Want Amazing Bird Photos? These Pros Reveal 7 “Essential” Techniques (VIDEO)

by John Stapel

The great thing about bird photography it that it’s a passion you can pursue year-round. But let’s face it: Capturing superb images of our feather friends can be difficult unless you know a few tricks.

There are several challenges with this form of photography, including attaining precise focus with fidgety subjects, getting accurate exposures in ever-changing light as birds move between sun and shade, and a multitude of considerations when shooting birds in flight.

Today’s video will help you deal with these and many other issues, as two pros discuss how to master what they say are seven crucial elements of every great bird image. We’ve featured tutorials from popular instructor Jan Wegener in the past, and today he enlists the help of fellow professional bird photographer Glenn Bartley to help you up your game.

This detailed episode is illustrated with awesome images from Wegener and Bartley. You may want to take a few notes, because there’s a lot of valuable information. But the 30-minute video is well worth watching, because by following their advice on gear, camera settings, composition and more, you’ll take your bird imagery to a whole new level.

Perhaps the most basic element of any good photograph is achieving a balanced exposure, and that holds true when photographing birds. The tutorial begins here, and offers a bunch of solid tips, including selecting among various exposure modes, dealing with different types of light, and using your camera’s histogram to “expose to the right.”

You’ll also see the pros and cons of shooting at different times of day, how to use a simple flash to increase your percentage of “keepers,” tricks for capturing birds in flight, being mindful of the background for more compelling composition, and more.

So pay close attention and experiment with these techniques—even if you travel no further than your own backyard. With a bit of practice, these practical methods will quickly become second nature and deliver great results.

You can find more great tips on Wegener’s YouTube channel, and the same goes for Glenn Bartley.