The photo above was taken at a nature preserve on evening. I had specifically set out to photograph birds in their natural habitat. My previous photographs had been the birds in my backyard. I wanted to venture out and try something new.
The Scene and Camera
When we arrived to the nature preserve it took me a while to actually find out where the birds actually were. We went hiking along the trails in the woods for a while to no avail. Then when we returned back to the beginning of the trail, I heard the sounds of birds.
I followed the sounds to a field of wild plants and flowers along with a few trees. And there they were, flying from branch to leaf, ground to tree, and everywhere in between. I was so glad that I had found them! After taking a closer look it was apparent that this was sparrow city.
I had my super telephoto lens with me. I also carried a few other short-range lenses as well. Then, I tried to capture the birds in flight but my beginner nature photographer skills were not allowing me to capture the birds in flight. I was a bit tired from the hike earlier and the weight of the lens was starting to get to me.
That is when I took a break. During my break, I added the movement of the birds to see if I could pick up some type of flight pattern. That’s when I noticed the reason why all of the birds (mostly sparrows) were gathered in that one area; a large bird feeder and bird bath was right there. The very thing that I had been trying to get away from photographing was right there – full of birds, especially the sparrow. After realizing this I decided that I would not give up. There were a few other species of birds, such as cardinals and robins. However, the sparrow species overtook the feeding area. Much like they do in my backyard.
I tried looking for a resting spot for other birds who were waiting for a turn on the feeder and that is when I found the group of birds in the bushes waiting their turn. I approached slowly and made sure I had a narrow aperture, a fast shutter speed on continuous high and an auto ISO. It took quite a while to properly capture a photo. The birds were extremely fast-moving and I was growing tired. Finally, I was able to capture the photo above after about 5,000 bad shots!
On a final note
This was a learning lesson for me because it thought me to assess the scene then plan the photo. I was determined not to get a bird feeder photo because I could have easily gotten that in my backyard. I’m glad I was able to take a step back and gather a plan to capture a photo I was happy with. Even when I was dog tired.
Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time