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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #4892
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Subject: "Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!" Previous topic | Next topic
coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 01st Dec 2011Fri 09-Dec-11 03:09 AM
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"Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!"
Fri 09-Dec-11 03:11 AM by coolmom42

McEwen, US
          

My photo project for the weekend is to get some good pics of birds at my feeder and in the shrub next to it. I have a plan---being new at this I have to think it through. Please comment on any aspect of the plan that should be changed!

I have a D3100 with 18-55 & 55-200 mm lenses.

*Shoot around 3:30-5:00 PM, when the birds are most active and the light is not directly overhead.

*I want to freeze motion, so need a high shutter speed. I also want a blurred background (as much as possible) so I will use my widest aperture available. I plan to shoot aperture priority with auto ISO and maximum exposure time set to 1/500 sec.

*white balance to direct sunlight, that is the forecast, will adjust as needed.

*use my 55-200 mm lens with hood. Fill the frame as much as possible with the subject.

*picture control to neutral--my personal preference.

I'll check these settings for exposure, move around some to check background, etc beforehand. Then pick a spot to sit quietly while the birds come to the feeder.

All constructive comments appreciated!

  

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fanautical Registered since 04th Aug 2011Fri 09-Dec-11 05:36 AM
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#1. "RE: Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!"
In response to Reply # 0


Margate, US
          

I was over my sister's house on Thanksgiving weekend and she enjoys feeding birds so I decided to park myself outside about 30 feet away on the steps of the house. She had an idea of putting out peanuts for the birds, and laid out about five peanuts on a the moss laden rock retaining wall in front of the house. This worked MUCH better than the feeder because I got a full on view of the birds instead of them changing positions and going all around the bird feeder. I set the camera for a high shutter speed and set a focus point directly on the peanuts. After a while of keeping my camera focused and trained on the peanuts I was rewarded with a shot of a woodpecker eating a peanut. Setting up props like peanuts is a great idea because it gives you something to focus on and wait.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 01st Dec 2011Sun 11-Dec-11 01:50 AM
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#3. "RE: Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!"
In response to Reply # 1


McEwen, US
          

Well I did some this afternoon. It was later than I wanted to get started. They were not very good. I needed more light; couldn't get the exposure time as fast as I wanted, so had some camera shake, and they were a little grainy from the extremely high ISO I had to use. Will try again tomorrow. Live and learn.

working on it in Middle TN
Nikon D3100

35 mm 1.8 Nikkor
18-55 mm Nikkor VR
55-200 mm Nikkor VR
55-300 mm Nikkor VR
150-500 mm Sigma OS
Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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coolmom42 Silver Member Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 01st Dec 2011Tue 13-Dec-11 02:50 AM
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#4. "RE: Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!"
In response to Reply # 3
Tue 13-Dec-11 03:02 AM by coolmom42

McEwen, US
          

I gave it another try earlier in the day on Sunday. Better light & seemed to be more birds at the feeder. I shot in shutter priority, set at 1/400 sec, ISO 800 but up to 1200 if needed to hold the shutter speed.

These are 2 of my pics. All I did was straighten, crop, up the contrast, & sharpen.

I used manual focus, to get the exact bird I wanted at the sharpest focus. The only problem I had was trying to focus on the male cardinals. All my other shots were in focus but only ONE out of about 20 of male cardinals was sharp. Why are they so hard to focus on?






working on it in Middle TN
Nikon D3100

35 mm 1.8 Nikkor
18-55 mm Nikkor VR
55-200 mm Nikkor VR
55-300 mm Nikkor VR
150-500 mm Sigma OS
Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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fires1 Registered since 04th Oct 2011Fri 09-Dec-11 05:15 PM
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#2. "RE: Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!"
In response to Reply # 0


pinellas park, US
          

I am no expert but I do agree with aperture priority, I would debate the widest aperture. My opinion it would be determined by the environment.... lighting, surroundings ETC. Same with ISO. Are you planning on shooting them in flight? Also in my opinion the composition is your main concern. I just put up my gallery, which is birds. I have only been doing this for 4 months, but being retired, I have been reading/learning and photo shooting about 10 hours a day. Let me know what you think of my gallery, Has ISO, aperture, speeds which might help you.I am fortunate to live in St. Pete Fl, with about 2 dozen parks to choose from.

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #4892 Previous topic | Next topic