I’ve always had a hankering to photograph birds… Not sure where it comes from. Perhaps the thought of the freedom of being able to fly away at a moment’s notice. I know I always enjoyed going fast. Loved windsurfing and the freedom that gave… It was on a par with flying. in fact sailing uses the same physics as flying. But, I digress.

Went out to photograph the Sandhill Cranes this morning.

sandhill cranes feeding silhouette

Feeding as the sun rises. Sandhill Cranes in silhouette in Sarasota, Florida

sandhill cranes silhouette with wings

A couple cranes dancing with each other in the sunrise in silhouette. I often look
for a bit of behavior other than feeding or standing to add some action to the image.

Tips on photographing birds…

Arrive about 45 minutes to 1 hour before sunrise. The birds will start to become active a little after first first light. If they see you coming in they will tend to split.

Try to set up so you are downwind of the birds or at an angle to the wind so they fly across your field of view. They are going to take off flying into the wind. If you are upwind you’ll get lots of bird butts.

Try have the sun behind or slightly to the side of you for best light on the subject. (or prepare to work with silhouettes as I’ve done here)

Of course a long lens is very helpful. For these I used the Lumix GH4 and the 100-300mm Lumix G Vario f4-5.6 lens. A faster lens would have been better but the reach of this is quite good (200-600mm 35mm equivalent) At just under $500 this is a pretty nice lens to chase waterfowl with…

More bird stuff tomorrow.

Your in Creative Photography,      Bob