Camera Clinic: - occasional hints and tips to develop technique

Nature competition: birds butterflies insects and mammals

Take a look back at nature and wildlife photos taken 20 years ago and you will see just how far this genre has moved forward. This is due to advances in kit but also the dedication of practitioners at all levels.  As a result the bar is now set high and judges are constantly on the look out for something special or out of the ordinary.

Whereas a straightfoward (or textbook) bird portrait would be celebrated, today such images might be downplayed as little more than 'a bird on a stick'.  So, how can you still engage in nature photography?

Nothing wrong with 'bird on stick' or butterfly on a flower - I take lots and enjoy them for what they are, and as a record for my observations.  But before entering anything to be appraised - especially in competition - then there are some objectives that I try to meet:

If there is an eye (s) then it MUST be sharp ......... and for birds and mammals, there should be some catchlight.  Avoid 'dead eye'

It the subject is on a stick - a tree, a flower etc then try to get a 'clean' background.  Avoid lots of distracting clutter & stuff!

Is your subject behaving in some way - feeding, preening, stretching, fighting, hunting.  If so, then you are cooking.

Click on the wagtail to scroll through the illustrations

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Another option might be to set a subject within it's environment. 

 

Or, consider producing a more 'artistic' interpretation perhaps with lots of negative space.

Avoid harsh midday light.           Practise on the ponies?

This is NOT expert advice, just my attempt to offer some ideas.  Any errors are mine, so also consider using you camera manual or YouTube clips.  Any feedback or suggestions about the Clinic most welcome.                                                                 Happy Shooting, Ron P
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Long Mynd Camera Club