I went out earlier this week to take some pictures after being inspired Scott Bourne’s post Five Things You Can Do To Improve Your Photography In A Week. Specifically, tip number 3, photographing birds. I thought, you know, I can do this during lunch. The lake is a few miles from the office. Typically there are gulls flying around. I should be able to get SOMETHING.
So I went and had my 55-200mm lens on and was ready to go. Well, the gulls had another idea. Anywhere I was, they weren’t. Until I started to leave. Honestly, I think they were messing with me. I’d sit quite and still for a while and wait (10-15 minutes. Yes I know this isn’t a HUGE amount of time. However, it was my lunch break, so time was limited). No birds. So I’d start walking back towards the parking lot. As soon as I’d do that, the gulls would fly low and close to the shoreline, fully knowing that they didn’t have a camera pointed at them. Well, finally, I was able to get a few pics, though not as close as I’d like. I must say though, that this was really good practice for trying to aim, focus and shoot a fast moving target. Some of these came out better than others, but I think overall they weren’t too bad.
I found that I needed to get a preliminary focus somewhat near where the birds were before I was able to get a better focus lock in a reasonable time. Some of this may be due to the camera and lens (I have a Nikon D3000 and was using the Nikon 55-200mm lens) so they are not the fastest, but they do the job. Next time I go, I want to also work on getting the exposure a bit better. I may stop it down a notch, as I think some of the bird is a little over exposed.
Below are a few shots I got. What do you think?