|Staying Off the Cold Ground!
|Red Tail Hawk
A few days ago, I was doing errands around Keene, NH and I happened to see a regal appearing Hawk enthroned on a road-side sign. Not wanting to be rear-ended, I continued down the road until
|Road-Side Red Tail Hawk
I have immense respect for serious bird photographers. To be good
|Barred Owl, Sugar Hill, NH
|Barn Swallows Targeting My Car
The Accidental Birder
All this said, I do occasionally grab an image of a bird. Usually this happens when an annoying winged beast flies across my view when I am trying to capture a majestic landscape. I have no choice but to wait until the little creep flies out of frame or try to grab a few images, hope that I might be able to incorporate the guy into the scene in some poetic way. Seriously, I love images of these glorious winged creatures, but my bird photography tends to be more accidental and opportunistic. I rarely stalk, but I do try to be prepared to grab the chances when they arise, and that is what accidental bird photography is all about.
You Can't Shoot it if You Don't Have a Camera
We can talk about the best equipment for bird photography, but the first step of accidental birding is just to have a camera with you, and although they are getting much better, I'm not talking about a cell phone. On the rare occasion that I go out purposefully to shoot birds, I pack my full kit; my DSLR, 100-400mm Canon glass, my 2x tele-extender and tripod, but more often I find my best subjects when looking for other opportunities. Then it is a matter of getting the most out of whatever equipment I have within reach.
Using What you Have
Most importantly, when I can't use my fully phallic glass to close in on my subject, I have to zoom with my feet. I try to avoid crawling
|Sea Gull off the Isles of Shoals
Seeing the Birds (The Power of Selective Vision)
In the early autumn of 2012 I joined a group of New England
|Cloud Forest Tucan
Shooting Birds, On Purpose!
Since I don't have the magic vision, I occasionally depend on
|Blue Heron Nest, Westmoreland, NH
|Bird Feeder Junco
|Baby Albatross, Galapagos Islands
|Blue Footed Booby, Galapagos Islands
As I get older it becomes increasingly unlikely that I will ever be attracted to hours of lying on the cold ground hoping for a feathered glimpse, but I will continue to keep the camera close, ready for the occasional happy accident to fly by. Now can someone please hook me up with a Snowy Owl?
|Landing Pattern, Harvey Pond