Well, I'm not really a birder (although I'd like to be... does that count?) but I do know that bird photography has its challenges! Number one - you need a LOT of patience!! Birds do not usually co-operate by "posing prettily," and frequently fly away before you can get close enough to get a good shot or two... I guess they are
So it's not easy! I do not own a massive telephoto lens - wish I did. I use a 70-300mm Zoom lens - pretty standard among amateurs like myself. I do own a tripod and it certainly makes using a longer lens easier as it eliminates or significantly reduces the "shake" factor for sharper images. That being said, I don't often take it with me. (I know, I know, it doesn't do me any good when I'm out and it's at home. Please don't lecture...) I must confess and tell you that none of the photos you see here were taken with the use of a tripod.
As well as patience, you need good timing! By that I mean "being ready".. Here is another shot taken yesterday while on the riverside trail.. by the time we spotted the eagle in a tree and I got my camera up to my eye, he was already flying away. Again - not quite good enough... In my haste to try and
chase his tail end (no pun intended) he's not even in good focus!
Kings Landing Historical Settlement in Prince William, N.B. - one of my most favourite gardens to visit with my camera. There are often hummers zooming around the many blooms and I took a number of shots that day, in hopes that one or two might be decent. Although I have a few which are closer, this one where she is sitting still (not for long!) is my favourite. It's far from "perfect" - my composition could have been better, with her not dead centre, but to catch these little dynamos that are in constant motion, still for even a few seconds.. and in fairly good focus... well, I'm happy!
This shot was taken recently- just a few weeks ago in the "Lupin patch". This Song Sparrow was singing happily as I clicked away in the lupins. Once I turned my attention to him, he wasn't long moving on, so I'm pleased I caught him on his perch on the dried weedstalks from last summer. I love the "soft focus" feel of this shot - the lupins are in soft focus and the background is blurred enough that you likely didn't recognize it as a Tim Hortons.
Again, hand held, with telephoto zoom lens... My camera is a Pentax K 20 D.
Lastly, another one from my archives. This eagle was enjoying the winter sunshine in an old tree just feet from my driveway. When my husband came in and told me he was there, I hastily put on coat and boots and grabbed my camera, fully expecting him to be gone by the time I got out there. But there he sat. The meaning of the expression "eagle eye" became very clear as he glared down at me. I actually felt nervous and wondered if he could lift me and fly away with me! I was quite sure he couldn't , but still his glare unnerved me... He didn't sit for long - maybe two minutes at most; with a swoop of his giant wings he was gone, headed back to the river. But it was a magical few moments.. Again not the perfect shot but I was trying to work around a lot of small branches. I would have liked the sun to be on this side of his face so his eye would be clearer... Shots from further left, to get the sun on his face were obstructed by more branches... So you have to work with what you've got!
All comments and suggestions welcomed (please don't be too harsh in your critique!) Please note: I have not used any means to "enhance" my photos- they are as I took them, other than a little cropping on the eagle.
I hope you'll visit Donna's blog here to see what others have done with the Personal Photo Challenge this month. And maybe next month you'll join in the fun?
“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” ~ J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird