Friday, April 16, 2010

Bird Photography Practice

Day two of the rest of my life learning how to be a birding photographer (I will intentionally refrain from calling myself a "bird photographer" and stick with "birding photographer" until I come up with birding magazine quality photos).  Here is some more practice playing with ISO, Aperture, Metering, and flash-fill to better capture that partially concealed bird in the shadows.  I have also learned that I really want to purchase that telephoto lens to get me a lot closer without having to get a lot closer.  The photos below were cropped to a composition that I thought looked decent.  In order to fill the frame with the bird, I will need that telephoto lens!

Turkey Vultures aren't too common in my foothills community, but they pass through in large kettles occasionally.   I found this lone TV this morning.  I had the sun to my back, but had to use the flash to get the bird to actually show up in the photo.  I like that was able to capture the redness around the eye and bill and the light tip of the bill.

American Robins are plentiful and this was a long-distance shot.  Again, just playing with camera settings.  I was really after a really beautiful leucistic robin that wasn't cooperating with me and my weak photographer skills.  This robin was almost pure white on the head back and wings, but still had the crisp orange breast.  I hope it sticks around and gives me another chance to photograph it.

Below is Avimor's nesting Long-eared Owl.  She was really hunkered way down in the nest making for uninspiring photos, but yet giving the viewing public a bit of understanding of why Long-eared Owls are missing on many a birder's life list.  Many birders might pass by this "old magpie nest" without giving it a second look.  I just got lucky one day a week ago and saw those bunny ears sticking up.  You can kind of see the orange facial disc and one of the white crescents.  What an awesome bird!
Now how many birders get to practice photography on Long-Eared Owls?


  1. I'm hoping to get some shots tomorrow morning, if it's still on. :D It will be a life bird for me, too.

  2. Great post! I envy you your long-eared owl and hope that someday I can come and visit and you can show it to me!