. . . photos.
Going through my blog reader this morning, I came across this great article on taking photographs of birds in flight at the American Birding Association blog. It has some great tips in it about how to get good at this tricky and very satisfying skill.
I have taken more than my fair share of bad flight photos but I’ve been lucky some too. (As with most photos, Lady Luck is your best advisor!) My one piece of advice would be that taking flight photos from below the birds usually results in silhouettes – that can be dramatic but isn’t always what you are after.
My best advice to add to the article’s tips is to try to be level with the birds — that’s often difficult but you usually get some great shots that way. This pelican was flying along a jetty last summer where the Rogue River comes out to the Pacific in Oregon. I used the advice (as I usually do) to take the shots in burst mode. This was my best of the lot.
The advice about wind in the article made me laugh. This summer when we were at Chaco Culture National Monument in New Mexico, I was birding near the bathrooms — hey, the birds like shade as much as the rest of us and in the desert sometimes buildings provide the best shade. The birds didn’t want to leave the area but didn’t want me getting too close. I am handicapped by my lack of a telephoto lens so I was trying to get as close as I could without scaring the birds away. This one kept jumping down to fly away right into a head wind. He flew and flew away from me without going anywhere. The light wasn’t ideal but I got some fun flight shots in a way I never expected.
|From Flight Study|
To see a series of the bird in flight, click through to my Picasa album, Flight Study. You can then click on the button for the slideshow. It turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself.