bird photography soaring to higher levels by learning how to take sharp, well focused shots, how to make the best use of lighting, how to get your exposure right, how to compose your shot, and the easiest places to get started.
It is the fastest growing part of wildlife photography - Whether it’s photographing birds in flight, capturing the magnificence of a Tawny owl near dusk ...
... or a humble house sparrow in your backyard (a great place to start) ...
If you're a "birder" and also have a passion for photography then what can be better than combining the two?
You'll find that every bird photograph you take is always different. Whether it's a new bird, a new behaviour, or a new environment that you haven't photographed them in before.
It's fairly easy to take a technically correct shot of a bird but
something else to turn it into a work of art. By reading and
acting on the advice below, you can do this!
Photographing birds is challenging because......
So, where do you start?
Firstly, know the basics of bird photography so that you know what you're aiming at whenever you're out photographing birds. Take the time to read this article and master the basics. You'll discover how to bring the birds eyes to life with a catchlight and how to get the perfect head angle.
Secondly, learn how to take sharp well-focused shots. When you can take a photo of a bird with pin sharp focus on the eye, it goes a long way towards getting a shot that will impress. I can't emphasise this enough.
Don't miss a thing! Get the best views of wildlife through the wildlife photography newsletter.
As a thank you for subscribing you'll get a free e-book with some great tips and photos.
As a second thank you you'll get access to free desktop wallpapers to inject some wildlife into your computer.
Once you're confident with the basics and can take sharp well-focused photos you should master lighting, composition and exposure. Taking your photo with the best lighting, the bird framed correctly and keeping detail in the shadows without blowing the highlights is the final ingredient for a perfect shot.
OK, so you know how to take the picture but where and when do you take it?
Knowing your subject will help you to get the best photos by being in the right place at the right time. If you don't know where to go to find them or don't know how they behave then you won't get a good shot.
Once you know everything about them, you need to know how to get close.
There are three ways to get close to birds ... attracting them, stalking them and hiding from them. I use all three methods all of the time.
One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of bird photography is to photograph them when they're doing what they do best ... Flying.
Flock of Waxwings taken during the beautiful golden light at sunrise.
Exposure: 1/1250s at f/8, ISO 50, Focal Length: 500mm, Lens: Canon EF500mm f/4 IS USM, Camera: Canon EOS 1D mkII
Many photography skills will need to come together at the same time, so take a look at our birds in flight section and you'll soon have some great images of them framed and hanging on your wall.
Finally, I'd like to briefly mention ethical photography. This is something that is very important to me. Wherever you go and whatever you do when photographing birds it's important to be ethical:
In summary - "Take Only Photographs ... Leave Only Footprints".
Did you enjoy this page about bird photography? Then check out the following related articles:
Lighting, Composition and Exposure
Discover how to make the best use of lighting, achieve perfect composition and expose your images correctly on this page of bird photography tips.
Photographing Birds in Flight is one of the most challenging parts of wildlife photography. Here you will discover everything you need to know to take stunning flight shots of birds - how to focus and expose correctly, what makes good composition, how birds behave in flight and the importance of wing position.
Know Your Birds - Understanding bird behaviour will result in much more exciting images, showing different aspects of their behaviour. Get to know why birds do what they do.
Getting Closer To Birds - No matter how big a lens you have, you will always need to get closer! Discover exactly how to do this.
Photographing Birds in your Backyard - A great way to get some amazing shots of wild birds!