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Bird Photography Tips on a Budget

Bird Photography Tips on a Budget

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Published by adrian_caballero_3

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Published by: adrian_caballero_3 on Jan 19, 2011
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07/17/2013

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Bird Photography Tips on a Budget
 
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Don¶t Buy a Premium Telephoto Lens
± What puts off most people from starting a hobby such as bird & wildlife photography? ± it¶s simply the cost. A Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USMSuper Telephoto Lens will cost you about USD 6,000. Apart from the price the other negativeaspect is the weight. This beauty weighs in at 8.5 pounds! Imagine trekking through the forest orthe jungle for several hours lugging this weight on top of your other photography gear."Male Kestrel Falcon" captured by Sheribeari
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Do Buy a Budget Telephoto Lens
± a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto lens is stillsomewhat pricey, but extremely effective. This lens weighs in at only 2.8 pounds. Thus with thisoption you have an 80% saving in the cost and a 66% saving in the weight you have to carry around. The purist photographer may argue that this lens won¶t have the clarity and allow thesame amount of light into the camera, essential when taking shots in low light conditions. This isnot true if you follow the techniques described below.
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Do Buy a Premium Camera Body 
± you can compensate for any deficiencies in the budgettelephoto lens by using a state of the art digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera body. I boughtthe Canon EOS 50D 15.1 MP last year and have been amazed at the results. There are threefeatures explained below, which make this an outstanding camera body for bird & wildlifephotography.
 
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ensor Cleaning
± Firstly whenever you switch the camera on or off, the automatic sensorcleaning kicks in. This removes any particles off the sensor, which might otherwise result inartifacts or grain in the final image ± a serious weakness in the most of the early DSLR models.This allows you to use a much higher ISO setting without getting a grainy image.
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H
igh-
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peed Exposure Burst
± You have the option to shoot a burst of exposures at 5 framesper second. This is a real advantage when taking flight shots. Chances are that if you take asequence of 15 shots in 3 seconds, at least a couple of the images will be usable or evenoutstanding."wow .....look out here" captured by David Hobcote
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 A 
utomatic Focusing via
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ervo Drive
± You have automatic focusing using a servo drive. Thismeans that as you track a bird in flight across the sky, the focus will be automatically andcontinuously adjusted right up to the point when you depress the shutter and capture your image.
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U
se a high I
SO
and
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hort Exposure Time
± Most photographer purists would arguestrongly against this tip but my experience will convince you of its validity. By selecting a high ISO you increase the sensitivity of the sensor thereby allowing you to optimize the exposure with lesslight and a shorter exposure time. I typically use an ISO of 1,000 with an exposure time 1/2,000sec. This eliminates camera shake and gives you sharp, crisp images without having to use a heavy and cumbersome tripod. This is especially important when taking shots of birds in flight.

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