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.
After a cold , tough winter, a plum blossom provides sweet-smelling syrup to Japanese white eyes. It is quite difficult to photograph Japanese white-eyes, because they move around quickly. If you watch carefully, you may see it rest for a moment. Your best chance to capture the moment when the Japanese white-eye's white-eyes's head pulls up from a plum blossom with using continuous shooting mode.
Digital cameras can largely be divided into two types: digital SLR cameras and digital compact cameras. For photographing birds, I recommend using a digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. (To learn about lenses, please refer to “How to photograph wild birds: Lesson 2.”)
(But, you can still take good photographs of faraway birds by using a digital compact camera equipped with a long telephoto lens.)
You'll also need an SD card to store images. Using a tripod and/or a monopod to support the camera when shooting can reduce camera shake. Depending on the season and location, other items may also be helpful. In the summer, sunscreen, bug repellant and a hat are necessary. In the winter, be sure to wear warm clothing. On rainy days, a raincoat and collapsible rain boots are useful. Bring along what you'll need based on the season and location. You may even be able to find fashionable and clolorful varsions of these items.
If you approach a wild bird, it will fly away quickly. When starting out, it is better to photograph caged birds at the zoo. Another opportunity is to photograph birds at a park that's familiar to you. Birds you may find there include a duck, an Oriental Turtle Dove, and a Black-back Wagtail. Once you have more experience with photography, visit a spot designated for bird photography, which you can find in a wild bird guidebook. If you watch carefully and listen to their songs, you can find many kinds of wild birds. The types of birds vary by season, and the best times to go are spring and fall, when more types of birds are around.
At first, it is very hard to photograph a wild bird in the center of the frame. It moves around quickly.
Observe the bird carefully and anticipate its next action. It's a good opportunity when the bird is feeding or bathing.
The series “How to photograph wild birds” provides instruction and advice for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
|Digital SLR Camera||Digital Compact Camera|
|35mm full-frame image sensor||APS-C-size image sensor|
|Usage characteristics||Enables the capture of beautiful customized images.||Can easily be carried around. Recommend to use when casual walking or bird watching are the main activity.|
※ Automatically crops (trims) to APS-C image format.
Two common sensor sizes employed in digital SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras are 35mm full-frame image sensors and APS-C-size image sensors. 35mm full-frame image sensors enable the capture of images with a wider angle of view while APS-C-size image sensors enlarge a narrower range of the image to create the same effect as a telephoto lens (approximately 1.6 times the focal length of a camera equipped with a 35mm full-frame image sensor).
Cameras with an APS-C-size image sensor are popular for bird photography. If you use a 35mm full-frame image sensor camera, you would probably benefit from a longer telephoto lens. But take note: EF-S-series lenses are specially designed for APS-C-size image sensor cameras and are not compatible with cameras equipped with a full-frame image sensor.