Best camera settings to photograph garden birds
Many species of garden birds are very small and move quickly, so you’ll need a long telephoto lens and fast reactions to get the best shots.
A common problem with shooting in the garden is that the background can be distracting, so use the widest aperture available on your lens to help to blur these distractions.
Although you’d normally position the main subject off-centre, you’ll find that the outer autofocus points on most cameras aren’t as reliable as the central one, especially when you’re shooting in low light.
So in these conditions, set the camera to this central autofocus point and position the subject in the middle of the frame.
How to set up your camera to photograph garden birds
Aperture The widest available on your lens
To blur the background and enable you to use fast shutter speeds, you need to select the widest aperture that’s available on your lens.
Focus mode Single or one shot
When shooting birds perched on branches or twigs, use single or one shot autofocus and make sure that the camera has focused on the bird before shooting.
Exposure mode Aperture priority (A or Av)
Shutter speed Set by camera, but at least 1/500sec
ISO 400 or higher
Lens 300mm or longer
Drive mode Continuous
White balance Auto