Photography 101: So You Wanna Shoot the Birds


Stephen F. Dennstedt

My favorite photographic genre is wildlife. Within that genre two subjects in particular pose significant challenges: wild monkeys in their natural habitat and birds in flight. With today’s camera and lens technology it’s easier than ever to capture stunning images but that doesn’t mean it’s easy (easier doesn’t automatically equal easy). I could spend all day talking about this subject but will demure in favor of an excellent video on the subject.

I photographed the images below primarily in Yucatan, Mexico and Southern Patagonia in Argentina. Click on images to enlarge them for better viewing. My equipment has become dated and I am looking forward to refreshing it when I return to the States in March for a short visit. My Canon EOS 5D Mark II can only manage 3 fps continuous shooting where the newer Mark IV can bang out 7 fps and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II can produce an impressive 10 fps.

In this video veteran wildlife photographer Roman Kurywczak provides a detailed behind the scenes look into some of his stunning images: from lighting and camera settings to shooting technique (B&H Photo produced this excellent video). He shares many of my shooting philosophies like: not being afraid of higher ISO and opting to handhold his long glass instead of using a tripod. He also gives good practical advice about achieving optimum exposure in changing light. Whether you’re an experienced wildlife shooter or a noob who wants to give it a try I think you will find this video to be both informative and entertaining. It’s long so allow yourself about 45-minutes. Enjoy.


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