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Thread: Trying to get into birding!

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    Trying to get into birding!

    I have a 100-400 on the way, if all goes well I should have it in a week or a bit more.
    Any tips to start? Have read the tips section above, but wondering if you have anything spefic for Perth, or specific for a 60D with a 100-400. Ie, is AI focus the way to go? Any other modes or settings anywhere in the camera I should think about?
    Where would you recommend I go, for someone who is totally new to both bird photography and bird watching, so I don't know that much about either?
    Thanks!

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    As someone who is also trying to get 'good' birding photos the best advice I can give you is be patient. It is certainly much more difficult to get right than I thought.

    As far as settings: There are many good birders out there who will give you some advice but here is my $0.02 as a beginner. I know some prefer Av but I am finding better success in Tv at the moment.

    ISO - 400 to 800 - the 100-400 is a great lens but you will need to keep the ISO up to get your required shutter speed.
    Tv - 1600 for birds in flight. Any value (within reason) will be fine for one on land or water.
    AI servo
    Use the centre focus point. - It is tempting to enable all - and that works really well if the bird is in clear sky - but low down with trees etc in frame the auto focus may 'pick' the wrong target to focus on.

    Finally, be patient Go out in the first 2 hours of daylight and the last 2 hours. You can get good shots during the rest of the day but I find the light is more pleasing at either end. Often the birds are more active as well as they feed.

    Have fun

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    Welcome George,

    I too have only been shooting birds a short while. Still coming to terms with the photographic side, but as far as locations, I live south of the city (Shoalwater) so the locations I know are more this way. Penguin Island (not just penguins) Alcoa wetlands Baldivis Bibra Lake. Victoria dam (eastern Hills) & Araluen Botanical park are some of my favouite places.

    My bird set on Flikr:-

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/g_bambe...7629036075079/
    Last edited by gbamber; 20-06-2012 at 7:11am. Reason: Added Link
    gb From GB
    C&C is more than welcome, it's encouraged.

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    Hi George , I am fairly new to this as well and all I can say that it is very addictive, very rewarding and great fun. Also do give up when its not working for you. (keep at it & practice)
    Some pretty good bird photographers on this forum to get ideas and knowledge from.

    Cheers Glen

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    I have been learning for 2 years and am still learning. My basic setup when I set off for early morning is- AV. ISO 400 and F8, if light is low I will go up to ISO 800-3200 to keep shutter speed up or down to ISO 100 if a bright sunny day. The main thing is practice, practice, practice followed by more practice. By the way, be prepared to become addicted and good shooting.
    Keith.

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    Bird Nerd Richard Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Edwards View Post
    I have a 100-400 on the way, if all goes well I should have it in a week or a bit more.
    Any tips to start? Have read the tips section above, but wondering if you have anything spefic for Perth, or specific for a 60D with a 100-400. Ie, is AI focus the way to go? Any other modes or settings anywhere in the camera I should think about?
    Where would you recommend I go, for someone who is totally new to both bird photography and bird watching, so I don't know that much about either?
    Thanks!
    Certainly isn't definitive by any means but the guide I wrote HERE covers a lot of points that will get you started and on your way. The questions you've asked are all covered with regards to camera mode, metering, focus modes, f/stop, ISO etc in the article and can be applied to any camera/lens combo, it just so happens I also use a 100-400 so they also apply directly to that lens.

    I'd suggest check out the article to get some ideas, then get out there and practice! Once you've taken some images, post some up for feedback from other members here and you'll be well on your way in no time.

    I've moved your thread to the general photography forum as this section is strictly for photos for critiquing.
    www.richardhallphotography.com


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    Hi George, what part of Perth are you in?
    In general, Lake Monger good for ducks etc, Herdsman Lake ducks + raptors, Bold Park is great for bush birds.
    If you want to catch up for a walk, talk and shoot I am available most days during the week and some weekend days.
    Drop me a line if your interested.

    Regards Robert
    Canon:- EOS 5D MkIII, EOS 7D, EF 24-105 IS USM Lens, EF 100-400 IS USM Lens, Speedlite 580EX II


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    I have a 60D and a 100-400 and find it a good combination.
    However, if you intend to spend a few hours birding, invest in a good tripod with a gimbal mount, or at least a monopod as the lens becomes difficult to hand hold for hours on end.
    This lens is amazingly good for such a long lens, and although I've done very little birding, fast shutter speeds are the name of the day.
    One big advantage the 100-400 has is its "shotgun" zooming.
    It's so easy to pull it back to find the bird than rapidly push it out to zoom in for a close-up without wobbling all over the place as you would with a conventional twist zoom.

    Best of luck, and I hope you enjoy your combo, as it's a very good one.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Thanks guys! Western suburbs.

    Great guide Richard, already read it but I'll keep it on hand for future reference.

    I don't have the lens yet and I'm flat out with exams for a while unfortunately.

    I'm most keen to shoot raptors, if I can find some... I've seen a Harrier and a lot of Ospreys, but never with a long enough lens.

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    I meant to say DONT give up

    Quote Originally Posted by fisher View Post
    Hi George , I am fairly new to this as well and all I can say that it is very addictive, very rewarding and great fun. Also do give up when its not working for you. (keep at it & practice)
    Some pretty good bird photographers on this forum to get ideas and knowledge from.

    Cheers Glen

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    Yeah, I got that. lol

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    Ok, got my lens! Took it out for a few shots today, came home with 400. Unfortunately only about 5 keepers, since most were badly focused (I need a lot of practice with this lens!) or nearly identical copies of the same shot.

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    400 shots - 5 keepers. Welcome to birding George

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    5's okay and the posted photo's better than okay. fisher said "don't give up." I won't.
    My effort from today....

    IMG_1808.JPG


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