When you photograph birds, their beauty really gets in focus against a clean and simple background. But when you’re out there with your camera, it can be pretty difficult to get a nice and clean background in bird photos. In this video, Jan Wegener shares a couple of simple tricks that will help you raise your photos to a whole new level.
Last year I joined my local photography club. The club holds regular competitions and I was amazed by the quality of the bird and wildlife photographs. I’ve never been much of a natural history photographer. So it’s not surprising that my own photographs did very poorly in competitions. In particular, a judge criticised a woodpecker photograph that I submitted because it was clearly on a bird feeder. “Hand of man!” he said as he dismissed my attempt.
If you have ever observed birds flying, I guess you’ve noticed interesting formations and flying patterns they follow. But have you ever imagine what these birds would draw with flaps of their wings? Barcelona-based photographer Xavi Bou has, and he has turned bird flights into a series of almost surreal photos. His project Ornitographies turns something so ordinary into something extraordinary, and he has shared some of his exquisite photos with DIYP.
We see photo shoots and videos all the time with clickbaity titles like “amazing”, “insane”, “you won’t believe…”, etc. And they rarely live up to expectations. Photographer Mark Smith, however, did capture something pretty amazing. Many of us dream of having bald eagles in front of our lens. But Mark saw not one, but a whole bunch of them hunting and even fighting.
Out with his Nikon D850 and 500mm f/4 lens, he had the perfect opportunity to shoot some great images of the magnificent birds, and he did exactly that. But unlike most videos, this one’s actually narrated by Mark, with a very cool story of the day, what he saw and how he felt.
The practise of using bait to attract owls and other wildlife is a controversial topic. On the one hand, it can remove the fear of humans from rare and protected species, putting them at risk. On the other, how is it any different to putting out a feeder for wild birds in your garden? Then there’s also the chance that the humans can put themselves and others at risk as more dangerous species lose their fear of people.
NPR reports that earlier this winter, photographer Michael Furtman was driving along the North Shore of Lake Superior. He was looking for Great Grey Owls. Several of them had flown down from Canada in search of food. When he pulled off onto a dirt road where he’d seen them the previous night, he saw one, along with a pair of people recording video of it.
The Nikon 600mm f/4 E FL ED VR is a great bird photographer’s lens (and a super-pricey one). But Kai Wong wanted to check whether it’s better for shooting birds than a shotgun. So, he teamed up with Paul John Bayfield and they created a shooting challenge. Paul used Nikon F5 and the 600mm lens, while Kai tried his shooting skills on the gun.
It took three rounds and some clay disks to shoot (figuratively and literally). And the question is – can the 600mm lens get more in-focus shots than the shotgun can hit?
You know that old saying, “Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints, Kill nothing but time”, it is the motto of Baltimore Grotto (caving society) and something most nature photographers live by. It shows both respect for nature and respect for fellow photographer.
What is the opposite of this motto? Singaporean magazine Mothership reports that they received a video allegedly showing bird photographers stuffing live fish with air and styrofoam so they stay afloat and bait endangered Grey-headed Fish Eagles. Once the eagle came closer for the helpless-yes-very-close fish, they could snap some very cool photos of the eagle.
I am no John J. Audubon and make no professions as an ornithologist. However, birds can be intriguing characters. For instance, one year we had a female cardinal who relentlessly attacked our sliding glass door for HOURS EVERY DAY. She, in particular, has stood out in my mind.
Every so often, especially being that we live in the middle of nowhere in rural Pennsylvania, occasionally we (particularly my wife, because the fowl of the air really don’t intrigue me) run across a bird of interest hailing from an uncommon species. “What kind of bird is that?” she will ask. “Beats me,” I calmly respond. “Have you ever seen it before?” she prods. “Nope,” I reply. “Doesn’t it look li–,” she starts, but, knowing what is coming, I cut her off, becoming slightly aggitated. “I seriously have no idea. Where’s my sandwich?”
However, thanks to the development team at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she can take a photo of the bird, run it through their bird ID analysis, and leave me the heck alone!
Photographing wildlife takes a lot of patience coupled with a decent amount skill, and photographing birds is no exception. If you’ve been thinking about giving bird photography a try, or are just looking for ways to improve your shots, this quick fire video posted on Paulo Carvalho’s YouTube page is full of tips to help you out. The clip is just under three minutes long and is packed full of useful tips from start to finish. [Read More…]