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06-11-2011, 05:27 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
Having five cats may, of course, put the birds off, Sal
LOL! It's three these days and they don't go out in 12" of snow!

But seriously, the most important things for getting wildlife photos are lots of patience and some understanding of the natural history of your subject. It's not good putting out seed to attract an insect feeder, for example. I've managed some good shots at the local wildfowl pond, again assisted by the very cold (for us) weather and ice - more birds than normal, bolder than normal, and I got there when there was some great light.

(this is an Olympus E510 image with the 70-300mm lens at 300mm and I cloned out some of the bird poo on the ice!)




06-11-2011, 07:09 AM   #17
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As others have mentioned, birds will get used to you if you don't move around alot. I f you have to move go slooowly. This was taken hand held. Thank goodness for great SR!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/146921-nature-cross-eyed-owl-chick.html
06-11-2011, 12:25 PM   #18
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Always use the fastest shutter speed you can and with the Quantaray, probably stopped down to at least f8 or more. If you have the time, take lots of shots. Manual focus can be better sometimes. AF takes in a fairly large area and may focus on a leaf or branch or something else just in front or behind which may make the bird not as sharp. When I shoot Herons, Owls, or any bird really, I try to concentrate my focus on the eyes or if the bird is smaller, the feather details right around the head.
06-12-2011, 04:10 AM   #19
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I have seen some great back-yard shots from putting natural looking material, like a moss covered branch, or fixing up a bird bath with rocks and moss to make it look natural. I would have one myself, but the wife wouldn't think it looks too good.

06-12-2011, 04:36 AM   #20
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We have some really rare birds (for this region) where I live. They are called "Bush Stone Curlews". They would be excellent to photograph since their reaction to any perceived threat is to stand still. They would also rather walk away than fly.
The only problem is - they are mostly nocturnal (and make a huge noise of a night). I've seen them during the day but not for ages and not after I had the new DSLR.
06-12-2011, 05:14 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Robert Capa, an important combat photographer famously said "get closer"..
I don't follow that advice when it comes to combat but it works with birds.
06-12-2011, 06:23 AM   #22
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"Any tips for photographing birds?"

1. Patience
2. Patience
3. Be willing to accept what nature offers warts and all - when you are out in the field it's not like you are doing portraits in a studio. You can't micro manage nature.
4. Know at least as much about birds as you do about your gear.
5. All else being equal always use a tripod.
6. Patience
7. Patience
06-12-2011, 06:24 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bill_R Quote
------------. I've seen them during the day but not for ages and not after I had the new DSLR.
When I go out on the property with my new camera and the "big lens" I tell the wife "going out to scare off all the birds" because that's what happens sometimes

06-12-2011, 06:47 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rocketvapor Quote
When I go out on the property with my new camera and the "big lens" I tell the wife "going out to scare off all the birds" because that's what happens sometimes
This is where Pentax's lack of brand recognition pays off for us. Most birds, in my area at least, not considering Pentax to be a "real" camera like a Canikon (from which they flee like the devil), tend to remain put when encountering a Pentaxian (the almost inevitable, ill-informrd smirks plastered across their faces can, thankfully, usually be much improved, if not eliminated, in PP).
06-12-2011, 07:18 AM - 1 Like   #25
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Everyone else has offered some good advise for you. I have a few tips I'd like to add about my backyard birding photography.

Move slow, that is when I am outside, I see a bird, I stop dead, then if the bird stays on the branch or on the ground I inch slowly toward them. I've gotten within five feet of cardinals, and bluejays (what I have here).

Also something I've learned about birding, don't wear bright colors in your clothes, I wear blue jeans, and blue or gray shirts.

Don't wear smelly perfume, or men's cologne. Don't smoke, if you're a smoker.

After hanging feeders, also make sure you have source of water, I have a homemade birdbath situated just under the and off a bit from the feeders.

Btw, I shoot handheld, no tripod.
I was two feet away from this BlueJay when I shot it.

06-12-2011, 07:23 AM   #26
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Wild man is right to emphasize patience. I guess the other thing is to pay attention and learn as much as you can about from bird behavior--it's one of the great pleasures of the exercise. Very often, for example, the robins or crows will tell you when there's a hawk in the area.
06-12-2011, 12:30 PM   #27
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Patience, be still, and don't point that big tele directly at their eye. I'm convinced they see this magnified eye looking back at them
Photolady, nice shot of the Jay. I've yet to get close enough to one here to get a good shot. The Jays and crows are still not sure about me and my camera. Some of the others allow me to get really close.
How do you remove a 'smirk' with PS?




06-12-2011, 07:11 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rocketvapor Quote
I'm convinced they see this magnified eye looking back at them
I think so, too!
06-12-2011, 07:24 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I'm convinced they see this magnified eye looking back at them
Me, too. Just picking up the camera, and aiming, they fly the coop, er, the tree.
06-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #30
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Some great tips here,
just in case it hasnt been brought up yet...Patience.
Control breathing when shooting,marksman are taught 3 breaths,on third exhaulation
hold breath and fire.Works very well photographically,shooting offhand
Coffee can make us jumpy,cause unwanted movement.
practice,practice, practice
maybe forgot to mention before...patience

Servicing feeders on regular basis,same general time of day seems to help a bit.
Sometimes a little noise like a conversation in low tones or radio talk show played
softly will actually draw birds in,chickadees and titmice good example.
A dog could be problematic,a cat... think we all know there.
Water,very important.Dripping,watery sounds are major attractor.
most birds we shoot in yards have their eyes located so that they
have a very wide field of view,movment across field of view is little more perceptable
than directly towards them believe it or not.Raptors,owls are going to see us regardless.
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