Many of you who follow my photos and blogs know that I love taking pictures of birds. That was not always the case though. Up until about five years ago, I did not really think about bird photos. So what changed for me? On one of my many trips to visit my mom in south Florida, I seriously began watching the behavior of the wading birds in the Everglades, and since that time, I have been smitten with these elusive creatures. From the Pileated Woodpecker near our house which I have yet to capture a decent photo of, to the hummingbirds at our feeder and
the Snowy Egrets of Chincoteague which are more abundant this year than in past years, I am shooting birds every chance I get.
During my first few years of photographing birds, I shot everything and did not focus on technique. I was getting used to the different bird behaviors. In the past couple of years I trained myself to be patient and wait for the action shot.
More recently my shots have centered on the birds’ environment and the light surrounding the bird.
I have also tried to make the depth of field shallow. This really focuses the eye on the bird because the background is soft and sometimes even blurry. Snowy Egret #1 really shows off this technique. In Snowy Egret #4, I used a little vignetting(purposely blurring the edges) to draw the eye to the bird.
In Snowy Egret #2, the background is more in focus but the bird’s pose and feathers
enticed me to shoot this shot. It seemed to be begging me to photograph its beautiful plumage.
Another area I try to work on with lighting is capturing reflections. I know reflections can be overdone. I take lots of reflections of nature. But for me, at least, taking bird reflections is more difficult. I want the perfect one. Full bodied, clear features, highlighting the bird only. I don’t always manage to do
this so my work goes on in trying to improve my techniques. In Snowy Egret #2 I hope I have succeeded.
Let me know what you think of this series of Snowy Egret photos. Your comments are much appreciated and help me improve my craft.
I hope you enjoy these photos and take a look at the Gulls under the tab “Recent Photos.”