5 Bird Photography Tips

These five bird photography tips are sure to help you improve your photos!

Photographing birds can be both fun and exciting as well as extremely frustrating. These five bird photography tips are sure to help you improve your photos!

1. Learn about your subjects before photographing them.

Great photos don’t typically happen by chance. You can improve the chances of getting that incredible photo everyone dreams of by gaining a greater understanding of your subjects. This will allow you to anticipate their behavior and be in the best position possible to get awesome photos.

5 Bird Photography TipsRob Ripma
Rob Ripma By understanding the behavior of the Black-and-white Warbler, I was able to get a very interesting photo as it moved along the branches.
2. Be patient.

Just like in birding, patience pays off in photography. Put yourself in a good position and wait for the birds to come to you. It shouldn’t take too long for them to get comfortable with you in their space and return to their normal behavior.

3. Mornings and evenings provide the best light.

Lighting is one of the most crucial elements of photography, and mornings and evenings typically provide the best lighting options. Sunlight in the middle of the day is often too harsh for good bird photos.

5 Bird Photography TipsRob Ripma
Rob Ripma The morning light helped provide the perfect setting when I photographed this Purple Sandpiper.
4. Take the time to learn about your camera.

One issue that I see many new photographers struggle with is that they just don’t know what all of the functions of their camera will do. Yes, you can always just shoot in automatic mode, but if you know what all the different functions and modes of your camera do, you will likely get much better photos!

5. If in doubt, just shoot!

I know I just mentioned learning as much about your camera as you can, but I’ve also seen photographers get so caught up in their camera settings that they miss a great opportunity. Have you camera set for the general conditions of the day so that you can snap a quick shot if you happen upon that perfect scene.

5 Bird Photography TipsRob Ripma
Rob Ripma This Scarlet Tanager only posed for a few seconds before it was gone.

Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.