Practising photography on local birds

Bird photography with simple camera is harder than with a complex one

I got a new point-and-shoot camera when my old one died.  It has 34× optical zoom so thinking of taking it on holiday where I’m hoping to see a lot of migrating birds, instead of taking much heavier equipment.  However, it takes a lot of blurry photos at high zoom because of

  • being too automatic; I can’t set the shutter speed.
  • not having viewfinder; have to use the screen to compose.  Which means I’m holding it out instead of pressed to eye, so less support for the camera and more shake.

So I’ve been practising to see if I can get some OK pictures.  One advantage of the dull, grey weather is that if I can get it right today, it should work for most conditions I’m likely to go out in.  Here are a few shots that turned out OK, while being a wimp and shooting through porch window, since it’s a bit nippy out there and I’m too lazy to put on outdoor clothes.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay
Blue Jay 2
Blue Jay 2
Blue Jay 3
Blue Jay 3
White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

There were about twice as many blurred ones, but I seem to be getting the idea.  And, since all else was failing, I downloaded the manual and apparently I can get a faster shutter speed by manually setting the ISO rating. Why they didn’t give a way to manually set shutter directly is beyond me, since I know what shutter speed gives blur for given subject movement but I don’t know how to get the right effect by tweaking ISO.

Author: Eric Lawton

Eric is a natural philosopher living in rural Ontario

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *