One of the benefits of having bird feeders in your back garden is that the birds get used to you and allow you to photograph them at close range. This can give you good practice, not just with technical skills, but with composition. Birds are so flighty for the most part, that often it’s a case of point and shoot and hope for the best. Spending time in the back garden therefore, gives you plenty of practice with birds so that when you do have to quickly point and shoot your chances of getting a good shot are greatly improved. It can also improve your eye. The more you practice, the more composition becomes second nature. These two sparrow fledglings were cuddled up together waiting for mum and dad to come back with some scoff, and I had time to compose the shot and move to a position where I could get the leaves trailing into the image. Without those leaves, this photo wouldn’t work.
Taking a photo of birds in the birdbath while sitting at their eye level just a few yards away can produce decent photos. I took around a dozen before I nabbed this one of a male watching a female having a bath. I took a few with just a single bird in the water, but the male standing there gives this image a bit of story.
This little sparrow was chirping away, singing his heart out, but it took a couple of dozen shots to get him with his beak open. The more you practice, the better you become at anticipating shots like this and catching the moment.
I like this one, not so much because of the detail, which is awesome, but because the bird wasn’t pensively watching me, ready to fly off, it was acting naturally as if I wasn’t there.