There are enough photographers on here to prompt a section dedicated to photography talk. Furthermore, interest has been shown by Ken Pugh, a local photographer who has been in the business for a long time, to share some of his knowledge, tips and ideas on both capturing photos and what equipment to use. His idea to create a photography section was a good one. I look forward to not only seeing what he has to share, but what the rest of us can contribute as well for the benefit of us all.
While obviously birds are likely to be a leading topic, I encourage questions or discussion to expand into scenery, close-ups and other subjects as well.
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)
Post by davidandkaren on Nov 17, 2010 21:15:41 GMT -8
My wife is a fairly serious photographer (BTW her website is weekendswithmarmots.zenfolio.com/) She has some bird photos in the Wildlife set however the majority are on our other website - I'm in the process or sorting them into families etc. (BTW thanks for the ID on the Willet)
I can attest on how difficult it is to take bird photos. I have access to her gear and yet all my photos turn out blurry.
With the leaves off the trees now she'll be out again soon - hopefully we will have something to share
Handy things mirrors. I've used them for a few bird photography problems - like reflecting sunlight onto birds in dark places such as barns to get "natural" light on swallows and owls etc when they are out of flash range!
We tend to enter into bird photography from one of two directions. We are birders first, building up a knowledge base of identifications, locales, behaviors etc, or we are photographers first. I am one of the latter. After spending 40 years photographing people, animals, flowers and scenics, I saw Bruce and Joanne's, and Bill Clark's images at the Blue Heron Reserve while conducting a UFV photo class. AT the same time one of my students submitted a songbird image for an assignment that was artistically beautiful. I was hooked!
My past experiences with birds is that unlike most of the animals and people I photograph, birds simply do not listen to me. They don't stay still, they don't come closer, and they disappear all to fast. This is all NUTS!
Compared to everyone in this I basicly know nothing about birds and bird identifications. However. This group of similar, like minded crazies punishing themselves with the same exapirations have been a God-send. Joanne and Bruce are soooo reassuring telling me time and again, "it will get better, the identifications will come, patience".
Others have been so helpful to me in my humble attempts to learn this amazing hobby. Len Jellicoe and Bill Clark are typical of you who take the time to help of newbies like myself. Others have been inspirational through their absolutely amazing images and suggestions on this site and their own web pages.
Thus my contributions to actual 'birding' may be minimal for now, save when I may 'stumble' on a rarity,and to the Masters of Bird Photography on here, there may be little new info to add to your skill-sets. As a photography guide in the Canadian Rockies for 30 workshops, I may be of help with locations for animals, flowers and scenics, so please call on he for help if you are headed that way. Your advanced bird photography skills are eagerly sought in this forum. I need your help, and I am sure many others may as well.
If you would kike to add me on your Facebook list (Ken Pugh) that would be great. Also, welcome to my web page (www.kenpugh.ca). I welcome corrections to my identifications, and no feelings will be hurt if you tell me my turkey vulture is actually a red-tailed hawk. I also welome e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken Pugh
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2010 10:34:13 GMT -8 by kenpossum
I am also the world's worst proofreader for typos. Please forgive. There will be more typos in the future, I am sure. Also, when I figure out how to upload images, I will also attempt to illustrate my posts.
I enjoyed reading your thoughts on entering the bird photography world. I had a good laugh at your great description
....."birds simply do not listen to me. They don't stay still, they don't come closer, and they disappear all to fast. This is all NUTS!"
Love it! I think these facts are part of what makes the hobby so fun. It isn't always about skill, sometimes you just have to be lucky. Right bird, right place, right time. And you never know what you will see, so anytime you are out and about, you may stumble across the best picture opportunity of the year! I love both the predictability and the unpredictability of bird watching.
I certainly have almost no knowledge of photography, but I am more than eager to learn. My camera is just a Canon Powershot SX10IS, but my father lets me borrow his new Canon 50D with 300mm F4 lens from time to time and I play around a bit with the shutter speed, ISO, etc, but really know nothing about it.
Should we meet in the field sometime, I will certainly help with the species identification, but am lost in all the settings on the camera.
Ken and Dave interesting thoughts. I started off being a birder when I was young, usually during family camping trips, but when I got home I didn't actively go out into the field. I did more looking at my field guide then out in the field itself. About four years ago my parents bought a digital camera with a decent zoom on it. I started to go out a little more trying to take pictures of nature. Birds were my first target, because when I was young I found them interesting. The hobby grew on me and I began to gain more knowledge on birds.
It is a very challenging hobby but also very rewarding. I used to get frustrated when I would go out and not see many birds. I think many have us have been in this position. However, I then realized that you don't have to see a lot of birds to enjoy the hobby. Anytime I go for one of my walks I am always satisfied by seeing the 'typical' species.
My advice for people getting into this fantastic hobby is first, get to know the common local birds (ie, flight pattern, field markings behaviour etc). When I first started, I read where listening for birds is as important as looking for them. I completely ignored this when I started but I believe this is very important. A lot of birds will be heard first rather than seen. This aspect I still have a lot to learn as I have a hard time differentiating calls from songbirds. Last advice is to have fun and be patient.
Photography and bird watching requires similar skills. Both requires patience and a fine eye for detail.
Photography is a great way to help ID a bird. Personally, this eased my stress of IDing birds because I would just take a picture of a bird then look through my guide and then ID it.
Hopefully, my rambling has been somewhat helpful.
Ken, I looked at some of your pictures on your site and they are awesome! I enjoyed looking through the Banff and Jasper sections. I was there in both locations in the summer. My pictures of Athabasca Falls didn't turn out that great (great excuse to go back). Your pictures of the falls are fabulous.