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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Tips to Photograph Bird

When it comes to photographing birds and their behavior, catching it on film will add a tremendous visual impact and feeling to any picture. There are different locations where birds gather, but really the best place you may what to start is your backyard. The thing about birds is that they are busy little bodies and a bird feeder in the backyard is a great place to get a picture when they are feeding or even the bird in the air getting ready to pounce one of the birds that is currently feeding.

When you venture out of your backyard to look for birds to photograph your vehicle may just become your newest piece of equipment. Birds see our cars less of a threat then a person carrying a long lens underneath their arm. A vehicle makes for a great blind and along with this patience is a virtue. When you find a location such as a prime feeding ground, park a bit of a ways from it and stop your engine to cut down on noise that may scare them.

Standard,wide-angle and short zoom lenses can be used for photographing birds, but for serious bird photography, a quality 500 mm or 600 mm telephoto lens is ideal.

Please keep in mind to avoid any situation that can put stress on the birds and their surroundings. If you notice a bird that is starting to show any kind of stress, this means that there is a nest or chicks near by. Any further picture taking should be disengaged and you should leave the immediate area. As a photographer of birds or any wildlife, it is a good thing to remember not to put ourselves or the birds around us in any kind of danger.


Tips to Photograph Kids

For starters, kids have a very short attention span. To get them to sit still for even a minute is like asking for a miracle. Fidgeting is like a way of life for kids. Bill Cosby used to have a blast doing comic bits about the brother and sister who couldn’t stop touching each other and were always getting into some kind of trouble. Sit still? Not a chance.

Aside from that, children don’t take direction very well even if they aren’t restless. To say to a child, “turn your head slightly to the left” is like asking him to do advanced calculus. It isn’t going to happen. Either the kid is going to move his head so little that it won’t have made a difference or he’ll turn his head half way around. “A little to the left” is a foreign concept to children.

So what is a photographer to do, especially if his assignment is to take photos of a church directory, or maybe of kids in school? Well, there are a few tricks he can use that will actually produce very good results. However, these tricks aren’t going to work without one very key ingredient and this is the hardest thing to be able to do because you either have it or you don’t.

The number one key to being able to photograph a child is to be able to relate to the child one on one. You have to have the kind of personality that either mesmerizes the child or at least makes him feel enough at ease with you that he or she can follow simple instructions. Unfortunately, some photographers have the personality of a fig leaf and there is just nothing you can do about it. These people probably shouldn’t be photographing kids at all. But if you do have a bubbling personality, use it. Make the kid laugh and feel at home.

If, however, you’re not exactly personality plus, there are some things you can do to get the kid’s attention. One of the oldest and most effective tricks in the book is to bring along objects with you that the child can either play with or look at.

For example, if you want to get the child to tilt his head and look in a certain direction, the easiest way to do this is to hold up an object. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but the more colorful the better. All you need to do is hold the object up in the direction you want the child to look. So let’s say you want him to move his head slightly to his right. What you do is hold the object in your left hand and move it to your left to the point where you want the child to look. Then simply tell him to look at the object, using the object’s name. So if you’re holding up a small brown bear, tell the child to look at the brown bear. Also, smile when you do this. Eventually the child’s head will be in the exact position where you want it so you can take the photo.

Another thing you can do, in the case of a child who won’t sit still, is to give him something to play with. While he’s looking at the object, simply call his name or do something to get his attention and as soon as he looks up you can take the photo. Yes, you have to be fast. But with a lot of practice you’ll get real good at this.


Helpful Photography Tips

Surprisingly, the first thing they tell you to do, when photographing another person, is to look your subject in the eye. This technique engages the subject and gets the best possible expression out of the subject. Take the photo at eye level. If the subject is a child then stoop down to their level. This is called getting a bird’s eye view and is very effective.

The next tip is to use a plain background. You don’t want to take attention away from the subject. By using a plain background the attention is squarely on the subject. Make sure there are no objects of any kind sticking out from the sides of the photo area. Your subject is going to look pretty silly having a car sticking out of her right ear.

Third on the list is to use flash outdoors. While this is actually not necessary, the pros say that this will actually improve the quality of the photo. By using a flash this lightens the facial area and eliminates shadows that can be caused by the sun. It’s a subtle difference, but a difference just the same.

Number four is to move in close to your subject. This will make the photo as sharp as possible. Plus, you want to fill the photo area with the subject itself and not the things around the subject. Don’t get too close or the photo can turn out blurry.

The fifth tip is to move the subject from the middle. This may sound wrong by instinct but what this does is bring your subject to life by moving him from the middle. Try playing tic tac toe with the subject to get the most interesting effect.

Sixth on the list is to lock the focus. Many cameras have auto focus options. Use them. Unless you are a seasoned pro, the camera will do a better job of focusing in on the subject than you can.

The seventh thing to do is to know the range of your flash. Not every flash travels at the same distance. If you are too far away from your subject for your flash to reach you are going to end up with a very dark photo.

Coming in at number eight is to watch light coming from other sources. A bright flash of sun on your grandmother’s face can bring wrinkles more to view. This is not something you want. You want the light to be even throughout the photo. This may involve moving your subject a number of times.

At number nine, the pros suggest to take some vertical photos. In other words, turn your camera on it’s side. For whatever reason, vertical photos just look good and can make a new photographer’s photos look that much better.

At the bottom of the list at number ten is to be a photo director. Don’t just passively take your photos. Move your subjects around. Try to create a composition with your photos. Let them tell a story.