I love photography for millions of reasons, for its ability to freeze an unrepeatable moment, for the possibilities of capturing lights and magic scenes, for finding beauty in corners where nobody else sees it, for that mixture of subjective reality that we create every time we fit, adjust and tighten the shutter, for its ability to capture glances and ephemeral expressions … For millions of reasons.
But one of the ones I like the most is that photography is infinite, you can photograph anything, you never stop learning, you can specialize in millions of things, from cells to space, from dwarf bichillos to enormous creatures, from wars until newborns. Everything fits in photography. All. Terrestrial, marine or aerial.
What do you say? What do you dare with the air? Then you are in the right place, we are going to analyze what you are going to need in your photography of flying birds.
The first thing you have to carry well charged from home is patience. Seldom will you get to a place and the birds will pose for you with the best background, the best light, or the best pose.
Bird photography is for those who enjoy cooking the images at low heat, for those who enjoy the way, the process, nature, and value the work prior to a shot. In short, it is not for impatient souls.
Reflex Camera or EVIL
Sharpness is key in bird photography because we are going to work with long focal lengths, implicitly associated with a loss of quality, not only by optics but also by the space that separates us from what we want to photograph, in this case, birds. The greater the distance between us and our center of interest, the more particles in the air that we must pass through until we reach our goal.
Therefore, it is very important that our camera has a good image quality, is the most recommended for the size of its sensors, the SLR or the EVIL.
To photograph birds, a telephoto lens of at least 300mm focal length is essential, ideally 400 to 500mm for Full Frame sensors (35mm). That is, you must bear in mind that a 400mm mounted on a Full Frame (FX) best bridge camera is not the same as for an APS-C (DX) camera.
I guess it sounds like the conversion factor, if not it is very well explained in this article, but as a quick and practical summary, the difference between a Full Frame sensor and an APS-C is the size of them, that for what happens to us implies that when we buy a lens for an APS-C or DX sensor (not Full Frame), we must multiply the focal length x 1.5 or 1.6, depending on the model of our camera.
That is to say, if we only have 300mm but we have an APS-C camera, this focal length would become an effective focal distance of for example 450 or 480mm (300 x 1.5 or 300 x 1.6), which already It’s more than enough for this type of photography. Or if we have a 200mm and convert to APS-C, it would become a 300mm or a 320mm (x1.5 or 1.6).
Before you start shooting like crazy (with the shutter of the camera, you understand) the first thing you have to do is find your protagonist, and this probably will not be able to do it if you do not have good binoculars. As in everything, there are many prices, benefits, size and weight, but to start you do not need the most expensive or the heaviest or the most far-reaching. It will give you very good result one of 8 increases and for example about 40cm in diameter, weigh little and have sufficient increases.
If the subject is passionate and you do not mind scratching (quite) your pocket, you can go for a specific telescope for this type of photography. With one of these telescopes you can reach up to 60 times.
Another aspect to consider in addition to the focal distance is the brightness of the lens, which in this case becomes vitally important, since we will have to work with high speeds to freeze the movement, so the brighter the better (and also more expensive 😉 ).
Finally, it is more than interesting that your goal has a stabilizer to compensate for the trepidation of our pulse when we work freehand.