I was delighted when Children’s author Lieve Snellings offered to share some tips on photographing nature.
Nothing gives more peace than photographing nature.
About 10 years ago I was introduced to the heavenly pleasure of nature photography. I was so charmed seeing all these pretty animals and birds in our Quebec garden. I had seen cats washing, but here I also saw birds, squirrels, groundhogs… doing the same. Observing them was so much fun.
I don’t know if these lovely creatures have emotions like humans have, though I could hear them talk. And Margot the woodchuck (above) started to tell me I had to publish their story, to show small and big kids that all creatures in nature are living beings and that they love to live too. Of course, Margot wanted to play the first violin in the orchestra, but that was OK. She loved to share the attention with her family and friends.
It was Margot, who told me about Eufrazie the hairdresser and how she created a special hairstyle for every critter, also birds, when some festivity is coming up. It was exciting to see all those birds with this special haircut. I had to photograph them and share this with you all.
Maybe you are interested in how to photograph birds too. I’m glad to offer you here 14 easy tips:
- If you want to start photographing birds, you do not have to go far. It is best to start in your garden or street or a park or field in your area.
- It is important to get to know the behaviour of the birds you want to photograph. Around what time of the day do they show up? On which branch do they usually sit? Do they show up alone or in the company of others?
- Use a tripod.
- Hide, make use of a shelter, something you’ll not too visible. An old paravan, with an opening to pierce the lens of your camera through can also be a handy thing to hide.
- Don’t make sudden movements.
- Birds adhere to the same habits, they regularly return to the same place. Choose a spot, prepare your camera and wait until the bird returns to that spot.
- Set your camera to a fast shutter speed (S in high number) and the aperture or diaphragm as large as possible (F in small number) – this is to allow as much light as possible to come in and to make the shutter speed as short as possible.
- Take your photos in the larger format (highest megapixels) because otherwise, you lose a lot of quality when you make a cut-out afterwards.
- Make sure you are dressed warm enough because you may have to sit still for a while.
- Pay attention to the foreground and background.
- Birds like to fly against the wind direction to keep more control. So when you choose to photograph birds in flight, draw with your camera in the flight direction.
- Experiment with different points of view.
- Photographing birds is in fact, like top sport. Patience, exercise and perseverance are important.
- It is pleasant to have a bird encyclopedia or a bird app on your smartphone or tablet so you can look up which birds you just saw and learn more about them.
I wish you can enjoy as much as I did and do.
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