These bird photography tips come to you from the Outback of Australia.
Highlights from this video:
0:24 Tips in Photographing Birds
0:41 Zoom lens
0:54 Shutter Speed
1:04 Bird Images
Tips in Photographing Birds
I’m in the Outback of Australia. I’m at this little town where they’ve got some water and they feed the birds (it’s very dry out here and there is no food or water, so they flock to the small settlements). There were like a million birds behind me – they will probably come back in a minute. I want to give you a couple of tips that I use to photograph birds:
Use a Long Lens – The first one is, you definitely need to have the right equipment. You need a long lens – a lens that can zoom in quite close to the birds because they’re quite small. I have a 400mm Telephoto lens.
Fast Shutter Speed – You’d also want to shoot at a very fast shutter speed; about 1/500th, 1/800th, or 1/1000th of a second.
So, those are simple tips for photographing birds when it comes to equipment and shutter speed. I shoot on shutter priority (Tv) at about 1/800th sec with a very long lens.
So, what do you think about these bird photos that I’ve taken? Leave some comments below for your questions.
This is Brent, have a great day!
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Beautiful! How you get such closeups is a mystery to me. I go out into the forest around here in Virginia and the birds I mostly hope to get are small, very fidgety warblers that are a pain to shoot in bushes. Then the Grossbeaks, larks, and especially Tanagers tend to be very spooky, especially in the wilds around here. I have had to go to Oly long lenses to keep weight down. Birding is a blast, though.
Thanks John, yes sometimes they are tough to get closeups – try go to where they feed, and may be a bit tamer. Also aviaries are a good place to get nice and close. Brent
Hi Brent, Do u think a Canon 1000D can take such stunning pictures ?
For sure Duan. It’s the lens that matters the most not the camera. Brent
Fine captures Brent, nice sharp clear eye contact , that’s most important 🙂
great detail gathered, whites can be a problem on some birds though , one has to be careful they don’t blow out or get hot spots, great to see you doing some wildlife tips,( my passion if you check my FB page 🙂 ) , my 100-400 gets used mostly for this, don’t come of the 60D much, only now with wildflowers needs the 100mm 2.8. . you better come West and we do some captures together one day. cheers
Would love to Rick. Thanks for the feedback and some great tips. Brent
I have used my Canon 5D and have 70-200 lens with 2.0 extender and have some great shot..I feel my skills have greatly improved..and i wanna say thank you so much for the awesome tips..
Thanks Rholie. Good to know that the 2x converter works well on the 70-200mm
I shoot mainly with Canon 7d and have a 70-200 lens.
Would you suggest 1.4 or 2.0 extender for these type of shots?
Try the 1.4x or 2x extender before you buy them. My experience is that the images were not as sharp with the extenders attached but this was a whole back. Maybe the technology is much better now. Maybe someone else has experience here? Brent
great shots , birds are not easy to photograph, but you nailed it .
Thanks Mark. B
First, I must say that Australia has some very beautiful birds. Thank you for sharing your shots and tips.
Thanks Sherol. B
Where I am in Central Qld., the outback is so dry and the sky is glare and boring so your idea of capturing close-up of the bird population inspired me. Thanks! A question – what about the shadows that fall within the image. Would fill flash be an option? A
Hi Ann. There is always something interesting to photograph, no matter where you live. Just love all the birds and mammals in the outback, plus the windmills! Dust can be great for photos too, especially when the sun is low on the horizon. Fill flash is an option but I wonder if it would chase the birds away, plus you would need a very powerful flash to illuminate a bird at that distance. I have seen other wildlife photographers using special strobes for shooting wildlife in Africa. Cheers, Brent
Brent hope you are well
Just wanted to let you know that since I have been getting your tips I feel that my skills have greatly improved over the course and for this I can only say thank you so much keep up the great job I am sure a lot of us feel the same way
Thanks Luis for the kind words. Glad the effort I put into these tips is paying off for you. The best thing you can do now is share this with others who are interested in improving their photography. Cheers, Brent
Great shots as always Brent! Birds always crack me up! You can just about hear their thoughts by the vast expression on each face…some real characters here..LOL…fill in the blank….fun!
Thanks Bret. There are all shapes and characters when it comes to birds. I love the Bush Stone-Curlew with it’s big eye, plus the Kookaburra with it’s huge beak. Thanks for the comment. Brent
The photos are great and I really like your explanation of how you shot them. You didn’t say whether or not you used a tripod for that large lens. I have that piece of equipment and I have to tell you it is HEAVY….
Thanks for the tips and sharing.
Hi Carol. No tripod was used but I would suggest a monopod if the lens gets too heavy. birds move around too much for a tripod. Brent
I liked the shutter speed info asn using it as a priority. Thanks Brent.
Awesome Dennis. Enjoy. B
I love shooting all wildlife, including birds. One thing though. For hummingbirds, 1/1000 can be too fast. As with airplanes where I like a nice sharp image but don’t want to stop the props, my favorite shots of hummingbirds leave the wings a blur while the rest is tack sharp. I’ve found something in the 1/250 or slower usually works for this, as the birds often stay stationary in the air. Airplanes are much harder, though.
Thanks Mike. Great to get some feedback on how you do it. I’m going to try 1/250th when shooting flying birds. Cheers. Brent
Hi, very good tips and nice birds pics. I don’t have that 400mm lens. How can i photographing birds with 70-200mm f2.8 lens?
200mm is fine. You might just have to sneak up a little closer. B
Nice shots Brent, and thanks for the video. Your shots remind me that the colors in the background do make a difference. My favorite shot here is the fourth from the top. wonderful colors and sharpness on that bird portrait.
Yes Wanda the background is very important. I prefer to far background. Brent
Perfection! Thank you for sharing Brent 🙂
Mmm Brent I was wondering what YOU think of them
Well John. I took them so I think they are pretty good. What do you think? Brent
I was wondering if you were offering a test? I liked the bush stone curlew . I am a bird photographer and am my own harshist critic. I mostly shoot in the wild and in fact have just returned from Mt Isa where I spent a month fruitlessly searching for the Kalkadoon grass wren. Saw it briefly but couldn’t get a shot. I use mostly the 400 prime on my 5d canon. Check out some of my bird shots on http://www.deervelvet.co.nz
Bird photography to me is the biggest and best photo challenge