Monday, April 25, 2011

Use Perches For Better Photos - Part I

Male Bluebird
Canon 7d - 300mm f/4.5 1/400th Second ISO 500
I’m known for a couple of things; a twisted sense of humor, the occasional good photo, and the creative use of stumps as perches for my shots. I don’t really much care for shots of birds on feeders, so I try to put something more attractive close by for them to pose on for me.

Placement of tripod with Branch - Canon Powershot
It may take a bit of getting used to, but you start to get a feel for what birds will land on and where best to place them. I often strap a log or branch to an old tripod so that I have more flexibility with the final positioning. Play around a bit until you get the light the way you want it.

Close-up of tripod - Canon Powershot

I also like perches with character. A little moss, some lichen, any sort of disease will do. Today, I set up a moss-covered branch on a tripod near my Eastern Bluebird’s nest box. It wasn’t even in place for a minute before the male came down to check it out. Lucky the camera settings were close enough.

Close-up of Branch - Canon Powershot
In the case of bird houses, nesting birds like to sit on perches to patrol their territories. For feeders, I try to place the perch between where the birds gather (in trees and brush piles) to make it a logical place to stop on their way too and from the feeder. The longer a perch stays in a single position, the more comfortable the birds will become with it and the more likely they are to use it.

Bluebird Pair
Canon 7d - 300mm with 2.0TC f/7.1 1/1600th Second ISO 640

These shots were taken from a blind about 20 feet away. If you want to get automatic emails of my new posts, look for the input area in the upper right corner.

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