Bird Photography Tricks in Your Own Backyard

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Birds are a tricky photographic subject. They’re small, fast, skittish, and elusive. But capturing a photo of one up close is well worth the time and effort. You may not feel this way if you sit around waiting hours on end for birds to show up to no avail. There are many techniques you can use to help hide yourself and attract birds at the same time. In this tutorial, Tony Northrup shows you some ways to stay hidden, attract you favorite birds, and wait for the right settings:

Tony Northup’s book can be found here by the way: Stunning Digital Photography. Photographing birds is about more than just using the right camera gear. You have to have the right clothing and accessories too. Here’s a guide to a few other things you’ll need besides a camera and a tripod:

  • Appropriate Colored Clothing – You’ll want to wear something that lets you blend into your surroundings. For the most part, this will probably be camouflage. Forests are a popular spot for birds to hang out and camo will help you look like one of the neighboring trees and foliage. However, if you’re hunting a snow owl in the winter, you might to think about ditching the camo and picking up something white.
  • Sturdy Shoes – Forget flip-flops and sandals. If you’re shooting outside you need a good pair of shoes. The last thing you want to do is get your sandals stuck in the mud and drop your camera in the process.
  • A Blind – A blind can be a tent or piece of mesh or anything that hides your and your movement from the birds. Even if you’re hiding in something, if the birds can see your movement inside, they’ll be hesitant to come near. Also know that it may take a while for the birds to become use to the presence of a tent or other intrusion.
  • Bug Repellant – It’s hard to focus on getting the best shot when swarms of mosquitoes are attacking you. Always remember to bring bug repellant and/or a long sleeve shirt and pants.
bird photography blind backyard camouflage

It will take some time for birds to get use to any new presence in their area

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One Comment

  1. I really enjoyed that video thanks. I sympathise with you with regard to mosquitoes. I reside in Thailand for 6 months of the year and have some fantastic opportunities to capture some beautiful tropical birds but the mosquitoes are a real pain. I can’t bear them and there are cases of dengue fever on the increase so it’s not worth the risk.

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