Sunday, 13 February 2011

Photographing birds in winter...

Anyone who has tried to photograph birds in winter and suceeded has my utmost admiration.
I currently use a Nikon D40x camera body with a 55-300mm zoom, and bulit in image stabilizer for birding. Unfortunately my budget will not stretch to over £1000+ for my most wanted 500mm Nikon lens!!
My strategy for taking pics is to use aperture priority, and set it to the maximum setting, off the top of my head I think mine is f5.6, so I can achieve the fastest shutter speed possible. One drawback is that I have only a very narrow depth of field on my focus, so have to be sure that my autofocus sensor is pointing to the part that I want to be in focus. Add to this the low light of winter, the usually small subject matter, the fact that most birds are very fast moving, and usually hide in trees, so my autofocus gets confused, no wonder its so tricky to capture a great shot. I try to use my iso setting on a low number 100 or 200 if possible, but often have to set it at 400 or more if the lighting is poor, just to keep a reasonable shutter speed.
My first results were ok but nothing special, but as I adapt my usual photography methods to those of a birder, I am getting better results. Will hopefully upload some pics soon.
Any tips gratefully received...

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