Photographing birds in the country was sometimes damn hard. At times it was frustrating, but generally nature presented itself to me…in fleeting, beautiful moments. I had to be quick and hope my camera (or the user *cough*) wasn’t operating too slowly. I’m always holding out for that perfect moment…and sometimes that means I miss the best ones!
Shooting wildlife, and particularly small quick moving birds takes serious patience. Here are some things to remember when it comes to wildlife/nature photography:
1. Take a reading of the light and adjust. On a constant sunny day this will never need adjusting, unless you head into a shady spot or a cloud rolls over. Use your manual exposure…make sure you’re taking a photo that is slightly under exposed by about 1 or 2 f-stops. This will help catch more detail in your images. It’s always best to under-expose!
2. Put your camera shutter to it’s “multiple exposure” mode. You should be able to press the shutter button for an extended amount of time which will fire off many shots (3-10+) per second. Meaning you won’t miss any minor movement.
3. Stay still, and try not to make any sudden movements.
4. Breath slowly.
5. Make sure you can see some kind of light in the animals eyes (and even people’s for that matter). These are called “catch-lights” and they:
a. Let you know that the eye is sharp.
b. Give life to the image.
6. If you want to take your time with your shot, and don’t have a trip pod make sure you press the shutter as though it were a gun…you inhale, and on the exhale press the shutter. This will help reduce any shaking. This is something I do constantly with my wild flower photography.
7. Try not to swear too much if you miss the moment like I do! ahha and enjoy the moment! I am guilty of this!
Have you ever missed an amazing shot?
I missed out on a black bear cub climbing a tree with it’s mum foraging below. It was opposite our truck in the Canadian Rockies. Mike and I were camping and driving along a back road. It was too dark for the images to turn up sharp, and instead of appreciating the moment I sulked, and swore… Mike reminded me that we’d just seen something incredible, and here I was feeling like a chump!
Here’s a sampling of music I’ve been listening to lately: