Friday, November 10, 2006

LoctorMayat's guide to bird photography on a budget....

After you get into serious photography, one of the subjects that you may get addicted to is none other than shooting birds, or 'birding' as it is more commonly known. For the normal beginners, a trip to the local bird park in town is more than enough to produce stunning bird photos.

However, for those who are really serious into birding, nothing beats going into the thick jungle, tracking through the GPS navigation system and finally arrived at the nesting place of some rare birds on top of the trees.

Of course, you need expensive gears like the one shown below:

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*photo from TseChien's pbase website here

This path of birding is not for the faint of heart. A Nikkor 300mm F/2.8 VR alone costs about half of a Kancil 850EX's price. Hence, many are disappointed because of the costs involved.


There is always a solution for every problem! :D

Nowadays, almost everybody owns a mobile phone with built-in camera features. You will be surprised that your camera phone, will be one of the best tools for birding.

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So what you need to go... is to secure your camera phone to the trusty tripod first. Since no camera phone is built with a tripod screw mount, you have to improvise by tying it to the tripod head with any means necessary. In my case, I use a strong string as shown below:

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Make sure you tie several knots to ensure that whenever you tilt your tripod head, your camera phone won't fall off the tripod:

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With that done, you select and enable the camera function on your phone.

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Now, you're ready to begin your first ever birding!!

There are many birds out there which like to perch on the ledge of your home windows. With the windows closed, the birds won't know you're watching it closely especially the glass is tinted.

With that, take your setup and position it as close to the window as possible. Then, aim the camera phone at the bird you want to shoot.

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Set the self-timer of your camera phone to avoid camera shake and voila! Your first ever birding photo!!

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The best part of this low-budget birding technique is that you can shoot the same bird over and over again and it will still be there.

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Sometimes, if you're lucky like me, you can even shoot a Big Bird!

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Now, go out and enjoy your bird photography!!!



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