Archive for Bird Photography

“When I look at other people’s pictures…”

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by lilybug1960

“When I look at other people’s pictures…”
 
As an instructor one of the comments I hear that could be the worst thing you could do for yourself is “when I look at other people’s pictures, mine aren’t as good”. I hate to hear that statement most of the time. When you are just starting out, or even after several years, you should not compare your work to others (yet), but instead compare it to your own work from months or a year ago. As photographers, we should want to improve our skills, but with realistic goals. Those goals should be something along the lines of wanting to get one really good image each month or each outing. Eventually you want to get more “keepers” each outing. Most of all you want to get comfortable preparing for an image so that your settings become second nature and almost automatic. You want to start paying closer attention to detail and do editing before you release the shutter vs on a computer in post processing.
 
Once you take that step and make the decision to become a professional, the largest step to take is to be completely honest about your work. That is when you compare your work to your competitor’s work. With any other job, you are competing for work and if your work isn’t up to par with their work, you have to improve your work. I remember sitting with Art Wolfe in Fort Meyers, FL in 1995 having a conversation about all the people that were getting into photography as a profession. Art said something to me that has stuck with me, he said, “I see too many people see people above them and they try to bring that person’s work down to their level vs climbing up the ladder to a higher step on the ladder”. Incredible advice! Don’t try to lower the level of someone else’s work, improve your own to be better. Set that as a goal.
 
Don’t set standards too high for yourself when you just start out, but set really high standards when you intend to make your living off of your photography. It is simply growth in your confidence and skills.
 
Downy Woodpecker in snow. Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional
Advertisements

These Holiday Treats!

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2017 by lilybug1960

These Holiday Treats!
 
This was an image I did this fall and when I was scrolling through images it caught my eye. This is how I think a lot of folks feel with all of the Holiday parties that happen this time of year! Unfortunately for us, we aren’t just fluffing our feathers to look big when another White-breasted Nuthatch approaches. These little birds are so amusing to watch and their games of dominance. Fluffed up he still isn’t the size of tennis ball, but no one messes with him. Try and stay unfluffed during the holiday! Happy Hanukkah to many of my friends!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 720, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Waiting

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2017 by lilybug1960

Waiting.
 
When I sit outside and photograph at one of my Bird Studios, I enjoy watching the competition for a spot near a feeder while the birds wait their turn. It seems like there are favorite spots the birds chose and that is why I try to keep changing the post they land on to encourage more perches for them. It is also interesting that they seem to all move from one feeder to another. There could be 5 at one feeder and none at another one moment then all them will move to a different feeder, and this goes on over and over. It would seem they would just spread out and all be at the feeders at the same time. This is one of the many Tufted Titmouse that visit each day. I have seen so many this year, it was a good summer for Titmouse apparently.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1100, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Thawing Out

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2017 by lilybug1960

Thawing Out.
 
This snowstorm over the weekend set records here in Georgia. Interestingly, there were parts of Atlanta that received as much snow as we did up here in the mountains. We never lost power, except for a few seconds here and there, but there are still folks in the flatlands without power after a couple days. We hope to be able to get off of the mountain finally today for a few hours. A neighbor plowed our road yesterday and I have shoveled the driveway. We actually went up to the mailbox yesterday, which is 1/3 of a mile away and there was only one patch of ice in the way.
 
I also shoveled a path to the feeders to make it easier to keep seed out and put some mealworms out for the Bluebirds and others. The ground seed eaters have really appreciated the clear ground too, so I leave some seeds in the grass to make it easier for them. It is good to see so many birds in the yard and at the feeders. I think their way of showing their appreciation is to stop by and strike a pose for me.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruUSA, #SiruiProfessional

For the Birds

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2017 by lilybug1960

For the Birds.
 
We were supposed to get about 1 to 2 inches of snow yesterday, but that quickly turned into about 10 by nightfall and we had several more last night. According to the news this morning we shattered the old record for snowfall in December! The sun isn’t up yet so I can’t see the beauty of the snow this morning. I spent most of the day yesterday keeping the wood stove fueled with logs, doing some things on the computer, and of course taking care of the birds. I always get concerned for their well being and ability to find food with all the snow. I put out mealworms and sunflower seeds on 4 different occasions and with the traffic I had at the feeders, I know it was appreciated. A couple of times the Eastern Bluebirds paused and posed in the Backyard Bird Studio for a few images. I still have around 8 Bluebirds wintering up here. Along with the Eastern Phoebe, Tufted Titmouses, Carolina Chickadess and Carolina Wrens, mealworms were in big demand. I saw more Dark-eyed Junco around the yard yesterday than I have ever seen before. I look forward to more chances for images today! I will share others in the next few days of the other birds as well. I have a beautiful scenic that I will share in due time…it is for a special day. To my fellow Georgians, stay warm, stay safe, stay at home.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, 450mm, f8, ISO 1250, shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Sirui P424S carbon fiber monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

A Tip for Photographing Birds for Publication

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by lilybug1960

A tip for photographing birds for publication.
 
I photograph a lot, and I mean a lot of birds. I offer my images for sale in publications. Most of the publications I deal with want to see details in the bird that will help to identify it. This requires photographing the bird in angles that aren’t that pretty portrait. It is hard to distinguish one bird from another when simply viewed from one angle. During my lectures I stress several points for those folks who are wanting to pursue photography as a source of income: leave room around the bird (it is possible for an editor to crop, but they can’t create what isn’t present in the image), make sure it is sharp, photograph the bird from different angles (even from underneath if possible to see the underside of the tail), and photograph the male, female, juveniles and seasonal plumage when you can. Explore online the avenues to sell your images. Look at field guide publishers to get information as to how to submit your images for consideration. Learn to live with rejection, many more images are rejected than accepted, so it is a law of averages, the more you submit, the better the chance of selling an image. Of all the tips probably the most important is to leave space. Clipping a part of a tail or wing is like going to get your family portrait done and the photographer crops you off at the knees for every image.
 
This is a Pine Siskin from 2 years ago in my original Backyard Bird Studio. Images made with the Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-800, Aperture Priority mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speeds of 1/250th (top) and 1/400th (bottom), Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #birdnirdvana

Northern Harrier

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2017 by lilybug1960

Northern Harrier.
 
One of my pet peeves, sort of…”you were in the right place, at the right time”. Often as a photographer people will look at an image and say those very words. I want to correct them and say, “no not at all, I put myself in the right place, waiting for the right time”. Notice the subtle difference? I wasn’t randomly standing someplace and a Northern Harrier flew by, instead, I went to an area that the Harriers and Eagles fly by often, hoping they would come by while I was there. Harriers don’t wait for you to set up, you have to be ready…quickly. As I stood at an opening in front of a large wood snag, I noticed this juvenile Northern Harrier approaching from my left. As soon as it cleared the brush, I panned with the bird as it flew by me. It even looks like he is saying hello as he zips by my location. This all goes to my teachings that the more you learn about your subject, the more you will “put yourself in the right place”, and when you do, well, you capture images you hope to capture. Now there will be times you were in the right place at the right time, like all the images of Bigfoot we see…
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 400, shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, Sirui PH-20 Gimbal head on a Sirui N3204X tripod, MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #MindShiftGear