There are many photographers out there doing bird photography. Most of the photographs would be like a bird sitting on a clean perch with a nice green blurred background. So, do you want to replicate the same shots? or are you interested in creating unique shots? In this article, we are going to see how to do creative bird photography.
In order to get unique bird images, you need to be creative. You need to play with the exposures in the available lighting conditions. As you know, we don’ t have the power to control the lighting during bird photography. The only way by which we can control is by changing our position of shooting.
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Importance of Lighting 🔅
It is the light which plays an important role in creative bird photography. As you know a diffused light falling on the subject is good for any types of photography. If you want to get creative shots then you should have dramatic lighting.
How to get the dramatic lighting? They are created in many situations. Just before the rain when the sky is filled with clouds then the lighting would be totally different from sunny days.
A catch light falling on the head of the birds with other parts in the shade is a good opportunity for getting creative bird portraits. So, you should have a clear understanding of the natural lighting conditions and weather conditions to try your creativity.
I don’t recommend using external flashlights to create dramatic light, like how we do for portrait photography.
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Play with Exposures 📸
70 percent of creative bird photographs are a result of playing with exposure. So, you should have a proper understanding of camera exposure. What changes in exposure can bring what effect?
If you photograph a white bird which has got some shade in the background then you can underexpose the image by few stops, depending on the lighting conditions to get a low key image.
Similarly, you can try for high key photography by overexposing the scene. You should have the correct lighting condition to do this.
Play with Shutter Speed
There are photographers out there who feel that you need to get crisp details when you photograph birds in action. Getting a crisp action shot is definitely good. But, you can create a sense of motion in your image by reducing the shutter speed.
So, play with your shutter speed. Try with lowest possible shutter speeds and see what effect it has on birds in flight.
When the bird is resting on a perch, it would be preening, tossing food or shaking off water from its body. These are all good creative photo opportunities for a slow shutter.
Go for shooting even on a rainy day. Believe me, you can create fantastic creative shots on a rainy day. You can use a slow shutter speed to create silky lines of water droplets falling on the birds. The colors would look more saturated on a rainy day.
Please make sure that you are using a rain gear for camera and yourself.
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You can also try changing the metering modes to create special effects. By default, most of the photographers would be using evaluative metering. You can try with spot metering or centre-weighted metering to play with light. You will have to adjust the camera exposure accordingly.
Start shooting creative bird photos. You can develop your signature style shots by being creative.
👉🏻 📖 READ MORE: How to Photograph Birds in Flight