posted Monday, December 18, 2017 at 2:30 PM EDT


When photographing birds in flight, there are a lot of important considerations. In a new video, Tony & Chelsea Northrup offer a variety of tips for photographers looking to capture nice bird action photos.

First, you want to have the right gear for the task at hand. This means a long lens and a camera with good autofocus capabilities. You don't necessarily have to own a Nikon D5 and Nikon 800mm f/5.6E lens, which costs about as much as a new car, but a good crop sensor camera and long zoom lens are a good foundation for a strong bird photography kit.

Shutter speed is very important. Birds move fast, so being able to capture crisp shots of them in flight requires a high shutter speed. This is where a faster lens is nice, but if you have bright light, even an f/5.6 lens can do the trick. Shutter speed priority is the Northrup's shooting mode of choice, although you can use manual mode as well. If you are photographing slower-moving birds, 1/2,000th of a second is a suitable shutter speed. For quicker birds, you may need to go even faster.

When shooting against the background of a sky, it can be tough to nail the exposure across your entire frame. Use your exposure compensation function to ensure that the subject is properly exposed. Even if that means having a background that is a bit bright or dark, depending on the color of the bird you're shooting and the prevailing lighting conditions. The subject is the most important part of the frame so properly expose the bird. To see the rest of their tips, check out the video below.

(Via Tony & Chelsea Northrup