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Thread: Help needed in BIRD photography.

  1. #1
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    Default Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Hi, I am very new to BIRD photography. After seeing many bird photos at the World Of Nature section, I would really like to start on taking some bird photos.

    Really need advice from all the pro here...

    My set up now is Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 + 2x converter. EOS 30D 1.6x crop body. Tripod is manfrotto 055Pro. (what else do i need?)

    It will be good if I can follow some of the pro here for a bird hunting trip.
    I will be free for most weekend.
    Feel free to SMS me at 94237067 if I can join you.
    Real Name : Billy.

    Thanks in advance for any reply...
    TO SEE, TO FEEL, TO PHOTOGRAPH.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Hi there,

    I assume that you mean shooting wild free-flying birds, not those in captivity i.e. Birdpark/Zoo.

    Bird photography is fun and challenging but it takes some time to start getting good results. You will need to invest a lot of time and effort into it, and $$$ too. Not to discourage you or anything, but investing in good equipment, particularly in the lens, is a must to aid you in getting good images - period. Those images you saw in World of Nature were mostly taken with dedicated telephoto prime or zoom of 300mm and up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenstars08 View Post
    My set up now is Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 + 2x converter. EOS 30D 1.6x crop body. Tripod is manfrotto 055Pro. (what else do i need?)
    This is a fairly decent setup, which gives you 400mm at the long end which is the minimum required for bird photography. Most ppl I knew started off in bird photography using this setup too. However, the 2x teleconverter slows down AF a lot and also affects the image quality quite significantly. (can result in soft, blurry images) Hence, if you are really serious about pursuing bird photography, my advice is to get a telephoto prime lens of at least 300mm focal length (400mm better if possible). If your budget is lower, can consider superzooms like Sigma 150-500mm OS or Tamron 200mm-500mm. (approx around 2k each)

    As for other essential items, I would also recommend a flashgun and flash extender which extend the reach of your flash, and concentrate it on a smaller area.

    Also, do borrow or buy some books on bird photography to get some essential tips and advise. A good starting point would be "The Art of Bird Photography" by Arthur Morris. Available at most bookstores and also the National Library.

    Good luck on your journey!
    Last edited by Garion; 22nd October 2009 at 11:57 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenstars08 View Post
    Hi, I am very new to BIRD photography. After seeing many bird photos at the World Of Nature section, I would really like to start on taking some bird photos.

    Really need advice from all the pro here...

    My set up now is Canon EF 70-200 F/2.8 + 2x converter. EOS 30D 1.6x crop body. Tripod is manfrotto 055Pro. (what else do i need?)

    It will be good if I can follow some of the pro here for a bird hunting trip.
    I will be free for most weekend.
    Feel free to SMS me at 94237067 if I can join you.
    Real Name : Billy.

    Thanks in advance for any reply...
    Firstly, you need to get the correct set-up, as mentioned by Garion in addition you can also go for the Canon 300mm f/4.0 + 1.4x TC or the Canon 400mm f/5.6, these lenses are less than 2K and is cheaper the 70 -200mm.

    If you are interested, you can dropped into Japanese Garden or Chinese Garden on the weekends especially in the morning, I assure you, you will be able to find some birders there, do approach them, most of the time they are willing to share their experiences.

    Good Luck and enjoy.
    Last edited by chrisli; 22nd October 2009 at 12:28 PM.
    Happy Shooting Enjoy Yoruself
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisli023/

  4. #4
    Senior Member egnaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    add on 1 question, is gimbal head or sidekick a need in bird photography? I never have bird photography but I like nature photography.
    Life is like Photography, to improve, you have to keep shooting!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by egnaro View Post
    add on 1 question, is gimbal head or sidekick a need in bird photography? I never have bird photography but I like nature photography.
    It is a must if you do not want your 10K - 15K lens topple and and gert smashed. The side kick is recommended for prime upto 500mm but I will not risk it, the Gimbal Head is the way to go,and believe me it will be better to buy the Gimbal Head from the beginning rather than up grading it in the future from the side kick.
    Happy Shooting Enjoy Yoruself
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisli023/

  6. #6
    Senior Member egnaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisli View Post
    It is a must if you do not want your 10K - 15K lens topple and and gert smashed. The side kick is recommended for prime upto 500mm but I will not risk it, the Gimbal Head is the way to go,and believe me it will be better to buy the Gimbal Head from the beginning rather than up grading it in the future from the side kick.
    Thanks, understand your point...

    if I can afford a 10-15k lens, shdnt save on Gimbal head and systematic Tripod... 2.5k on top on lens
    Life is like Photography, to improve, you have to keep shooting!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by egnaro View Post
    Thanks, understand your point...

    if I can afford a 10-15k lens, shdnt save on Gimbal head and systematic Tripod... 2.5k on top on lens
    Bottomline is, Bird Photography doesn't come cheap...

  8. #8
    Senior Member egnaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garion View Post
    Bottomline is, Bird Photography doesn't come cheap...
    well, I think underwater is even much costly... (referring to DSLR)
    Life is like Photography, to improve, you have to keep shooting!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    I have hang around in bird forum and guess what ... you have to learn to spot the birds first before being able to take their pictures
    That takes time, lots of time and patience and dedication as the places can be far, in accessible and the best time are dusk / dawn.
    I gave up. I still try to shoot birds but mostly pigeons, mynah and crows.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help needed in BIRD photography.

    We are a group of nature and wildlife photographer. If you are interested, you can join us together for the shoot. Every weekend, we do shooting at various garden or park, even nature reserve. The other thing is, One member is a ex-npark officer, while the other is a conservation volunteer at npark. U sure learn alot of birding skill with us. Interested? PM us.
    Thanks.

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