Birding is different than bird photography. As obvious as that may seem, a little voice inside my head feels the need to remind me of that now and then. “Take a step back, soak it in,” he says. Don’t worry, my little voice doesn’t have a name. If it did, this would be an entirely different kind of blog. Or would it?
Anyway, when I first picked up photography it was important to me not to lose the birding aspect of it but to enhance my birding experience and to satisfy the desire to share it. My first lens was a dirt cheap 70-300mm zoom, pretty much a staple for any beginning enthusiast. It didn’t take long to recognize that filling the frame with bold details of these gorgeous creatures I was observing was very wishful thinking! Okay.
“So what now?” I asked myself. The little voice, that as it turns out, has been around a long while, said, “Shoot what you see.”
As simple as it sounds, there are some tricks to it. Much like poetry, there’s a good deal of creative license to be applied in telling a story, whether with words or an image. However, acquiring a drivers license doesn’t mean you’ll be driving like an expert right away. Some passengers will gently fall asleep and some will be clinging to the armrest, praying for the trip to end. What’s important is to recognize these reactions for better or for worse, and learn from them.
Take a step back, shoot what you see and convey what it means to you.
Secondly, tell a story to someone who wasn’t there. My first lens was my greatest teacher for that, and as it so happens, my prime lens is in the shop and I’m revisiting my 70-300mm zoom once again. Maybe it wasn’t the little voice in my head talking. Maybe it was the lens?
See you out there!
About the Author
Always inspired by being outdoors since I'm a child I became a full fledged (pun intended) birder in 1985 when my future wife bought me my first field guide. Also always involved in the arts, painting and drawing all through my teens, playing music (bass) for well over a decade and now my passion is my photography. I moved from NYC to Florida in 1995. That has certainly enhanced my obsession with birding, currently residing in Titusville which is home to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It is here that my amazement for all things feathered grows stronger every day.