The cool thing about photography, whether professional or enthusiast, is that opportunities arise to sharpen skills and learn something new. Much of my work has been static, e.g. portraits, product, food and architectural photography. Nothing is moving or speeding by, so the skills required are for the most part technical. The yin to that particular yang is bird photography. When we started spending time in Florida I visited a couple of bird sanctuaries and was fascinated by the variety of birds that migrated through South Florida. I decided to take a shot at bird photography. As I always do when I take on something new, I gather as much info about it as I can beforehand. In this case I visited bird photographers web sites to be inspired and learn what specific cameras and lenses they used. I got the gear, unfortunately, the skill isn’t included in the box. I started with perched birds. This one almost freaked me out when he stretched its neck looking for lunch. To be candid, I was humbled when I tried my hand at it.
My first few outings to capture birds in flight were particularly unsuccessful. Tracking the birds and getting them in focus is much tougher than one might think. They switch direction quickly, and unless you have an ornithologists understanding of each bird’s behavior, the learning curve can be steep … and frustrating. A fellow photographer, a bird enthusiast, taught me to be patient and keep shooting. As he also is a skeet shooter, tracking birds came easily to him. I think he got 1 out of 10 good shots, my ratio was more like 3:100. These are the best of them.
For reasons I cannot explain, maybe it has something to do with climate change, the variety of and interesting birds no longer came to our area, so I discontinued the outings. The photographers who do this full time don’t give up so easily. They travel around the country, know migration habits and behavior of birds.
Check out Alan Murphy, one of the best bird photographers shooting today. https://www.alanmurphyphotography.com