If you’re like me you probably seldom, if ever, use the small pop-up flash that is on your camera. I’ve had my Nikon 1 V3 for a couple of months now and it has become my dedicated birding and nature camera. My wife and I were recently on a very short vacation in British Columbia and I had an unexpected opportunity to photograph some hummingbirds. Unfortunately the feeders that the birds were frequenting were under permanent canopies that created very dark lighting conditions. After trying to shoot some very high ISO images without any success I decided to put the pop-up flash on my Nikon 1 V3 to the test. Since I had never used this pop-up flash before I shrugged and thought, “Well…either it will work or it won’t.”
In this in-depth Wildlife Photography Tutorial, we put together some of the best material we have published to date on photographing wildlife. Most of the information comes from myself (Robert Andersen), but a few extra tips are shared by other talented PL team members like Tom Redd. Instead of creating separate articles on each topic, we thought it would be a good idea to compile everything into a single piece, so that our readers could get the best out of it and have a chance to follow the material in a logical progression. This tutorial is a work in progress and we will be adding more sections in the future, so make sure to bookmark it in your browser!
Over the past few months I’ve been getting more and more emails from people doing some investigation of smaller sensor, mirrorless camera systems like Micro 4/3 and Nikon 1. Quite a few of them are like me in that they are seniors, or soon-to-be seniors, with an interest in bird photography. Most are looking for a smaller, lighter system that they can use for extended periods of time, rather than having to lug heavy DSLR bodies and lenses around.
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.
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.
Like many folks after I’ve been working hard, either physically or mentally, I like to grab a camera and relax by capturing a few images. This afternoon I finished building a ‘honey-do’ project in the backyard and I had a little bit of available time. So, I grabbed one of my cameras and headed off to Hendrie Valley where I spent an interesting hour capturing some images of birds in flight.
For most folks who enjoy photographing wildlife in general, and birds-in-flight in particular, having additional ‘reach’ with their gear is always preferred. I was out yesterday morning attempting to capture some Purple Martin in flight and came to the realization that sometimes shorter is better.
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!