Tip 1: Use a telephoto lens
You need a telephoto zoom (300-400mm) to take full-frame shots, and a tripod is essential. If you have one, secure it to your tripod, but it is not essential.
Tip 2: Know where all your buttons and functions are
Know your equipment well before heading out because you don't want to be looking for buttons and messing around with settings if you only have a few seconds to take a picture.
Tip 3: Get closer to your subject
You have to be pretty close to the birds even if you are using a long range lens as they are really small things that can easily get lost in your background.
Tip 4: Hide if possible
Make sure to hide out of sight in a purpose-built skin or try shooting from your home or from an outbuilding such as a shed.
Tip 5: Feed the birds
Make sure you have food bowls, especially at this time of year when food is a bit scarce. This will encourage birds to visit your garden regularly for food.
Tip 6: Think about the position of the feeder
Place feeders where there are branches or even ready-made perches. That way, they hopefully land on the branch for your chosen background before eating.
Tip 7: Change your props
Change the style of the environment you use to bring some variety to your photos after a while.
Tip 8: Think about backgrounds
Hedges are great natural looking backgrounds, but don't let the scenery overshadow your subject. For those with fences and walls instead of hedges, try collecting a few sheets of material that can help hide it.
Tip 9: Focus is key
Pay attention to the tips of tail feathers as they can become out of focus.
Tip 10: Be patient
Don't be too eager to press the shutter button once a bird lands as they are nervous creatures and may take a while to feel comfortable in their surroundings.
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