I live in an area with lots of birds. Not just small backyards birds, but larger water birds—Egrets, Herons, Ibis. I find them fascinating. I recently discovered a nesting site near my house. It is situated on a golf course, so the site was difficult to get to, but when the course temporarily closed, I took the opportunity to go exploring.
Unfortunately, I don't have the "right" gear for bird photography. The longest telephoto lens I have is 70-300, and since it is a kit lens that came with my camera, image quality gets dicey at the full telephoto range. This can be frustrating, but I am learning to work with the limitations of my equipment, which might help me to become a better photographer in the long run.
I have managed to get some decent bird images with this less-than-perfect lens by doing the following:
- I avoid shooting wide open and at full zoom.
- I shoot during early mornings or evenings, or on overcast days (I got some of my favorite images on an overcast day, right after a storm).
- I find ways to approach the birds to get as close as I can without disturbing them.
- I visit the area multiple times to get different types of shots.
- I carefully correct minor aberrations and imperfections in Light Room.
- I don't expect perfection, just images that are pleasing, and convey what intrigues me about the birds.
The bottom line—don't deny yourself the joy of doing a particular type of photography because you lack the "right" equipment. With a little planning, creativity, and hard work, it is possible to make pleasing images with whatever gear you have.
These bird photography walks provided me with a much needed break from the insanity that is happening in the world right now. And to think—I almost passed up the opportunity to watch and photograph these magnificent creatures because I all I had was a humble kit lens.
Please note: I am not an expert on birds. I researched the species to identify them, so I let me know in the comments section if any of the captions need to be corrected.