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Bird photography


TalkEmount Veteran
Jan 25, 2019
There are huge numbers of bird pics going up on social media and most of the shots are instantly forgettable.

They are typically a bird on a stick. And I get that; it's a place to start, to master focus and exposure.

Many are close crops, and I get that too. You've dropped a bundle on good gear and you want to show off finely resolved plumage detail.

But they're forgettable because they're not driven by the simple requirements that a good picture has light, composition and moment. People are stuck on the technical levels. 99% of the discussion is about gear.

A bird on a stick usually captures nothing of moment. The pose is convenient and that's all it is.

A close crop is difficult to compose well. There's nowhere for the eye to travel. And there's nothing of moment either usually.

Once technique is mastered the keen bird photographer should be asking 'how can I make images that have an impact?' Something with action is a good start. There are the 3 F's: flying, feeding and f....

Or 'how can I break lighting conventions in order to garner attention?' - shooting against the light for example.


Here's one of feeding, or at least hunting. This is where Pied Cormorants spend a lot of time but how often are they photographed doing it? Add some distortion from the rippling surface of the water and there's something that won't be instantly forgotten. You may not like it much but it's worth a look.

ILCE-9       155mm    f/9.5    1/1500s    ISO 2500

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