Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Photography - Capturing Animal and Bird Images

Frame, check focus and click. That's it. Take another image at a different angle, repeat. Before digital, photo bracketing helped ensure the photographer had several different light levels and poses. Taking several images of the subject will give you better photos if you change position or lighting in each. There are some things to be aware of while photographing--background, positioning of the subject, and point of view or angle of the camera. Here are some examples.

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Scrape

This stallion's portrait was taken for the owner of the horse. He was in the process of training Scrape, since the young horse had a knack of getting himself into scrapes. . .  He's relaxed in this photo, because he's at home in his own corral, that's part of the fencing you see in the background. The natural setting keeps the image uncluttered.


'Scrape', Willie's horse, by DG Hudson


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Waterfowl

Viewpoint can present an entirely different look, so try an overhead shot of the subjects. In this case, ducks indigenous to the Lower Mainland are feeding. Feather patterns and coloring become prominent. Centering the ducks is a great way to frame a motley group. Click quick as these subjects are very mobile.




Ducks by Neens; printed by permission 2014, DGH



Ducks are sociable, especially when food is being shared. These mallards and females stop long enough to pose. Framing this shot close to the action (duck-level) gives an immediacy to the viewer. The effusive color of the heads, bills and feet brightens the image. For professional use, you may want to crop out the human element, highlighting the main subject.


Mallards and Friends, by Neens; printed by permission 2014. DGH


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In the photo shown below, the bird has been framed slightly off-center so the Sandhill Crane is prominent and the mallard is in the background. This photo is landscape oriented; use the portrait orientation if the subject is tall. Be quick when photographing nature. Try not to disturb them if they are feeding.  

I accidentally created a fantastic 'ducks in flight shot' by opening an automatic umbrella at our local lake, also a city bird sanctuary. A beautiful-to-humans, heart-stopping-to-ducks flutter arose at that end of the lake. I felt guilty scaring the ducks as the umbrella opened with a Whoosh! I felt even worse that I was holding the umbrella instead of my camera.

The images of waterfowl in the last three photos were taken by photographer Neens at a bird sanctuary in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, B.C. Information follows.




Sandhill Crane, by Neens; printed by permission 2014, DGH



George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, is a protected area in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. This is a suburb of Vancouver and part of the estuary of the Fraser River. It is also a Site of Hemispheric Importance as designated by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. (Wiki)

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Do you visit bird sanctuary or animal preserves? Are there any in the area where you live? Do you look for nature shots on your runs/walks? Have you had your vacation time?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.

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References:

Photo credit: Waterfowl photos printed by permission of Neens, the owner of these images.
 
Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_C._Reifel_Migratory_Bird_Sanctuary 

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26 comments:

  1. Great pics! I have a couple of birdwatching photographer friends and they get amazing close ups.

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    1. We need to capture these images for posterity. Who knows how information will be stored or accessed in the future?

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  2. I gotta say, that overhead shots of the ducks is quite a cool shot. Very unique. I don't think I've ever seen that perspective of them in a photo before.

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    1. The photographer has a great camera eye.

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  3. Love that horse portrait. And, yes, I worked as a naturalist for a state park here in Colorado that was well-known for it's migratory bird populations. Got to know birds pretty well. :)

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    1. That sounds like an interesting job. Would love to hear about that some day. Did you check out the flora and fauna in Wales when you were there?

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  4. Nice photos. I think I need a better lens for decent bird photos. I can never get close enough... rarely.

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    1. The tamest place for photos of birds was at the Everglades; these are local shots.

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  5. It's always interesting for me to read about photography because I am so clueless about it myself. Love this horse picture. I want to reach out and rub his beautiful face. :)

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    1. I took the photo of the horse with my old SLR, the kind that used film. Glad you like it.

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  6. The stallion looks real royal.

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    1. I thought he was handsome too, but his owner said he was feisty. He turned out well after being trained by a man who loves horses.

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  7. These are awesome pictures! I actually live by a bird sanctuary, which is why my best friend is a hawk (as posted about before). But we also have eagles, ducks, and even pelicans, which you might not expect to see here.

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    1. Pelicans? No I wouldn't expect them there - aren't you guys in Colorado? I saw Brown Pelicans in Florida - Daytona Beach. We were on the 10th flr of one of the hotels and they would go sailing by every morning.

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  8. Good instructions. I've never thought of looking down on a subject, especially the loons and ducks. But you're right, the perspective is excellent. Thanks for visiting my blog. DG. Happy Summer.

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    1. Happy Summer to you, too. It's easier to photograph them that way when they are feeding on land.

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  9. Thank you. I do love my birds and animals and am always looking for ways to improve my photographs. Some great suggestions here.
    PS: Still wishing healthy healing thoughts for you and your husband.

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    1. Thank you for the healing thoughts Elephant's Child. I appreciate it so much. Photography is something that's been a lifelong passion. Glad you like the suggestions.

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    1. Thanks. I only took the first one, all the rest were taken by a friend.

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  11. There are lots of squirells in our local park and no matter how hard I try to get a good photo of one, I never can! I like the ducks, especially the ones with green heads!

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    1. The mallards are colorful, the brown ones are the females.

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  12. Excellent shots. I don't know much about photography -- just point and shoot. Sometimes my photos look all right.

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    1. Thanks, Milo. It's important to get the photo, composition and pov is for those who want to play with the subject.

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  13. Nice shots. Looks like the animals were all in good spirits to pose for you.

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    1. The photographer (the Crane and Ducks shots were taken by Neens and she said feeding them first helps (seeds not bread).

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