10 Tips for Photographing Birds

10 Tips for Photographing Birds

A professional photographer, and past Audubon Magazine Photo Awards winner, offers advice for capturing stunning bird shots.

By Paul Bannick
Published: 01/16/2014

I use Manual Mode when the background changes often or when I am frequently changing my f-stop (depth of field). With this mode, I select the desired shutter speed and the desired f-stop, and make adjustments to each depending upon how much light I have to allow for my desired exposure.

Photograph unique subjects you love

Use your passion to your advantage: Shoot what you love, especially if what you love is somehow different from what others love. Everyone adores eagles and hummingbirds, and thus it is more challenging to get photographs of these species that feel fresh or new. But if your passion is nightjars, sparrows, or gulls, you might find you have less competition for creating that compelling, never-before-taken photo.

Great photos take lots of time and effort. Make the most of that time and energy by learning about, and living with, the birds you love. Then the perfect photo becomes one more reward of time well spent in your favorite spot, with your favorite subjects.

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Paul Bannick

More of Paul’s work can be found at paulbannick.com and on Facebook at Paul Bannick Nature and Bird Photography.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


Hi Paul, that clarifies, many

Hi Paul, that clarifies, many thanks, Jeremy

Some of my favorite bird

Some of my favorite bird photos involve blurred wings. I love the sense of motion the blur gives. Not quite sure why that is bad. I everything is in focus or sharp where is the drama?

Hi Sandy, You make a good

Hi Sandy,
You make a good point. Sometimes we want the wings blurred. In fact, blurred wings do in fact communicate speed and motion quite well. The important thing is that YOU as the photographer decide what you want and learn how to operate your camera and find the opportunity to make that happen.

Here is an example of a time when i wanted to have just that type of wing blur:

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