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Strategy for taking photos of birds--please comment!


McEwen, US
4139 posts

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coolmom42 Moderator Awarded for her enthusiastic support of the community and exemplifying the Nikonian mission “Share, Learn and Inspire” Nikonian since 30th Nov 2011
Fri 09-Dec-11 02:09 AM | edited Fri 09-Dec-11 02:11 AM by coolmom42

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!