how to
wild birds

Introductory Course

Here's where you can find valuable pointers on taking photos of wild birds, like how to choose the right camera and lenses, the optimal way to hold the camera, and various composition methods that you can use.


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Proper etiquette when photographing wild birds

Canon hopes that wild bird photography will grow stronger with proper photography etiquette.

Lesson 1

Introductory course

Camera and equipment for photographing wild birds

Want to take photographs of cute, cool, and beautiful birds?
What kind of equipment will you need? How should you go about taking the pictures?
Here's where you can find pointers on choosing the right camera and tips for beginner photographers.

Lesson 2

Introductory course

Types of lenses and selecting the right lens

What kind of lens will you need? How do you shoot close-up photos of wild birds? Once you've decided on a camera, the next step is selecting a lens. There are many kinds of lenses to choose from and various lenses let you capture a range of different images. Digital compact cameras (like Canon's PowerShot-series models) with a high-magnification zoom lens (40X or more) are also suitable for wild bird photography.

Lesson 3

Introductory course

The Program Mode is ideal for first-time photographers.

If you are ready with a camera and a lens, the next step is to start shooting photos. What's the most important thing to remember? Today's digital cameras are equipped with high-performance functions, so taking photos is easier than ever. After capturing an image, you can confirm it on the display screen on the back of the camera. If you don't like it, just try again! The most important thing is to keep snapping away.

Lesson 4

Introductory course

Hold the camera still to minimize camera shake

My photograph was blurry. Why? How you hold the camera is very important consideration. If you don't hold it properly, your photos may appear blurred or tilted. If you use a high-magnification telephoto lens, you may see the effects of camera shaking in your photograph.

Lesson 5

Introductory course

Altering the composition for better photos.

"Why do all my photos have the same feel to them?
Composition is the arrangement of the subject, the background, and other elements in a photo. Photos change dramatically depending on the composition, even when shooting the same subject in the same location."

Lesson 6

Introductory course

Changing the camera angle for different perspectives

Composing a photo is difficult. How can I transform my photos while keeping the subject centered?
If you have the opportunity, experiment with different stances while you shoot. Changing the camera's angle presents the subject in different ways.


gaku tozuka

Wild bird photographer
My ultimate goal is to photograph not only in an attractive way, but also in a way that captures the essence and feeling of the animals. My current photographic subjects are wild birds and the natural environment.
His photography has been featured in several books, magazines, and TV commercials.

Gaku Tozuka

Good observation skills and sensitivity are essential for photographing wild birds

Naturally, bird photography exists because there are wild birds. No matter how advanced your camera is, if there are no birds to photograph then there is no purpose to it.
I started photographing wild birds when film was still in use and focusing was done manually. At that time, not only was the camera equipment expensive, processing the film was costly too, so I could not simply take every shot I wanted. As a result, I observed birds intently and focused on getting the perfect shot.

Times have changed, however. With the advancement of digital cameras and information technology, bird photography seems to now be dictated by the camera and information, so much so that somewhere along the way, birds have become simply another subject and not the main target, as if they are just one piece to complete a puzzle, so to speak.

In Japan, when a rarely seen bird is spotted, photographers often rush to the spot and occasionally cause problems with their behavior. It is not all bad though. By taking up bird photography as a hobby, many people have had their attention drawn to environmental issues, including those of wild birds. I think that doing as much as we can to pass on to future generations the joy of watching and photographing wild birds will also be good for the birds, and quite simply, the key to our coexistence.

People looking at a photograph know if it was taken through risky or inappropriate behavior. I think those kinds of photographs should not be rewarded at photo contests, but photographs of birds that make people feel good or show them living strong and healthy lives should be shared with as many people as possible. To the extent possible, wild birds should not be disturbed by our presence, and I strongly believe that the actions of even one person to show sensitivity, by not putting pressure on the birds, will spread to the photographers around them and lead to even better relationships with birds. This is my sincere wish. And, I would like to continue promoting the joy of bird photography for everyone.