Birds are one of those perennially popular photography subjects that just about everybody has a crack at shooting at some point or other. The only problem is that they are one of the toughest subjects to shoot well and pretty much the most difficult of any common animal to photograph in the wild. Luckily there are a heap of quality bird photography tutorials on how to get the best results, so we decided to put a list of them together!
Mike Atkinson's Bird Photography Tutorials is quite a comprehensive online resource and one where a budding bird photographer could really spend a few hours getting to grips with each stage of the process. His tutorials are divided into different articles and are well worth a read. You can find these specific tutorials:
- Ever thought of photographing birds?
- Getting started
- Camera settings
- Basic composition
- Basic field techniques
- Birds and Water
- Photographing Birds in Flight
Steve Oaks' Wild Bird Photography site is also an excellent resource on the topic in a similar vein to that of Mike Atkinson's. Getting the various perspectives on a topic is a great way to learn. He also covers some unique ground in bird photography including:
- A detailed section on shooting in high speed continuous mode
- A detailed explanation of field techniques for shooting birds
Other Strong Bird Photography Tutorials
Backyard Bird Photography Tips from Digital Photograph School is a short primer for getting decent shots from your backyard. It's confined to that specific scenario (backyard) with tips like shooting from insider your house which may or may not suit your situation, but is certainly a good place to improve your basic bird photography.
- 8 Tips for Photographing Birds is another short guide from DPS that goes a bit beyond the backyard tips above and is worth reading.
Poor Man's Guide to Bird Photography is another introductory guide to the craft (these short guides are great for improving your shots the largest amount in the shortest time, but if you really want to start getting great at bird photography, you would be well advised to start with these and then move onto the more detailed guides above).
Bird Photography Tips from the folks at Exposure Guide is a brief introduction to getting those “close up” shots of birds that fill the whole frame and have a lot of impact. It's worth looking at this tutorial for the beautiful examples alone.
(More) Bird Photography Tips is an article from the folks at Shutter Stoppers (specifically Nisha Purushothaman who has some amazing shots in the story) on how to photograph birds. Getting the different perspectives of bird photography lovers on how the approach the shoot is very valuable at the learning stages so be sure to check it out.
Bird Photography Case Study – takes you through the exact steps to get a specific bird photograph that the photographer was working on (concentrating mainly on post-production). We are quite partial to photography case studies because it lets you learn by emulating other successful photographers and their exact workflow.
The ABCs of Bird Photography by professional nature photographer, Weldon Lee is a great rundown of how he gets some stunning shots. In fact, the Nature Photographers website has a lot of interest bird photography tutorials that you can find listed here.
Helmut Samerski's Bird Photography Tutorial is a very detailed article on the ins and outs of how he goes about the craft. The original article was written in 2008, but with any good tutorial it has really stood the test of time.
So check out these amazing tutorials, go shoot and practice and don't forget to post your results in the comments below!