You want to get close to birds to take a perfect shot. It is a bit tricky and one of the challenging tasks in bird photography. Also, whether you can get close to the birds depends on many factors.
So, if you are a new birder and want to take a perfect shot of birds, the article will help you learn how you can easily get a close view of birds.
Easy Way To Get Close To Birds For Photography
Below are some tips that will help you get close to birds without disturbing them.
The main thumbs of the rule of bird photography or any wildlife photography are you should have enough patience. Birds like to land in a place where everything seems natural. If you patiently wait, birds will treat you as natural objects, and they will not hesitate to come close to you, which provides you with a chance to take a perfect shot.
However, if you want to rush approach birds to take a shot, there is a minimum chance that you will find success. So, always remember that the slow approach always makes you a winner in that term. Even if you need to wait for several hours to take a perfect picture, it will be worth it.
Find A Quiet Sit Spot
Another best way to get close to nature is using Sit Spot technic, also known as “Seton Spot”. Though the technic invented 100 years ago, still now it does not disappoint you.
It is related to patience. If you land in a natural habitat, animals tend to flee to hide quickly. For this, the technic arrives. You need to select a discreet spot, set up your bird photography camera, and quietly sit there for around 20 to 30 minutes without providing any movement. You will notice that everything will start to behave normally.
That is the movement that allows you to take a perfect shot, and the longer you sit, the higher chance you get a masterpiece.
However, you also need to select a perfect place to sit spot. Otherwise, you will sit all day long without getting a single bird. You can choose an area which is located near the essential for birds, like near their food, water or pathways. You need to have enough idea about the local birds, their habitat and behavior, and many more.
Don’t Approach Like A Predator
Do you know why most birders fail to take a perfect bird photo? The main reason is they approach like a predator, which keeps birds far away from them. When trying to approach birds, do not act like a predator.
First of all, you should not look directly at the birds and never try to make eye contact with them until they feel comfortable with your presence. Also, you can keep your face behind the camera and tripod.
Never directly approach the birds. Like a Red Light and Green Light game, always try to approach the birds by following different angles or zigzag manners, acting like a kid.
Reducing the number of variables is another easiest way to get a close view of birds. You can easily understand it by an example.
If you take another person with you to the photography spot, you should keep them right behind you. Why? Because it will not put any pressure on birds to pay attention to several objects. Also, you should not wear bright clothes that do not suit natural conditions.
Minimize Movements And Sounds
Birds do not feel safe while there is a quick movement of objects. If you make too much movement like arms waving, camera setup, sudden standing up or squatting, those make birds uncomfortable and keep them away from you.
For this, your movement should be gentle, slow, and contained. It will keep the bird’s claim and provide you with enough opportunities to take a perfect shot.
Also, birds do not like to stay long where unwanted sounds occur rapidly. For example, many birders start talking on the field, which makes birds uncomfortable even cameras shutter sound will cause birds uncomfortableness.
So, while capturing a bird image, first try to capture a single one that makes the shutter sound familiar to birds and then capture a burst image. Also, only shoot on burst while necessary because it scares birds and keeps them away most of the time.
Keep A Low Profile
If you follow the technic, there is an enormous chance of getting close to the birds, and it is one of the perfect technics when you are planning to capture shorebirds.
Due to the low profile, birds will not treat you as scary objects, but you need to approach them quietly and take time. You can crawl or slide on your stomach while pushing a tripod-mounted camera ahead of you while you close on birds.
Practice With Habituated And Tame Birds
While you plan to go on a bird photography trip and learn a new technique, always try it with habituated birds. It is one of the easiest ways to learn bird photography perfectly. Also, some birds have little fear of humans. So, you can apply the technics to be a master in approaching closer birds.
Use A Photography Blind
Till now, we are only talking about technics. A perfect blind combination of those technics makes you a master of getting closer to any birds. You just need to set up your blind near the bird’s pathway, where they come frequently. But, you need to be more patient and wait for several hours to get a perfect angle.
If you want to take photos of birds in your yard or garden, you need to make your garden or yard bird-friendly. For this, you should provide their favorite food. For example, if you want to invite orioles and take their photos. You just need to set up oriole feeders with their favorite food, and you will see the magic.
Don’t Give Up
It is impossible to be a good bird photographer in a few days. You might need to spend thousands of hours learning bird photography. Even you need to wait for a whole day to get close to the birds for a single snap.
Also, you miss opportunities day by day, which may cause of losing hope. But, believe me, no one turns into a better bird photographer without failing plenty of time. The main thing is to be patient and doesn’t give up if you want to master bird photography.
A few visual instructions which will take your close bird photography next level: