Friday, 29 June 2012

Photographing those Elusive Birds

One of the challenges before the amateur photography enthusiast is to photograph strange looking birds, especially those not seen commonly. More often what happens is that you get barely a glimpse of an exotic bird because it either flies away startled, or your vehicle moves ahead. That is unless of course you are deliberately carrying your camera switched on and are in a forest for the specific purpose of photographing birds! In many cases you come across strange looking birds in the most unexpected places and have no time to draw out that bulky DSLR, remove the 55mm lens and attach the zoom lens! Most of the photographs I have taken of birds were taken rather unexpectedly, and when I had no time to attach a zoom lens or make necessary calculations.The desired result is often disappointing what with the image turning out to be underexposed or overexposed, or what with the bird having flown the coop!


In the above two snaps, I was stuck with an 18-55mm lens on a Canon DSLR camera and had no option but to ask my brother to slow down the car! The setting was wrong, and I had no alternative but to switch to the auto mode!


Little birds arte even more difficult to photograph because they are so active that they will not stay in the same place for more that a few seconds, and you have to be very fast to get them. The first snap was taken by a Nikon L-100 compact digital camera while the second was taken by a Canon DSLR at extreme zoom of 250mm.

IMG_0179                   IMG_0173

The larger variety of birds, especially those more likely to perch on the tallest trees like these Hornbills are more easy to photograph, although they tend to become restless if you point the camera at them. For this you would need a suitable zoom lens. In this case the lens used was a 55-250mm zoom lens set at its extreme 250mm limit, shot on a Canon 1100D DSLR.


Some birds are either too pre-occupied with their meal as in the first photograph pigeons and a Parrot were busy feeding from a food bowl, while in the second snap, the owl was probable confused having been disturbed from its sleep!


Ducks are by nature very shy, and the moment they saw moving towards them, they started swimming away from the shore.

Domesticated Geese on the other hand, are not difficult to photograph, specially as they expect to be fed!


These painted Storks were photographed from a great distance using the extreme zoom of a 55mm-250mm zoom lens on a Canon DSLR. The use of a tripod is  advantageous in such situations.

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