Photographing birds is a great way to try your hand at shooting wildlife because traveling to exotic locations isn’t required. All you need is a nearby park or nature reserve, and you can even get started in your own backyard.
Another advantage with this genre of wildlife photography is that numerous opportunities abound throughout year, regardless of where you live. It’s also exciting that as the seasons change, so do the interesting species you’ll discover. And you can get the job done with the gear you already own
Experienced bird photographers use a myriad of techniques to capture compelling images of our feathered friends, but in the tutorial below from the Wildlife Alaska YouTube channel you’ll learn one easy and effective tip that will set you on the right path toward capturing stunning photos.
Instructor Scott West is a professional wildlife photographer specializing in birds. The video below demonstrates how a simple shift in the perspective from which you shoot will dramatically improve results. Along the way you’ll pick up valuable tips on exposure, camera settings, gear, and much more.
This behind-the scenes lesson takes place in Homer, Alaska, and West proudly says, “I have the luckiest opportunity to live and work in one of the greatest regions for nature and wildlife.” But even if you love in Poughkeepsie, the advice he provides will be a big help. So watch how West uses perspective to capture great images of two amazing bald eagles.
Smith says that by perspective, he means moving around and experimenting with different (i.e. unique) camera angles from which to shoot. As you’ll see, this can mean positioning yourself appropriately relative to the sun to achieve a unique effect, shooting from a high or low vantage point, and other perspective-changing methods that deliver compelling photos that stand out from the crowd.
He begins by shooting directly into the sun (not the typical approach) for a dramatic backlit shot with the eagles in silhouette. The then tries slide light for another epic photo. The other tips he provides deliver equally spectacular images.
There’s much more to learn about wildlife photography on West’s instructional YouTube channel, so head over there and see what else he has to offer.
On a related note, we suggest you also take a look at the tutorial we posted earlier, explaining how to use light and shadow for better photos of birds and other wildlife subjects.