Birding Photography Blog – The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs

Posted on Fri November 18, 2016.

Birding Photography Blog: The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs – Photo taken at Indlovu River Lodge

Aren’t these colours just beautiful! With holiday season on its way, we thought that a brightly coloured bird will lighten up your day. Taking a photograph of a bird in flight is not as hard as you may think.  Let’s discuss a few birding photography pointers here.

Some tips while photographing a bird in flight would be to use a sturdy support such as a tripod or bean-bag or even a good hand-holding technique. Hand-holding can sometimes be more beneficial than using a tripod as you can respond much quicker when you see a subject. When not shooting, keep your arms down to avoid fatigue. You will need a steady left hand (if you are right handed). Place it under the lens barrel to support the lens. When tracking the flying bird keep your panning motion smooth to ensure good focus and composition.

When you have spotted the bird you want to capture, you should start focusing on the bird while it is still small in the frame. Don’t wait until the bird is close to you otherwise you will waste time with “focus hunting”.  By then it might be to late as the bird is gone. If you use a zoom lens, acquire the bird using the wide setting and zoom-in to fill the frame once you have the bird in focus.

Keep in mind that the bird will be flapping its wings.  Some shots will have the wing covering the face, the eyes may be closed, some shots will be out of focus and so forth. By shooting such high frame rates you will get a few that are in focus, with good exposure and composition!

Birding Photography Courses

Many amateur photographers have found our Photographic Courses an exceptional boost to their skill set.   For more information about our next course, contact Louisa at

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

For more information on the Photographic Safari Packages at Indlovu River Lodge, please click here.