Capturing bird images can be very challenging, particularly birds in flight! Birds come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and can be a ton of fun to photograph. Bird portrait can create some amazing images, but most folks want birds in flight (BIF). Luckily, birds rarely sit still. They dart off a perch at a moments notice. Their wings are in constant motion. Bird photography takes lots of practice, but the great part, is that for most folks our backyards or regional parks provide a lot of opportunity. One of the hardest things to master is keeping the bird in the viewfinder when it starts dashing about. There are some tools that can help. Photo Gear Designs have developed a great tracker, that lets you keep both eyes on the bird, while looking through the tracker. The tracker also helps you develop the skills needed to track through the camera viewfinder. When I started using the tracker, my “keepers” rate increased dramatically. This helped me keep my interest up! For a discount, type ROADRUNNER in the promo field code.
Some other tricks… make sure your shutter speed is at least 1.5x as fast as the millimeters you are shooting at. For example, if you are shooting with a 100-400mm lens, at 400mm, your shutter speed should be at least 1/600th. Also, try to be one f/stop greater than wide open. For example, if wide open is f6.3, then try to be at f7.1. This will help ensure that beak to tail and wing to wing are in focus. If you camera allows, set the focus point to “tracking” and shoot on continuous mode. Lastly, practice, practice, practice and patience, patience, patience.
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