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Bird Photography With Your Pentax Equipment

Here are some top tips for bird photography with your Pentax gear.

Posted: 24/08/2013 - 00:00


Bird photography can be a tricky area of the craft to master. Not only do you have to be fast, you also have to be stealthy and be able to hide away from your subject to avoid scaring them away. Here are a few top tips to help you when you're out in the field. 

Certain species of birds can be difficult to find so it's worth knowing the rough habitat that the species you like to photograph is most likely to be found in, so that you can narrow your search. You could also go on a few scouting missions and note down what you see to give you a better idea of what can be found in your local area. This is of coure once you've exhausted your back garden and the park, where many species can be found.

Action mode
Most Pentax cameras will feature a sports or action mode, designed to enable you to capture clear shots of fast moving objects. This will be an ideal mode to use for your bird photography. If you've only got a compact camera, or don't have a long reach lens, don't worry. Great bird  photography can be captured at rescue centres and zoos too, where the birds will be a lot easier to capture.

Fast shutter speed 
If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, or even an advanced compact camera, then you can set the shutter speed in most cases. Most bird photography will take place in daylight, so you should be able to use a relatively fast shutter speed, 1/500 or above should do it, and still get a perfectly light shot. Using shutter priority mode will allow the camera to choose the aperture it thinks is correct. If it's not producing the effect you want, switch to manual mode and set the aperture as you wish. 

Birds can be scared away easily, so it's best to shoot from quite far away and use a long reach telephoto zoom. A lens such as the 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED will be ideal. Use a tripod to keep the camera steady. 

Camera angle
A common mistake with bird photography is to take the photo from the human perspective. Sometimes it's necessary to get down low or up high to really immerse the viewer into the world of the bird. Placing the camera on a bean bag or tripod with splayed legs will enable you to get down low whilst still keeping the camera steady. Use of a remote release will also enable you to trigger the camera away from the scene.

To lure birds to your garden in order to photograph them, you can use bait. Seed, a little bread and a bird bath should be enough to get some flying visitors visiting the garden. Then, you can work on more elaborate props such as bird feeders, houses and ornamental logs to get birds flocking in and added background interest for your photos at the same time. 

Members photos with related tags: Bird

Posted 29/08/2013 - 09:44 Link
except that so far Pentax is far from to match its direct contenders (7D, 300s, ..) as for its AF performances .. for the purpose, bird photographers know how much AF capability of an equipment is determinant a parameter for quality bird captures .. by the way the photo up here illustrates well Pentax characteristic AF problem
my flickr gallery
my PPG
Edited by senn: 29/08/2013 - 09:49
Posted 29/08/2013 - 10:42 Link
senn wrote:
by the way the photo up here illustrates well Pentax characteristic AF problem

You have either got a better imagination or better eyes than me then if you can see an AF problem in the robin shot above.
Posted 29/08/2013 - 10:56 Link
gwing wrote:
senn wrote:
by the way the photo up here illustrates well Pentax characteristic AF problem

You have either got a better imagination or better eyes than me then if you can see an AF problem in the robin shot above.

.. probably
my flickr gallery
my PPG
Posted 31/08/2013 - 12:38 Link
Pentax cameras and lenses are fine for bird photography. I just wish they produced a convertor for the DA* 300 before I go insane!!!!!!
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!
Posted 30/03/2016 - 07:36 Link
I've just taken up Bird Photography using a Pentax K-x and DA 55-300 lens. Even though I consider the K-x camera less professional camera, it does shoot clear pictures and it seems to be a little faster that my K20d, what I consider my better with a Tamron 18-200mm lens attached to it. Yes, in most cases Bird photography requires study, research, being in the right place at the right time, patience; no heaps of patience. I consider myself very much a novice in all of this but I love it and my Pentax. New Zealand, of course, is a bird haven. Some birds will just pose for you. I got an incredible photo of a white face Heron the other day that stood mesmerized looking at me. (This happens with my wife sometimes also, NOT!) Australian Coots are the same. Oystercatchers, again, are the same; a beautiful bird with red eyes and a long narrow beak. Wekas are difficult as is the Thrush. Ducks of course are easy. So, with the difficult birds, at least a 200mm lens, if not 300mm lens is very useful but you got to be fast. And of course the problem is the faster you are the most likely you will make a mistake by moving too fast and not paying attention. I think sometimes that I would like to have a 400mm lens but I'm a lowly paid person who has to be careful with the finances, as we all are! I can usually buy lenses and sneak them into the house without my wife seeing them but I wouldn't dare do that with a 400mm lens! She would notice....

Well, that's my two cents worth on this bird subject which was discussed three years ago.

tks Phil
Edited by PhilSmith: 30/03/2016 - 07:37

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