Mistle Thrush

Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus)feeding upon berries in garden loaded with snow in Norfolk. Nikon D3, 500mm, 1/200sec at

f/7.1, ISO 25. Credit: David Tipling Where

to picture garden birds Photographing garden birds can be the best method to handle a busy family life with photography. Even without time restrictions there is an outstanding benefit in being on the spot to make the many of good light, frost or snow. It takes idea and perseverance to do well, as there are lots of aspects to take into consideration when planning a garden bird shoot.Many of the methods or opportunities I suggest here could be pursued in a local park where birds might be fed or are tame enough to method. In the garden you have to choose where you are going to photo from. Possibly a kitchen area window can be opened, with a camouflage web or dark cloth utilized to assist conceal your presence. You may have a garden shed that can function as a conceal, or you could do exactly what I frequently do and set the electronic camera up with a remote trigger. This latter method is not ideal for the obvious reason that you are concentrated on one area, however it can be a beneficial choice at times, and takes the least setting up and preparation. Robin(Erithacus rubecula)in winter garden, Norfolk. Nikon D3, 500mm, 1/125sec at f/5, ISO 500. Credit: David Tipling Where you photograph from will depend upon instructions of light– both front and backlighting can be actually efficient for small

birds. The sun’s instructions will probably determine which way you deal with and the background you have for your photos. Developing an excellent backdrop is one of the greatest obstacles. You might be lucky to have a huge sufficient area to allow backgrounds to be controlled; avoiding unattractive branches or other extrusions that contravene your subject. But if your garden is little, as mine is, then it deserves thinking about an incorrect background by putting up an easy A-frame and connecting a dustsheet dyed your wanted colour. Darker backdrops can work effectively when shooting into the light, creating an intriguing mood and assisting to brighten the clear flight feathers of smaller sized birds. Goldfinch(Carduelis carduelis)on teasel on a frosty winter’s morning in Kent. Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n, 500mm, 1/250sec at f/5.6, ISO 160. Credit: David Tipling The next action is to aim to entice birds to a perch. Small birds do not like sensation exposed, so having a little cover not too far away for them to dive into will motivate greater numbers. For the finest results, location your perch between food sources– either a hanging feeder or bird table– and offer some nearby cover in the kind of a shrub or tree. The food should stay out of shot however be close enough that your perch is the natural put on which to land, prior to reaching the food. I tend to have a number of feeders out when I’m not photographing. Then when I shoot I remove all other than among them, due to the fact that this assists to produce a queuing system encouraging more birds to perch.Searching for attractive perches, such as a sprig of holly, a branch loaded with catkins, or a little log for a woodpecker, can be fantastic enjoyable. I often scour my local woods at different times of the year looking for out props that I feel will enhance a photograph. Aim to keep your perch simple and have a concept of where you desire the bird to land. It may take some experimentation, but that’s all part of the fun.David’s leading suggestions for garden bird photography Prepare for the weather condition When snow or frost is forecast guarantee your perches or any other props remain in location the night before. If a heavy frost is on the cards attempt spraying a perch, plus any attractive berries or foliage, with water to stress the frosty look the next day. Produce a pool Garden birds prefer to consume and bathe, so aim to produce a natural-looking pool. A shallow tray from a garden centre sunk in the ground near to cover and embellished with moss and stones will make a photogenic set-up. Beware of attracting regional felines that might attempt to make a kill. Get imaginative When birds are bathing or set down in falling snow, a slower shutter speed will blur the water or streak the snow for innovative outcomes. Freeze the action with a flash. Try shooting into the light when birds are bathing to make the water really sparkle. Usage seasonal props Do not confine your photography to the winter season. Seasonal props can be utilized throughout the year to offer a sense of season. Sprigs of autumn leaves for that autumnal feel or, for the traditional if rather clichéd Christmas scene, set up some holly on a perch. Food range The arrangement of various deals with will help to include range. Thrushes enjoy apples, while tits, woodpeckers and nuthatches enjoy fat and peanuts; sunflower hearts are an excellent overall food. Just ensure the food is unnoticeable depending upon the angle you’re shooting from. Don’t ignore your feeders

Some dynamic images can be caught as your garden visitors squabble and hover. Manually focus with the feeder simply out of shot but in the same focal plane. At least 1/2,000 sec is preferable if you wish to catch the wings of small birds in flight, and fire away.

Garden birds blackbird

Blackbird( Turdus merula )male feeding on windfall apples in garden Norfolk. Nikon D500, 400mm, 1/80sec at f/4,

ISO 500. Credit: David Tipling Why it works I have actually photographed blackbirds feeding on apples on numerous events, however this is my favourite shot. The closer you are to your topic’s level the more intimate the shot is going to feel, so with this image I remained low but just high enough to obtain the perfect reflection. The apples were put close to the water to allow this. The soft light on the black plumage, low angle, reflection and colour combination come together to make this one of my favourite garden bird shots.Best package for

photographing birds

  • Telephoto lens:Preferably, a lens with a reach of a minimum of 300mm, with a focal length of around 500mm, will allow both decent image size and the ability to throw backgrounds from focus.Clamps: Useful for holding walking sticks and protecting perches near to your bird feeder. Christmas tree stands are also useful for holding standing logs. I utilize a Yongnuo cordless trigger to fire my cam from another location from our kitchen when a bird arrive at my perch.Pop-up hide: This is the most versatile way to hide yourself from the birds and move position depending upon light and season. There are great deals of options, including shooting blinds that can be adjusted with a little bit of camouflage net.David Tipling is renowned for his artistic images of birds. He is the author or commissioned photographer for lots of books including the RSPB Guide to Digital Wildlife Photography and A Bird Photographer’s Journal, out this month. David leads trips to Shetland and Norfolk. See and for more of david’s work. Long-tailed Tits(Aegithalos caudatus)on fat ball feeder in garden, Norfolk. Nikon D4, 400mm, 1/4000sec at f/4, ISO 500. Credit: David Tipling This weekend January 27-29, marks the yearly RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, where

    anyone with access to a plot of land(whether it be a garden, roof terrace or local park) is motivated to invest an hour counting the number of visiting types. For details about the best ways to participate, visit.Looking to obtain great garden bird shots this winter? With RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend (27-29 January), top professional David Tipling reveals you how to record spectacular results


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Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus)feeding upon berries in garden loaded with snow in Norfolk. Nikon D3, 500mm, 1/200sec at f/7.1, ISO 25. Credit: David Tipling Where to picture garden birds Photographing garden birds can be the best method to handle a busy family life with photography. Even without time restrictions there...