Back in January I started a 365 day / year long photography project (365 Days of Birds). The goal with this effort, as well as any learning opportunity is to obviously improve one's skills. The idea of taking a photograph every day for a year forces oneself to think long and hard about the end result, creating a photograph that people want to view.
Even before this project, I was working hard towards becoming a better photographer. Here are some tips I've learned from my recent efforts both with respect to bird photography, and often photography in general:
- Tell a story with your photograph
- With animals and birds, the "eyes" make all the difference. Your subject should appear to be looking directly out of the photograph at you, or if the view is directed elsewhere ... a story should be told with that point of view.
- Even when you think birds and animals are motionless, they are moving albeit perhaps very slowly. When you are zooming in your subject, which is almost always in nature photography, the result of any motion is greatly magnified in your photo.
- My rule of thumb for bird photography exposures is:
- 1/800 of a second maximum exposure for larger slow moving birds
- 1/1000 of a second maximum exposure for smaller fast moving birds
Here are a few examples which demonstrate my methods. I hope you like these photos. If so, please link to my 365 Days of Birds Project or my Flickr Feed to seem more examples of my work. I license my work under Creative Commons w/o charge given appropriate attributions and link backs.
- Photos 1 & 2: Heathrow Florida - A red-shouldered hawk spies and attacks a crow
- Photo 3: A great gray owl shortly after sunset north of Duluth, Minnesota
- Photo 4: A sandhill crane baby investigates the photographer
- Photo 5: A cold early January morning at Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota.
- Photo 6: Leif Ericson looks out over a frozen landscape in Duluth, Minnesota