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10 Quick Tips On Photographing Garden Birds

Here are 10 basic but essential tips on photographing garden birds you can use to capture awesome wildlife images.

| Animals / Wildlife

10 Quick Tips On Photographing Garden Birds: Garden bird


Tip 1: Reach For A Long Lens

You'll need a telephoto zoom (300-400mm) for capturing frame-filling shots and a tripod is essential. If you have one, fasten on your ball-head but it's not essential. 


Tip 2: Know Where All Your Buttons & Functions Are 

Know your equipment well before heading outside as you don't want to be searching for buttons and messing around with settings when you only have seconds to take a shot.

Tip 3: Get Closer To Your Subject 

You will need to be quite close to the birds even if you are using a lens with plenty of reach as they are really tiny things and can be easily lost in your background.

Tip 4: Keep Hidden When Possible 

Make sure you hide out of sight in either a purpose-built hide or try shooting from your house or from an outbuilding such as a shed.

Tip 5: Feed The Birds 

Make sure you have feeders out, particularly at this time of year when food's a little scarce. This will encourage birds to regularly visit your garden for food. 

10 Quick Tips On Photographing Garden Birds: Robin


Tip 6: Think About Feeder Position 

Place feeders in areas where branches or even ready-made perches you want them to land on are positioned. That way they'll, hopefully, land on the branch in front of your chosen background before going for the food.


Tip 7: Change Your Props 

Change the style of perch you're using to bring a bit of variety to your shots after a while.

Tip 8: Think About Backgrounds 

Hedges make great natural looking backgrounds but don't let the scenery overshadow your subject. For those with fences and walls rather than hedgerows try collecting a few sheets of material that can help disguise it. 

Tip 9: Focus Is Key 

Pay attention to the tips of tail feathers as these can become out of focus.

Tip 10: Be Patient 

Don't be too eager to hit the shutter button the second a bird lands as they're nervous creatures and it may take them a while to become comfortable with their surroundings.


10 Quick Tips On Photographing Garden Birds: Garden bird

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pingky 6
24 Feb 2017 3:46AM
thank you, this is helpful
NeilSchofield Plus
16 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2020 8:47AM
For in flight shots try using a prefocus technique and remote shutter cable to capture action as subjects approach feeders or squabble near them
WereBo 6 42 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2020 6:44PM
Living on a 1st-floor flat with the balcony-rail just 20" from the window, it's awkward to get any decent bird pictures, especially when I only have a main road as a backdrop, along with a couple of trees.

These were taken through my double-glazed windows, so what I lose in quality I get in quantity..... Grin


georgehopkins 14 113 England
15 Jan 2021 8:57AM
Consider back button focus technique quite often its slightly quicker than just using the shutter button especially if you have not pre focussed.
lompin 6
2 May 2021 7:44AM
Don't forget : high shutter speed as birds have very quick movements : 1/ 500 or higher.

I use the remote control of my Fugi camera.

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