I have become an avid bird photographer. Capturing birds on a digital camera is quite challenging for a number of reasons. First, it is difficult to get really close, so a substantial zoom lens is essential. I have settled on the D500 Nikon body with either a 200-500 mm lens, or a 300 mm fixed lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. Second birds are likely to move quickly, or are in flight. So one needs a fast shutter speed (I prefer 1/1000 or faster), a wide open setting like f4.0 in order to diminish the background, and an ISO setting above the minimum. I have set my camera to auto ISO and a minimum shutter speed for that purpose. I have also found that a single point focus is best; try to focus on the eyes of the bird in order to get the sharpest pictures.
Where do I take photographs? A favorite site is my own backyard, through the rear window. We have crepe myrtle trees overhanging our spa, and I prefer to capture the birds in the trees or on the spa run-over. Locally we have access to a nicely laid out and situated bird blind in the Hamilton Greenbelt in Lakeway, and this is becoming another favorite site. In addition, when we travel, I often find friends or relatives have bird feeders, and I have taken some neat shots there as well.
So here are a few of my favorite recent images.
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