Photographing Birds: Tips and Techniques

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The bird photographer’s dream: shooting tropical birds in the brackish water mangroves of the Florida Everglades. In this video, outdoor photographers, Doug Gardner and Jason Hahn, take you into the mangroves for tips and techniques on photographing birds.

Doug explains that when you stalk a bird of prey, you need to take small steps, stopping now and then to make sure the bird stays relaxed. You also want to keep your shadow out of the bird’s sight line because the moving shadow is the first thing the bird sees. You never want to alter a bird’s behavior. Using these stalking techniques, he photographs a red-tailed hawk perched on a stump in the grassland. He says, “The exciting part of photographing birds in the Everglades is you never know what you’re going to find.”

Doug and Jason use kayaks to paddle their way through the dark, mangrove tunnels, their tripods mounted to the bows. In this environment, photographing birds is a challenge. Jason explains, “These wild birds are masters of camouflage. They’re good at hiding.” You will learn that being patient pays off. The animals in the Everglades were on the verge of extinction a hundred years ago, but now they are back. The men photograph a green heron glowing off a wall of dark vegetation. Jason says, “Bird photographers talk about having clean backgrounds, but I like textured backgrounds to show where the birds live.”

They paddle on, searching for exotic birds in the dark light. You will learn that photographing birds doesn’t just have to be portraits. Doug explains, “The idea is to capture the bird’s behavior in the natural environment.” They shoot birds flying, feeding, wading, perched, and backlit at sunset.

Climb into the kayaks with pro shooters, Doug and Jason, for creative and practical ideas on photographing birds in the brackish water mangroves.

MORE IN THIS COURSE:

Photographing Big Cypress at the Florida Everglades – Course Preview
Freshwater Cypress Swamps
The Fakahatchee Strand
Photographing Birds: Tips and Techniques