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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 17 Apr 2013 (Wednesday) 12:23
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why do bird photography?

Senior Member
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Joined Jan 2012
Apr 17, 2013 12:23 |  #1

Hey guys, to those of you who do shoot birds, can I ask why you shoot birds? What fascinates you or implores you to continue shooting birds?

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Cream of the "Prop"
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Apr 17, 2013 12:29 |  #2

Might get better answers in "Bird Talk"

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LV ­ Moose
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Apr 17, 2013 12:30 |  #3

I shoot mainly hummingbirds (when it comes to shooting birds). I love their colors, size, speed, curiosity, agility... and they're readily available in my back yard. ;)

If I had eagles or penguins hanging around my place, I'd shoot them. :)


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Apr 17, 2013 15:29 |  #4

It is a fowl thing to do.

"Not brigth enough"
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Apr 17, 2013 16:39 |  #5

Because they are so flighty

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Apr 18, 2013 08:30 as a reply to  @ L.J.G.'s post |  #6

I've been an avid birdwatcher since grad school and with the number of feeders I put out get quite a few species locally. They seemed to be an easy target.......NOT!
The challenge of out-thinking birds to get them or me in position for pleasing captures is daunting and never-ending. Give it a try and you'll be hooked....I guarantee it.

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Apr 18, 2013 08:39 as a reply to  @ CamFan01's post |  #7

It's funny because I will openly admit that I don't necessarily do it for love of birds. I like all wildlife and have always been a nature enthusiast but was never an avid bird fan. My main reason is the challenge. It's very difficult and I feel like I learn something new every time I go out. I also moved to an area where I have numerous types of birds (heron, hawks, ducks, etc.) so I'm sure that was part of the interest. Plus it never hurts to have a hobby that forces you to be active and outside. Only downfall is cost as its probably the most expensive other than landscape with medium format.

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Apr 18, 2013 21:49 |  #8

I've had a life long passion for the outdoors and been fortunate to have always lived in a rural area where farming my land takes up a large portion of my time. Winter is a slow time for me, activities are few and far between unlike the hectic spring, summer and fall months. While looking at the shots of birds I was seeing posted here on POTN I soon realized I had something I could be shooting right here in my yard, improving my photography skills, enjoying the use of my camera and no traveling involved to do so. Also realized that though I thought I was a skilled outdoorsman I actually do not know the proper name for many of the birds that live or pass through the area where I live. After shooting birds for awhile I've noticed many that had gone unseen for years. The bar has been and is set very high each day by potn members shooting birds so it is very challenging to capture great photos that compare in quality. I think that the gear we own has something to do with quality of pics but even with top of the line cameras and lenses birds and wildlife have their way of humbling all of us. Although I feel like I have taken a few decent shots this winter I look forward to getting some excellent shots that are satisfying to me and then multiply that times all the species and that is when it becomes addictive.

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Tom ­ Reichner
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Apr 24, 2013 18:17 |  #9

shinyknights wrote in post #15838009 (external link)
Hey guys, can I ask why you shoot birds? What fascinates you or implores you to continue shooting birds?

A few reasons:

1. The beauty of the images themselves. I am absolutely stunned at how beautiful many of the photos are. I love to create beautiful, stunning images . . . so, if I think that bird photos are stunning and beautiful, and I love to create gorgeous images, doesn't it make sense that I would continue to photograph birds?

2. The quest for variety. If I like a certain bird species, I do not just want to take a bunch of pictures that all look basically the same. Rather, I want to create a broad body of work on that species, and have many dozens of images of that species, each image with a look, feel, and mood that is visually unique from any of the other images.

3. The quest for something new. There are so many types of bird images that have never been taken by anyone. And there are so many images I have never taken myself, but that I very much want to take . . .

. . . a Ruffed Grouse on his drumming log with his ruff fully raised, looking at a female that just hopped upon his log, with emergent green buds all around them

. . . an underwater image of a Hooded Merganser drake, swimming thru a network of submerged roots, chasing his prey - in this case, a small silver minnow with the ambient light shimmering off his scales

. . . an image of a Redhead Duck nest in prairie grassland habitat. The focus would be on the eggs in the nest. One of the eggs is hatching, and the duckling is halfway out of the shell. The attendant hen is on the same plane of focus, while at least two of the duckling's older siblings are in the background, somewhat out of focus.

Then list goes on and on. That is why I photograph birds - because there are so many new, different images to take that will be absolutely, stunningly beautiful.

By the way, this thread should have been put in the "Bird Talk" forum, not here in the "Wildlife Talk" forum.

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my very own Lightrules moment
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Apr 24, 2013 18:37 |  #10

There are many reasons, a number of which have already been covered above. I enjoy being outdoors, and there are birds (of some sort) nearly everywhere; which leads into the next thing, which would be the variety of subjects/behaviors/env​ironments that are possible to find you subjects in. By following migration patterns and locations, it's possible to build an entire body of work on one species of bird, in varying stages of their life cycles and plumage, in various environs and conditions.

Multiply that by the various birds out there and you can shoot birds for decades without repeating yourself.

On top of that, the different plumage shows a spectacular variety of colors/textures/patter​ns and it's always fun to try and show those off to the best ability.

Behavioral shots are always fun, since different species (and even individuals) have their own, little quirks in where they will show up, when, what they'll do, etc.

Heck, take a look through the galleries of some of our members over in the birds forums (Tom [above], Nighthound, Glenn Bartley...the list goes on) and see some of the variety I'm talking about.

Plus, it's a great excuse to get out and use some fun gear or spend an afternoon crawling through the underbrush as an adult :D

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Senior Member
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Apr 26, 2013 20:47 |  #11

I shoot birds to get a closeup picture showing details and color in the feathers. Some birds are easy and other are just plain hard to shoot. Plus after I spend 9 months shooting college sports I'm ready for something a little different. This is my last weekend for sports so guess what I'll be shooting next week. And then I move on to flowers, mountains, and hot air balloons.

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Location: Tennessee
May 18, 2013 10:29 |  #12


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May 20, 2013 16:18 |  #13

Out in nature shooting with big expensive glass and high end camera bodies......what is not to understand? ;)

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why do bird photography?
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