Elevate your bird photography with these 8 tips and techniques


posted Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 2:10 PM EDT


Photographic disciplines are incredibly varied and diverse with all sorts of subject matter and styles, from landscapes and macro to sports and portraiture -- just to name a few. And with each style of photography, they all require certain tools and equipment as well as lots of time spent "out in the field" to hone the craft and create beautiful results. For me, personally, one of my all-time favorite photography disciplines is wildlife photography, especially bird photography.

Beyond just the enjoyment of taking pictures, wildlife photography allows me to get outdoors and explore nature. What's more, there's the inherent challenge and unpredictability of discovering and observing wild animals that I also find fascinating and exciting. As mentioned, much like other photographic styles, wildlife and bird photography also require some specialized equipment and certain skills and techniques to capture stunning images.

Now, I don't consider myself a "professional wildlife photographer." I certainly feel more comfortable calling myself a "wildlife photography enthusiast." However, I am a professional camera reviewer, and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate wildlife photography into the reviews and field tests whenever possible. Plus, even outside of IR reviews, wildlife photography is my go-to photography hobby. Give me a long lens, a good camera, and a nature preserve, and I'm a happy camper!

E-M1X + 150-400mm lens: 500mm (1000mm eq.), f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 1600, 1.25x TC

And so when Olympus approached IR for a way to highlight some of the strengths and features of their new 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens, I thought, what better way than to compile a list of important tips and techniques for birding and wildlife photography that I've learned over the years. These are the techniques and tips that I try to keep in mind whenever I'm out photographing birds and other critters.

As you'll see in the video below, the list of tips I highlight is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover some important guidelines and suggestions for gear selection and shooting techniques, as well as some more artistic and creative tips for improving your wildlife and bird photos.

So, without further ado...

Note: Please be aware that while Olympus sponsored this project, we conceived of the piece in its entirety, wrote the script, and were given complete editorial freedom throughout the process.

E-M1X + 150-400mm lens: 473mm (947mm eq.), f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 1250, 1.25x TC

After watching, jump down into the comments to share your favorite wildlife and bird photography tips! I, for one, am always looking to improve my skills, and I'm sure our readers are as well!

Be sure to check out our standard, in-depth Field Test on the Olympus 150-400mm lens, as well as browse through the Gallery for a variety of real-world sample images.