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Thursday, October 30, 2008

American Robins in Crabapples

American Robin swallowing a crabapple

The American Robins are really chowing down right now on our Prairie Fire Crabapple trees. I got my big Canon 500 mm lens out and put a 2x teleconverter on it, essentially giving me a 1000 mm lens and went out to get some photos. Voila! here are two of my favorites.

I was thinking about photography tips to share with you while I was photographing the robins:

- For bird photography, it is often useful to get the biggest telephoto lens you can afford. It gets you a closer photograph of the bird because you have a more powerful lens. It also allows you to stand farther back from the bird at a distance that does not disturb the bird, so you actually get the photo. That was the case with these robins. I was back far enough that they happily went about their task of eating the berries. They did not fly away, as they would have if I were to move closer.

- Another tip is to move your body in relation to the bird to compose the scene better. These robins were in trees and were often obscured by the leaves. I had to sometimes move, granted with the big heavy lens, to get a better photo. I tried to move with a smooth tai-chi like action, so as not to scare the birds with a sudden fast movement. Birds will often spook and fly away if you move too fast.

Bird photography is tricky, but I find it immensely rewarding, especially when I get good photos that I can share with you.


Mary C said...

I'm glad you mentioned what size lens you had. When I first saw the photo I was wondering how you got such a great shot of the robin swallowing that crabapple. It looked like you were face to face with him. Since I have a new Canon Rebel Xsi (graduated from a Kodak point and shoot), I've been wondering about getting a teleconverter. Lillian, I think you've sold me on getting one.

Berder said...

Great tips, eerie with the timing, I was wondering how to help my pictures.
My camera is decent, but by no means built for birding.
And I love the first shot, great picture!

joseph holt said...

cool pictures i am trying to save up for a new camera i think i am going to get one like that!.