9 creative photo ideas to try in April

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

Creative photo ideas for April: 09 Shoot baby birds

Creative photo ideas for April: 09 Shoot baby birds

For bird photographers, the next few months will be a busy time, with a window of opportunity to shoot family portraits or stand-alone shots of young birds exploring their environment.

Swans and cygnets are a good subject for beginners to try their hand at.

They’re easy to find and, of course, they’re large birds, so you don’t need the longest lenses around to get a frame-filling image.

SEE MORE: Moving targets – how to plot trajectory and beat camera shake every time

Felix Smith is studying BA Hons Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University, so he has a good grounding in the fieldcraft and techniques required to bag a great wildlife shot.

That said, a touch of luck doesn’t hurt: he tells us that the most challenging aspect of getting this image was “a combination of being in the right place at the right time with a clear evening… and a co-operative cygnet!”

Felix used a Nikon D800E with a 500mm f/4 lens, resting on a 1.5kg Wildlife Watching Supplies beanbag.

Although swans are fairly approachable birds, allowing you to get dramatic pictures with a wide-angle lens, longer focal lengths enable you to isolate birds against cleaner areas of the background.

They also make it easier to achieve shallow depth-of-field effects.

SEE MORE: Free bird photography cheat sheet

“The circular shapes in the foreground were actually midges,” reveals Felix, “so by using a telephoto lens, the midges were pulled out of focus and distorted, together with the reflection of the backlighting on the cygnet. For added interest, I decided to frame the shapes within the photo.”

Shooting into the sun will enable you to make use of rim lighting, which adds an attractive glow to a bird’s outline.

To prevent glare, make sure you’ve got a lens hood fitted, and be prepared to dial in some positive exposure compensation to brighten the image and ensure details are visible in the bird.

SEE MORE: 10 common wildlife photography mistakes we’re all guilty of (and how to fix them)

Get started today…
* Get low and close to water level, with a long lens to compress the scene.
* Find a suitably distant background, and use bread to bring the birds close enough.
* Use continuous focus to keep an active bird sharp as it moves through the frame.
* Increase the ISO when light levels drop to ensure a fast, action-stopping shutter speed.

Creative photo ideas for April: 01 Shoot a natural history sequence
Creative photo ideas for April: 02 Shoot family portraits with a twist
Creative photo ideas for April: 03 Shoot oil and water abstracts
Creative photo ideas for April: 04 Shoot numbers in nature
Creative photo ideas for April: 05 Shoot a street scene collage
Creative photo ideas for April: 06 Shoot a single theme
Creative photo ideas for April: 07 Shoot a war reenactment
Creative photo ideas for April: 08 Shoot a pinhole image
Creative photo ideas for April: 09 Shoot baby birds

READ MORE

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