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Bird Photography Tips

How to Take Great Pictures of Your Bird

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Bird Photography Tips

The background scenery in your pictures should complement the bird without distracting the eye.

Colleen Varga
If you have parrots or other pet birds, then chances are that you want to show them off to everyone you meet. What better way to do that than to take some amazing pictures of your pet?

Getting clear, crisp shots of a bird can be difficult to do, but knowing how to work with your little model can make things much easier. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and get ready to make your feathered friend a star -- these bird photography tips will have you snapping magazine-worthy photos of your pet in no time!
  • Set your scene. Setting up a good background for your photo is extremely important. Think of the background scenery as the foundation of your picture. You want to make sure that the colors and scenery complement your pet and won't overpower the shot. Avoid using too many props or objects that may frighten your bird. A scared bird will look scared in any photos -- the eyes are a dead giveaway!

  • Adjust the lighting as needed. Bad lighting can ruin what could have been a perfect shot. Don't let it happen to you! Adjust the lighting so that your bird is well-lit in your photos, but take care not to "drown" your bird in light, as it can make the pictures look washed out. If possible, try using natural sunlight in your photos, as it is usually best at highlighting the colors and contours of a bird's plumage. When taking pictures of birds, remember to avoid using the camera's flash whenever possible, as it can frighten and disorient them.

  • Use a tripod. A bird's unique respiratory system causes its entire body to expand and contract whenever it breathes. Because of the vibration this causes, it can sometimes be difficult to get clear shots of birds. Couple this with unsteady hands and your photo shoot could end up a mess! Use a tripod or other stand to steady your camera when taking pictures of your feathered friend. The quality of your photos will improve almost instantly.

  • Engage the bird. If you make sure that your bird is having a good time, then you will be rewarded with the opportunity to take many impressive photos of him. Keep your camera at the ready, but don't be afraid to sing, dance, or laugh with your pet to get him to ham it up. The best photos will be the ones that best express your pet's personality.

  • Snap several shots. Odds are that the first photo you take won't be the best one. Whenever you take pictures of your bird, be sure to take several shots using different lighting and angles. The more pictures you take, the more good ones you will get! If you are using a digital camera, try downloading a free photo editor like Google's Picasa to fine tune your bird's photos. Playing with the different effects and shading can provide hours of fun for your whole family.
If you follow these tips, you'll soon be on your way to capturing beautiful, high-quality images of your pet. Once you've built up a nice collection of pictures, try making a scrapbook or photo album of your bird's snapshots. And don't forget to submit your best digital photos to me by emailing them to birds@aboutguide.com. Your feathered friend's best picture may just make him an internet sensation!
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