Many of us are getting tired of all the snow and cold weather that has been visiting us in the U.S. But we can pass the time more quickly and enjoyably by feeding our feathered friends! In return for our largesse, we can see wildlife up close and also grab a little photography practice time.
Our feeder is positioned about 15 feet from my home office window, and hubby keeps it regularly filled up with sunflower seeds. It took several weeks before the birds finally discovered it, but we have routine visitors now. Our guests include sparrow, downy woodpecker, chickadee, and titmouse.
The birds in our neighborhood generally do not linger very long at the feeder. They grab their morsels and quickly fly! So it is a challenge to capture their photographic images. I have my camera set up on a tripod, and I place the end of the lens as close as possible next to the window glass. My trusty 18-200 mm zoom lens with vibration reduction is in service. A fast shutter speed is essential and also a shallow depth of field. The recent snowfall has made a perfect, uncluttered background. With overcast skies, a high ISO setting is necessary, though it adds unfavorable digital noise (i.e., graininess) to the images. I have been shooting in the “camera raw” image format so that I can have better processing control over highlights and shadows. (I know how much Miz Sally loves it when I talk camera, LOL!)
Chickadees are difficult to photograph because they practically vibrate with energy. They are faster than my shutter finger most of the time.
The sparrows had quite a picnic feast on the ground when the big snowfall arrived a week ago. This fellow looks like he’s ready to fight if you try to take away the seed in his beak!
A titmouse is very willing to give a handsome pose like this one.
And it is always thrilling to see an adorable downy woodpecker swoop in for a meal. It’s funny to see the other birds scamper whenever he flies in!
With any kind of wildlife photography, it is essential to take lots of pictures so that you can capture a few good poses. I hope you feed your local birds and have lots of fun taking their portraits too. It’s inexpensive entertainment!