Birding Photography Blog - Dancing Birds

Posted on Fri December 16, 2016 in Birding Photography.

Dancing Blue Wax-bills – Photo taken at Indlovu River Lodge

What a beautiful image! It looks as if the Blue Wax-bills are dancing ballerinas in this photograph taken by Thys Lombard Photography. Their beautiful colours of blues and greys makes this image “pop”.

Birding photography can be quite a challenge,especially moving birds. First, you will need to understand your subject better to take the best shot possible. This understaning will also have the added benefit of safeguarding the species’ welfare, which is of utmost importance in all wildlife photography.

Next comes getting closer to the birds. Simply, getting close is the best way to get a bigger subject in your viewfinder. No matter the focal length of the lens, the closer you are, the bigger the subject. To find birds in the field, take a lesson from home: go where the food is—on the shoreline where birds feed on crabs and fish; to the desert water hole; in the forests where they feed on insects.

A big part of bird photography is flash—but not for the reason you might think. Using an SB-900 has more to do with colour than with exposure. Sound a little strange? Well, birds have feathers that are by design meant to reflect colour, but the light we often find them in doesn’t bring out that colour. Flash will do that.

Finally, a key piece of equipment: a tripod. Keeping still is the birding photographer's greatest challenge, and here we need all the help available to us.

Bird photography is one of the greatest photographic pursuits. You need knowledge, patience and skill, but those challenges make the rewards that much greater. 

Click here for more information on the Photographic Safari Packages at Indlovu River Lodge.

For more information about our next Photographic Course, contact Louisa at

Lodge: +27 (0) 15 383 9918 or on email: reservations@irl.co.za