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Photographing birds is a particular passion of mine, and I have a few specific elements that are key for creating a bird photograph that will stand out from the crowd. I like to
steal use quotes from pop culture when I am teaching because it helps remember the message. Today’s tip for photographing birds is to Strike A Pose! Thanks, Madonna!
A bird on a stick or a rock is just that, but when they strike a pose, they become something more significant.
Meet the Common Bulbul, a bird often described as nondescript, drab, and pallid. In other words, a Little Brown Job, aka LBJ. There are hundreds of birds that fall into that class, and they are so hard to identify that most people (myself include) don’t bother.
The species is everywhere in Africa, and because they have a flash of yellow on the rump, I always think it is something more exotic than an LBJ. On the plus side, sometimes you do get lemonade from a lemon as I did with this photo. That stare you down, “how dare you call me an LBJ,” look makes this Common (LBJ) Bulbul something way more interesting.
Keep looking for the right pose, and you’ll find your lemonade too!
How to Find That Strike A Pose Moment
I am not going to lie; it’s not that easy. I mean, if it were easy, everybody would do it.
The first thing is to learn as much as you can about birds. I find that most of my exciting pose moments come during breeding/nesting season.
The second thing is that you have to shoot in bursts. With bird photography by the time you see it in the frame, you have already missed the shot.
The third technique is also annoying, but you must practice it. I don’t mean, know how you gear works practice ( I assume you have that dialed in. Right?), I mean, get out there and shoot. These moments might be 1 in 100 or even 1000. I can promise if you are not out there clicking a lot, then you are not going to photograph a bird striking a pose!
Photographing Birds – Strike A Pose Conclusion
- Learn about your birds. Knowledge is power!
- Choose the best time to look for a pose.
- Get out and there and
shoot capturephotograph a lot!
And One More Thing
I have a lot of photography workshops that feature birds. Join one of my photography adventures, or I’ll create a custom trip just for you, and I’ll show you all of my tricks!
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I love talking all things birds and of course photography. I welcome your comments, questions or your own stories in the comments box. I answer them all!