Why being a Birder will improve your Nature Photography

Why Being a Birder will improve your Nature Photography.
Before I start I should also say it will improve your life as well. I was always interested in nature as a kid. I had field guides and spent every free minute wandering in the woods. My greater appreciation for birding took hold when I became a professional Nature Photographer. My mentor, John Shaw, didn’t accept my identification of a Herring Gull as a Seagull. He pushed me to learn the identifications of birds and their habits as well. In 1995 a trip to the Galapagos Islands for a workshop was a check mark off of my bucket list. Then later that month I attended the first NANPA Nature Photography Forum held in Ft. Myers, FL. During that event I was a co-leader on a trip to J. Ding Darling NWR and was lucky enough to be joined by Roger Tory Peterson. My birding took off like wildfire from that point. A few years later my wife Evelyn registered me for continuing education classes at Cornell Lab of Ornithology for a Christmas gift. During that time I found how much more I wanted to spend outside learning and observing birds and nature. In doing so, my exposure to sunrises and sunsets took new meanings in the respect that it became more than just light, it became an event to observe and learn. The more time I spent outside, the more I photographed, and my craft improved. It has changed how I do yard work even. Instead of pesticides, I let the Scarlet Tanagers glean Japanese Beetles from the trees and shrubs. In turn, I watch and photograph.
I will always consider myself a photography teacher, but it is such a great feeling when one of my fellow photographers express how my passion for birding has influenced them as well. It is a great feeling when someone captures an image of a bird and they want to learn what the bird is and ask questions of its behavior as well. Nothing bad comes of educating someone about the natural world. We all become better photographers, and better people as well. Learn that “bird” isn’t just a noun, it can be a verb as well.
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1000, shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Sirui P424S carbon fiber monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #BirdNirdvana

2 Responses to “Why being a Birder will improve your Nature Photography”

  1. David, since your first presentation to the B C Photo Club, I have admired your skill and your approach to capturing images of the natural world. Later, I learned of your website and came to appreciate your ability with words. Your photo and writing skills are displayed beautifully in this post.

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