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.
A little less then a year ago I posted an article at PL detailing the itinerary of a day in Yellowstone National Park. Since that article I had the pleasure of revisiting the park during my yearly foray to the land of “fire and brimstone.” The reason I visit the first National Park of the United States history every year is for a project I have undertaken to document the change of seasons that occurs there every autumn. Yellowstone National Park has many faces to go along with its four distinct seasons. The frozen wasteland of winter gives way to new life and the rains of spring, and as May turns into June, the simmering heat of summer overtakes the park. And yet, it is Yellowstone’s shortest season (Fall) which offers the most intrigue with its unpredictable weather patterns and the unique behavior of its wildlife.
Colorado has been my home for the past 20 years. Having had the chance to travel all over the USA for photography and other personal and professional needs, every time I would come back to Colorado, I would tell myself that there is simply not a better place to live and be. The Centennial State is remarkable in so many ways, that the more I explore it, the more I fall in love with it. Here in Colorado, we have everything from the stunning mountain views of the Rocky Mountains to canyons, plains and deserts – a truly rich and diverse land. Without a doubt, it is a photographer’s paradise. Having been photographing in Colorado for over 10 years now, I decided to show some of its beauty through pictures and hopefully give you an idea about what locations you should visit.
It’s been a while, almost 5 months since my last post, so lets see where the typing leads me and if I can still remember how to write an engaging article. Now I do remember a little thing called a “pre-nup” that I have with the readers of PL. It kind of goes like this: “I’ll try and give you some of my thoughts and ideas on how I do things, you might read or not read it all, however you will try and leave anything behind you don’t find useful in this article and move on with your life without attacking me”. Phew! Now we got that over we can start – LOL (Laughing Out Loud), you are welcome to try that once in a while :)
Our landscape photography tutorial has taken us from Colorado to Wyoming to Montana, and we have filmed in some amazing locations along the way. Cell coverage is hard to find in this area of the country, but there is no shortage of beautiful landscapes to photograph. After packing up and heading out of Grand Teton National Park, we took a short detour through Yellowstone on the way to Montana. This was the first visit for both John and I, and it did not disappoint – I wish that we had more time to spend in such an amazing place! Still, with our filming schedule, we had to make the most of the couple of days that we had.
After almost a week of filming, we just packed up and left Grand Teton National Park. We were very lucky to capture some great light, and we had a few clear nights to take good Milky Way photos as well. We’re now heading to Yellowstone for some photos — hopefully avoiding the crazy tourists — and then going north to film some videos throughout Montana.
A couple of days ago, John Bosley and I flew out to Colorado to meet up with Nasim. We’re in the first stages of another exciting video for Photography Life: an advanced landscape photography tutorial. We’ve had this particular project in mind for a while, and it feels great to start putting our plans into action. After landing in Denver, the three of us stopped for some food and camping supplies, and then we hit the road to Grand Teton National Park. [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.
Photographing the humpback whales of Tonga has been on my personal bucket list for a number of years and finally in 2015 I got to spend nearly three weeks in Neiafu, the main town in the Vavu’a island group in the north of the archipelago, where the majority of the whale watching takes place. The 170+ islands that make up the nation of Tonga are stretched out over a 800km long archipelago, located about 1600 km north-east of New Zealand in the western Pacific Ocean and are basically a long way from everywhere – even for Australians like me!
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!