Photographing birds, just like other subject matter, can be a progressive experience. As we develop our skill set and understand the subject matter more… the quality of our images can improve over time. This article illustrates how we can capture some uncommon moments with common birds… in this case some gulls. All of the photographs in this article were captured on the same day in late May.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
When we first start out photographing birds we typically begin with perched birds, then progress to birds-in-flight. One of our milestones is when we can consistently capture a bird-in-flight well positioned in our frame, and in good focus. Since this skill set takes some time to develop, going out regularly is important.
Rather than capture straight fly-by images we then begin to study our subjects more and look for interesting angles to capture in our photographs. For example, birds banking and showing their undersides.
As our panning skills and response times improve we can get in tighter to our subject birds. We start capturing birds-in-flight at more difficult shooting angles, such as them approaching us. This can add a bit more interest to our images.
As we continue to experiment with our birds-in-flight photography we may decide to get in very tight to subject birds. This may include purposely clipping their wings in our photographs to create a feeling of increased intimacy.
Looking for interesting light is important with any subject matter. Good light can accentuate the feather details and colouring on a bird. We begin to look for reflections and other lighting details that can add interest to our images.
Often the next step in our bird photography journey is to watch for precise moments. Rather than capture single frames we begin to experiment shooting with faster frame rates to increase our chances of getting precise moments captured in our photographs.
As our powers of observation increase, so too does our desire to create photographs of birds-in-flight that contain that elusive quality of emotion.
Uncommon moments with common birds happen all around us everyday. Our challenges are to keep moving our photographic skills forward, observing birds intently, and waiting for those uncommon moments to capture.
All photographs in this article were captured using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All of the photographs displayed in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
Use of Olympus Loaner Equipment
All of the photographs in this article were captured using Olympus Loaner Gear which was supplied by Olympus Americas Inc. on a no-charge basis. We are under no obligation what-so-ever to Olympus Americas Inc. in terms of our use of this loaner Olympus camera equipment. There is no expectation or agreement of any kind with Olympus Americas Inc. that we will create and share with readers any images, articles or videos, or on what that content may be.
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