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A good way to sharpen your bird photography skills is to start with the birds around you. Birds that live near people often let you approach them. Around bodies of water, swans, geese, gulls, and ducks will prowl for food near your feet.
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If you build it, they will come
Use a feeder to attract birds. Set it within 15 feet of a window or deck. Position the feeder to give you a pleasing background from your camera position. Feeders often attract more birds when food is scarce.
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Shooting through a window
If you shoot from behind a window, set your auto-focus camera for infinity mode (mountain symbol) so it locks on the bird outside, not the glass. Extend the lens so your subject is in focus, leaving the background blurry.
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Get close
Fill the viewfinder with the bird to create pictures with greater impact. Step in close or use your camera's zoom to emphasize what is important and exclude the rest. Check the manual for your camera's closest focusing distance. If you've already taken the picture, you can crop your pictures to zoom in on your subject.
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Take pictures in good light
Shoot early or late in the day. Midday light renders flat, ordinary pictures. The golden light and long shadows of early and late day will enhance pictures of birds and their surrounding environment.
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Share your pictures
Pictures double in value if you share them! Turn your photo story into a special wall or tabletop display. Create greeting cards with your favorite shot. Add your pictures to an online album. It lets others easily view your pictures with captions so they'll know the difference between a Puffin and a Penguin.