Photography Tips – How to Photograph Birds and Wildlife Without Breaking Your Bank Balance

Don’t Buy a Premium Telephoto Lens – What puts off most people from starting a hobby such as bird & wildlife photography? It’s simply the cost. A Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens will cost you USD 6,140 at Amazon. Apart from the price the other negative aspect is the weight. This beauty weighs in at 8.5 pounds! Imagine trekking through the forest or the jungle for several hours lugging this weight on top of your other photography gear.
Do Buy a Budget Telephoto Lens – a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto lens will only cost you USD 1,200 at Amazon. This lens weighs in at only 2.8 pounds. Thus with this option you have an 80% saving in the cost and a 66% saving in the weight you have to carry around. The purist photographer may argue that this lens won’t have the clarity and allow the same amount of light into the camera, essential when taking shots in low light conditions. This is not true if you follow the techniques described below.
Do Buy a Premium Camera Body – you can compensate for any defficencies in the budget telephoto lens by using a state of the art digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera body. I bought the Canon EOS 50D 15.1 MP last year and have been amazed at the results. Current price at Amazon is USD 970. There are three features explained below, which make this an outstanding camera body for bird & wildlife photography.

Sensor Cleaning – Firstly whenever you switch the camera on or off, the automatic sensor cleaning kicks in. This removes any particles off the sensor, which might otherwise result in artifacts or grain in the final image – a serious weakness in the most of the early DSLR models. This allows you to use a much higher ISO setting without getting a grainy image.
High-Speed Exposure Burst – You have the option to shoot a burst of exposures at 5 frames per second. This is a real advantage when taking flight shots. Chances are that if you take a sequence of 15 shots in 3 seconds, at least a couple of the images will be usable or even outstanding.
Automatic Focusing via Servo Drive – You have automatic focusing using a servo drive. This means that as you track a bird in flight across the sky, the focus will be automatically and continuously adjusted right up to the point when you depress the shutter and capture your image.
Use a high ISO and Short Exposure Time – Most photographer purists would argue strongly against this tip but my experience will convince you of its validity. By selecting a high ISO you increase the sensitivity of the sensor thereby allowing you to optimize the exposure with less light and a shorter exposure time. I typically use an ISO of 1,000 with an exposure time 1/2,000 sec. This eliminates camera shake and gives you sharp, crisp images without having to use a heavy and cumbersome tripod. This is especially important when taking shots of birds in flight.
Eliminate Grain and Sharpen Your Image – Any grain which might show up in the sky area or on water surfaces can be easily eliminated by using a software programme such as NeatImage. Then sharpen your image using “Unsharp Mask.” Both steps together take only a few seconds when processing your images in your image processing software.

Crop Your Image, Optimise Contrast and Lightness – Finally it’s good to optimise the composition of your image by cropping and optimising the contract and lightness using image processing software such as Photoshop.
Stalk your Subject with Patience and Respect – When out in the field taking wildlife shots, it’s important to approach your subject with patience and not to get too close. Otherwise the subject will already have taken flight before you’re ready to take the first shot. My rule of thumb is to act so as to be able to leave the scene without having disturbed the subject.


Photography Tips for Better Black and White Picture

Photography is an art. Just like paintings and other forms of art pieces it takes a passionate artist to be able to capture a wonderful photograph that entices the imagination of the viewer. Budding photographers should learn some photography tips that will help them capture the most beautiful and meaningful picture. Black and white photography can be considered as the most dramatic and intensely emotional form of art. A colorless image can give a whole new meaning to the picture. Besides that, the picture may also look more elegant and more high-fashioned.As a photographer who is aiming to get the best quality black and white picture, you must focus on visual contrast, lighting, and the composition. It is also important to find a great subject that connotes great meaning that makes the viewers appreciate your photographic art. As an artist, the photographer should also have the eye for great subjects that will give artistic worth the picture. You can gain visual contrast by putting darker essential feature next to the light colored feature in the image or you can use those negatives space in creating a form.

Black and white photography can be considered very simple. However, simplicity is the root of elegance and romanticism. This is why we can often observe that black and white photographs usually have romantic subjects. Weddings, burials, and even random stolen shots at the park are great for black and white photography because there are too much drama and romance in these settings.In today’s present generation, we can barely see black and white pictures because most of the photographers and the viewers are now appreciating colored pictures more. In fact, most of the cameras today are used for capturing colored images. But because of the advent of technology today, we can actually convert colored pictures into black and white images and still maintain its quality. One of the photo tips in converting colored images into black and white is to engage in digital photography. This way it would be very convenient to improve the dramatic elements of the picture through digital conversion and editing. If you are using a DSLR camera, then it is advisable to set the camera settings for monochrome shooting and save the picture in JPEG format.To achieve good black and white pictures which are very interesting, the photographer must concentrate on shapes and lines. These are the basic elements that suggest form from the subject. Lines and shapes especially when we are taking pictures of people’s faces helps the viewer understand the emotion and the drama behind the subjects faces. Texture should also be considered in taking pictures. Texture enhances the beauty of the black and white image making it very classic and elegant.

Another important lesson that we need to understand in the photography tips that we read is about lighting and shading. Lights and shades usually have psychological effects on the viewers. Dark lighting usually suggests a gloomy meaning on the picture and on the subject. There are a lot of tips that budding photographers should learn about so that they can immortalize an event or certain happening that has artistic value. A young photographer must master the black and white photography first before they can take pictures that speak a thousand words.