TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS
TOP TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS
1. Scout out locations
- Look on Google Earth for wetlands close-by.
- Find plants that birds are attracted to.
- Keep an eye out for nests.
2. Tell a behavioural story
- Read up about your subjects or learn by observation.
- Try portray their habits and way of life.
- Teach the viewer something about your subject – be a story teller.
3. Include the environment
- Look at the big picture.
- Try zoom out from time to time, or photograph a distant subject.
- Try avoid busy scenes, include surroundings which compliment your subject.
4. Capture interaction
- Be ready for action!
- Keep your shutter speed high and focus ready to track.
- If possible, try increasing your depth of field to f/8 – f/11 when shooting multiple subjects interacting (but watch your shutter speed in these circumstances).
5. Try setup a perch
- Find a nice branch and place it where your subject frequents
- A flowing branch can add to your composition.
- For landing images try use a vertical branch. That way you’ll know exactly where the bird will land.
- If you want interaction, setup at perch with space for multiple birds to land next to each other.
6. Get creative!
- Try slow shutter speeds.
- When your subject is close, use a wide angle lens.
7. Get low!
- A low angle makes all the difference.
- Get down at ground/water level to create striking image.
8. Be selective
- Your portfolio is only as good as your least powerful image.
- Keep your standards high. Aim for the best shot – the ideal one you have in your mind.
BY KIRSTEN FROST
Kirsten Frost is ORYX Photographic Safaris newest tour leader. Although he holds a strong portfolio of African wildlife imagery, Kirsten is especially renowned for his bird photography. His bird photographs have graced the covers of magazines and have been featured in some of South Africa’s top outdoor and nature publications. Read more about Kirsten on our tour leader’s page: https://www.oryxphoto.com/photo-tour-leaders/kirsten-frost