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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wildlife Photography - Photographing Birds In Flight

Belted Kingfisher rocketing into the orbit 

Allen's Hummingbird feeding on nectar

Bald Eagle taking off in Alaska

Male Hooded Merganser coming in for a water landing

One of the many joys of watching wildlife is to see birds in flight. An even greater excitement is to capture them on a photograph while they are in the air. I use Canon equipment and handhold my camera when I photograph birds in flight. It gives one maximum mobility and flexibility provided one knows which technique and equipment to use, when and where to use them.

There are three Canon bodies in my bird photography bag : EOS-1D X, EOS-1D Mk IV and EOS-7D. The lenses I use varies with the particular situation but most of the time, I use the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, EF 400 f/4 DO IS and EF 400mm f/5.6L. If the light is really bad and I am close enough to the birds, I will employ the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. Only occasionally will I add an extender to the lens because I prefer to position myself closer to the action if possible.

All three cameras work well depending on the action, distance and speed of the birds. As my readers know by now, I have picked the EOS-7D as the best overall camera value three years running and the EOS-1D X as the best wildlife camera on the market today. You can read my review here.

Like almost everything in wildlife photography, three things matter the most - skill, equipment and luck, not in any particular order. Take a look at my post on equipment recommendation and wildlife photography tips to get more information. You can also visit my bird photography page on my website to see many more birds from all over the world.

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