It has been well over a year since we held our first reader event at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, Canada. We are planning another reader event at the facility on Saturday February 11th. I’ll be there before the attraction opens to the public at 9:30 AM so attendees will have some ‘meet and greet’ time.
In the past, bird photography was reserved for those with very deep pockets. With long prime lenses costing more than $8000, their high prices excluded those of us with more modest budgets from the party. However, with the advent of relatively inexpensive super-zoom lenses from Sigma and Tamron, and even some from the mirrorless camera makers, it is much easier to get into bird photography these days. In this article, I want to give you some bird photography tips for creating compelling images of these beautiful creatures. I will talk briefly about gear but will focus more on the techniques for capturing great images of birds.
Making a change to one’s camera kit is always a good reason to go out to get some practice using it outside and indoors. I went out to Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls Ontario a few days ago with my Nikon 1 V3 and CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens to practice my hand-holding technique photographing birds using slower shutter speeds.
I recently made a couple of changes to my photography gear which resulted in me adding a Nikon 1 V3 to my kit and selling my J4 with WP-N3 waterproof housing. I wanted to put my new acquisition to the test and decided to photograph some water birds. So, I headed off to La Salle Park in Burlington Ontario as I had heard that there was over a thousand birds at that location. While the winter is often drab and dull, photographing birds can still be a very enjoyable outing.
My apologies for being silent here at Photography Life for over a month! I’ve been away on an extended holiday/field trip in New Zealand with my wife, and our busy schedule didn’t allow time to prepare any new articles for Photography Life. While the vast majority of our New Zealand photography focused on landscape images for our planned photography e-book, I did have the chance to capture a selection of photographs of various marine birds and mammals during our trip.
Being married to a university professor has its advantages (and disadvantages, but this is not the time or place…), the most important being the international conferences and research trips. After-all, if one airline ticket and hotel is already paid for, it makes sense to buy another ticket and make a holiday of it, right? So when my wife announced a research visit to Chile in 2013, I didn’t need much encouragement to join her once most of her work was done. The only condition was that she would still need to spend several days of our time together working, and during that time I would be her “official photographer”. Since these “work days” would be at abandoned nitrate mines in the middle of the Atacama desert, you might wonder what the attraction was – but the prospect of “leisure” days looking at volcanoes, salt lakes and mountains soon persuaded me.
I decided to take a small break from my client video work this week and went to Bird Kingdom for a few hours to take a few practice images. [Read more…]
I’ve been quite busy with client work lately and I decided that I needed a break. So, today I headed out to photograph birds-in-flight with my Nikon 1 J5. As most folks know, this camera does not have a viewfinder, so I used four, thick elastic bands to attach my Zacuto Z-Finder to the rear of the J5. It ended up being reasonably snug against the back of the camera. While not particularly elegant looking, it did get the job done.
In today’s digital photography age, most novice bird photographers are happy just capturing a bird portrait with their cameras. After a while, the natural progression is to try and capture some action shots of birds in flight, but that is where most avian photographers struggle. Why? The answer is quite simple; they don’t have enough shutter speed!
I had a small break in my hectic schedule today and I used it to spend a bit of time at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls capturing some high ISO test images with my Nikon 1 J5. While I wouldn’t normally use ISO-6400 for all of my images purposely, I did so today at Bird Kingdom. As you look at the sample images some of the EXIF data will look quite strange in terms of using a high ISO setting along with a fairly fast shutter speed. These rather bizarre settings are simply products of the test conditions and my goal to purposely shoot at ISO-6400. [Read more…]