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westernminnguy
2nd of May 2011 (Mon), 17:13
For the first time, in a while, I just wanted to watch the birds coming to our feeders....didn't reach for a camera.

I just wanted to appreciate the beauty of nature.

There were woodpeckers, Pileated, Downy, Hairy, and Vireos, other song birds, black birds, Cardinals and you name it.

Spring(if you can believe that in Minnesota) was in it's glory tonight.

I just wanted to watch.

Any of you just watch?

:)

Duane N
2nd of May 2011 (Mon), 19:03
I do a lot of watching and feel relaxed just sitting there watching wildlife do their thing. I learn a lot about their behavior that way.

jgrussell
2nd of May 2011 (Mon), 20:53
Do it all the time. Best advice I ever got as a photographer was when I was headed to Africa three years ago. The advice? "Put the camera down." I followed it then and many times since, and have never regretted it. When I was in Alaska recently, the moments I remember best are those where I just watched the eagles. Just sat (or more usually stood) and watched and listened and admired.

And congrats on spring finally getting there. Your winter has been BRUTAL.

luciddreamer
4th of May 2011 (Wed), 17:11
Yep, best part of the day.

jmckayak
6th of May 2011 (Fri), 12:03
I'm puzzled by the question. I started as a birder. Didn't have a camera for years. I understand the concept but I've done a LOT of watching without a camera. Still do. Sounds like you are becoming a birder... Be sure to LISTEN to the birds though...
John Mc

txcanon
6th of May 2011 (Fri), 14:04
I'm a birder first so I do a lot of off camera observation. It's fun just to watch them and not worry about getting the shot. :)

ssim
6th of May 2011 (Fri), 15:03
I did that very thing for the first time last summer and was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. You don't get the full appreciation of the grace and beauty of some of these animals when you have your face stuck to the back of a camera. I spend more time just watching than I used to and am happy that I am.

Crimzon
11th of May 2011 (Wed), 01:32
I'm sorry, I just can't do it. I think I'm a bit obsessive.... like clinically.

When I go for a stroll with my wife, I find myself looking around for birds, and when I do, I think to myself "dammit, I should have brought the camera" I'm not joking.

JuliusUpNorth
15th of May 2011 (Sun), 18:31
:oops:I do. Indeed, I have been in situations where I was so intrigued by what I was seeing that I plain forgot I had a camera in my hand...

Julius

chopper5654
17th of May 2011 (Tue), 00:47
I do when I am counting my birds for my blog. I often watch for a bit. But, the camera is always near at home. When I am on my route, I don't have the camera, so I don't have a choice but to sit and watch.....which I really appreciate, too.

Jon C
18th of May 2011 (Wed), 17:44
Lots. In fact, I started out by just watching the birds in the trees, then put a fountain/birdbath on the deck, then tried taking pictures with a little 'pocket' camera, then got a bigger camera, then bought a 400L,...

The birds like it better when I just sit and watch. They don't particularly like all the fussing around and shutter clicking.

badams
19th of May 2011 (Thu), 23:55
I'm sorry, I just can't do it. I think I'm a bit obsessive.... like clinically.

When I go for a stroll with my wife, I find myself looking around for birds, and when I do, I think to myself "dammit, I should have brought the camera" I'm not joking.

That's what I think every time I go without my camera too. I usually either see something really close or rare. For the rare birds, I'll rush back home and get it so I can have document photos for the area. If I'm out on a birding weekend (away from the house), I will always have my camera at least in the car.

EveryMilesAMemory
22nd of May 2011 (Sun), 16:13
I'm sorry, I just can't do it. I think I'm a bit obsessive.... like clinically.

When I go for a stroll with my wife, I find myself looking around for birds, and when I do, I think to myself "dammit, I should have brought the camera" I'm not joking.

I'm right there with you, only difference is when we go for a walk, I still bring the camera with me.

I love to watch for long periods of time, I simply watch through the lens so when something cool happens, I can press the shutter button

piXelatedEmpire
22nd of May 2011 (Sun), 23:50
The only time I am generally watching and not shooting is:

-when a bird is in an unfavourable spot (no clear view)
-when my battery has died

riverdog1
24th of May 2011 (Tue), 13:28
I observe all the time.

ShaneKPhotography
29th of May 2011 (Sun), 20:13
Just watching is what eventually inspired me to dive in to wildlife photography and photography in general, for that matter.

sam walker
29th of May 2011 (Sun), 20:53
At the start it was biniculars only. That evolved into point and shoot plus bins. Switching back and forth. Now with the SLR that that is the only optic. It spooked me to try to carry my Nikon 50 10x with the cam banging together. I'm almost always with the 1000/300 tele So I use a monocular. I do chill and watch the birds a lot. My wife is encouraging She's not a big bird photo fan. I try to spend a few moments in her state of mind. She usually comments. Leave the camera at home and just take the bins this time. Hard to protest since she bought them for me. I pop back I didn't buy the rig to sit on a shelf.
Sam

mjHession
8th of June 2011 (Wed), 10:47
When I go for a stroll with my wife, I find myself looking around for birds, and when I do, I think to myself "dammit, I should have brought the camera" I'm not joking.

Same here, though I usually bring my camera. I use to carry my monopod, 7d & 400 5.6 on most hikes. Now it's the 300 2.8 with my extenders in my bag. :shock:

Photography is actually what got me into birds. I was never a birder, only a bird photographer. It is truly my favorite past time.

Nighthound
8th of June 2011 (Wed), 15:43
I've always considered watching and learning as essential parts of the bird photography equation. The more I studied my subjects the better my photos became. It allowed me to really see the animals and not just take their photos. Only by studying behavior can you anticipate the moments you want to capture, for me those are the moments that say the most about the birds and speak the most to me.

I do occasionally observe without shooting now but the majority of the time that I spend in the field I'm compelled to record what I see. Most of my observing is done in the yard or driving.

hTr
8th of June 2011 (Wed), 22:40
I've always considered watching and learning as essential parts of the bird photography equation. The more I studied my subjects the better my photos became. It allowed me to really see the animals and not just take their photos. Only by studying behavior can you anticipate the moments you want capture, for me those are the moments that say the most about the birds and speak the most to me.

I do occasionally observe without shooting now but the majority of the time that I spend in the field I'm compelled to record what I see. Most of my observing is done in the yard or driving.


Very Well Said, I call it patterning the Birds and watch for repeated actions I want to capture!!