To take effective bird photos you need to think like a bird. Really! Birds love to perch and they love to eat, so why not provide both for them?
Hummingbirds like sugar water. I make mine with 4 cups water and one cup of sugar. I put the feeders in direct sun (you will need to change the water every other day if they don’t drink it all). I have also planted tons of their favorite flowers (Red Salvia, Black and Blue Salvia, Lobellia, Butterfly Bush and the list goes on).
My feeders are directly above the flowers so they have a big choice as to what to eat. I then put up some broken tree limbs to give them a place to perch. I usually set my camera on S- For Shutter Priority. And to stop the wings you will need at least a 1/500 or more for the shutter speed (I tend to use 1/1000). Your light must be good for high shutter speed or you will get a lot of noise. Also, try to always focus on the eye of the bird – as shown in the photo above.
To view my hummingbird set up and my hummingbird photos I welcome you to look at my share site hummer page.
Fall and Winter Birds
Because all my hummingbirds have migrated it’s time to focus other birds now. I again have lots of broken tree limbs near my feeders so the birds can perch (who wants to take feeder pictures right?). Pictured below is a set up I have for birds. I put seeds on the back side to get them to sit there. I haven’t tried it but have heard if you put peanut butter and or hide peanuts in the bark or trees, birds will flock to find them! Most of the winter birds don’t require a high shutter speed but I still set my camera to S, and I set it to at least 1/250. You can check out my latest photo book featuring a favorite fall/winter bird of mine, Cedar Waxwings.
Be prepared to be entertained by our feathered friends. The fun part is catching them when they are doing unusual things like sticking their tongues out or cleaning their feathers.
I must warn you. Taking bird pictures is addictive! I can’t wait to see the Shutterfly photo books you make with your images!