Over the period of few weeks, I had made many trips to Hebbal lake and photographed many birds. Being a lake it is expected to see few varieties of water birds. However since the lake also has a decent garden there are some common birds (other then water birds) which can be seen in plenty. Well I am talking about sunbirds, flowerpeckers, prinia and tits.
Though these small birds can be spotted easily, I find them very difficult to photograph mainly because of following reasons
- These birds are small and very active. They do not stay long at one place and are constantly on the move.
- The focal length of my lens is 300mm which works for bigger birds but for smaller birds, I feel its bit short. Which means that I need to get very close to them to get a frame filling shot which good details.
- These birds usually move in and out of thick cover of leaves. So its difficult to get good focus and exposure.
However now having visited Hebbal lake so many times and spending plenty of time shooting these birds I realized that these birds can be caught on camera. I found the following tips to be very useful when shooting these birds
- These birds do not stay at one place for long, but they do return to same place after some time. So keeping some patience defiantly helps. There is no point chasing these birds. Just wait for some time at the same place and more often then not these birds will return.
- Most of these birds are too busy doing their chores, so if you stay reasonably still without making any quick movements they do not mind your presence. So, just wait, stay still and it will defiantly help to get you close shots.
- Shoot in Manual mode. This allows you to change the exposure settings quickly and accurately. These birds move in and out of shade and they are very small, so the camera meter can get fooled by a dark or bright background. I usually keep Spot metering with Manual mode.