Birds are fast. I guess that is why they have been able to survive all these years. But I want to take a photograph of them! So, I have learned to be fast. Not just fast in taking the shot, but also fast regarding the shutter speed.

I usually use a longer lense (300mm) to get in close, and didn’t realize how much shaking is going on when I am photographing something. Since a lot of birds eat in the morning or evening, and the setting is my back yard which is wooded, the birds are not in full sun light. The other challenge in a wooded environment is auto focus. Too many things for the auto focus to focus on, and how does it know I am looking at a bird?

1) Focus Problem 2) Lens Shake 3) Missed the Bird

So here is what I do:

  1. Increase the ISO. I set my Canon Digital Rebel XTi to ISO 1600.
  2. Use shutter priority – TV – mode. Set the shutter speed to 1/125s or faster.
  3. Use the rapid fire – AI Servo – mode for taking lots of photos very fast.
  4. Use manual focus (sometimes).