Tips in Photographing Birds
Last spring I had the opportunity to visit Potteric Carr Nature Reserve. I was working on an magazine about wetland bird and being a nature photographer, I felt that it would have been best for me to make the visit myself and get a firsthand experience of the various species of wetland birds which live in the area of low-lying land south east to Doncaster. There was much that I had heard about bird watching in the region and also having watched a few documentaries about the birds in the area, I knew I won’t be disappointed.
Indeed, I never was. If you love watching wetland birds, then this region has abundant of marsh and water birds of various species than you can ever imagine. Also the staff of the reserve has done a great job in maintaining the best atmosphere which enables the birds to breed, nest and thrive there without a lot of strain. The great plantation is also a major factor which enables the birds to obtain food, place for nesting and the best habitat for their survival.
Like I expected, I wasn’t there alone. I met hundreds of other bird watcher who too had come to share this awesome experience of Potteric Carr. Being a weekend there were also groups of family, students and maybe friends who had arrived there for recreation. I didn’t need a guide for my study and I decided to go it alone in my research. The nature paths there are magnificent and have a lot to offer as one adventure through the stunning landscapes.
Adventuring in Doncaster
As I went around doing my business, taking a picture there, writing down some notes etc, I came across a family who were there for recreation. Unlike me, they wanted to take good photographs of the birds. They were trying much, but I could easily tell that none of them had the expertise of capturing photos of birds. Mostly, they could get the birds distracted even before taking the shot and this would result in blaming each other for distracting the birds.
It was the dad who approached me. He had noticed that I had taken several shots and wanted to see what I had captured. He marveled at my pictures and this attracted the attention of his wife and their two kids whom must have been less than 12 years old. They agreed that I had been capturing good shots and they requested me to show them how I had managed to take such good pictures.
To take nice pictures of birds is not rocket science. Anyone can do so. However, when it comes to nature photography, any professional photographer will try his best to capture the most intense and amazing moment of nature. For instance, if you are taking a photo of a wading bird, it would be more inspiring and awesome if you can take a good shot at the very moment that the bird is stalking a prey than when it is nesting. To capture such a wonderful moment demand patience and observance.
How to Take Good Nature Photographs
Foremost, you need to observe and learn the habits of the bird. Knowing their habitat is good. Then you need to know their behavior. Birds usually get distracted easily. If you distract them when you are trying to take a picture chances are that you won’t capture the best shot that you intended.
Be patience and observe them for a while. When the right moment comes, get the best focus of the bird. At times it may require you to squat or lie of the ground. If you have a good focus, ensure that you disable the shutter beep of your camera. This is important so that you may not create any distractions. It will also help you in taking several shots before finally choosing the best photo from them.
There are times when you need to use a natural cover before you take a picture. This is also useful to prevent any distractions to the birds. When you take cover and you get a good spot, it’s best to try to focus on the birds closest to your cover. This is vital in enabling you to take good and clear pictures. Also by hiding in a natural cover for a while, you usually get the advantage of taking shots of nesting birds or those which are trying to mate without causing unnecessary distractions which may make them flee.
I taught the family these and other few camera tricks to get the best focus and within no time, they started getting good shots. I spent the entire afternoon with them after we adventured through various parts of the reserve. They were a lovely family and they even invited me to grab a cup of coffee with them at the cafeteria in a reserve. Generally, it was a good and adventurous day.