Books  General Natural History  Photography & Video  Guides & Techniques 

The Handbook of Bird Photography

Handbook / Manual
Delving deeper than others, this book showcases some truly specialised and unique techniques. This is the best book on bird photography we have ever seen at NHBS.

By: Markus Varesvuo (Author), Jari Peltomäki (Author), Bence Máté (Author)

358 pages, colour photos

Rocky Nook

Paperback | May 2013 | #202059 | ISBN-13: 9781937538101
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £33.50 $42/€40 approx

About this book

The Handbook of Bird Photography distills the knowledge, talent, and experience of three well-known professional wildlife photographers into one beautifully illustrated volume. Written in a manner that is easy to understand, The Handbook of Bird Photography offers fresh insight and practical tips that will broaden horizons for nature and bird photographers. The authors share their stories showcasing photographs for which they have received awards in major international wildlife photo competitions.

In The Handbook of Bird Photography, you'll learn about all of the elements that lead to a great bird photograph, including:
- The bird photographer's equipment
- Shooting techniques: exposure, focus, how to show movement and freeze action, etc.
- In the field: bird behavior, hides, and how to attract birds
- How to use light and compose and crop images
- The best sites for finding and photographing birds

You'll also learn how to show, share, promote, and sell your photographs.

Bird photography is a brilliant way to spend your free time, and for some it's a career. The Handbook of Bird Photography helps beginners get the hang of things quickly and accurately, and offers field-specific expertise for more experienced photographers.


Related titles

Alternatives

Handbuch der Vogelfotografie

Also available in German

NHBS Price: £47.50 $60/€57 approx
More 

Photographier les Oiseaux en Numérique [The Handbook of Bird Photography]

Also available in French

NHBS Price: £29.99 $38/€36 approx
More 

Contents

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2

LEARN ABOUT YOUR SUBJECT . . . . .  4
What, Where, and When? . . . . . . . . . .   6
Bird Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
Bird Songs and Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9

YEARS VARY AND CIRCUMSTANCES
CHANGE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
Spring Floods and the First Open
Waters  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   13
Vagrant Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   15
Berry-Eating Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   16
Owl Years  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   18

LOOK FOR NEW ANGLES . . . . . . . . . . .  22
Set Your Sights High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   22

PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF . . . . . . . . .  33
European Bee-eater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   33
Bearded Reedling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   35
Seabirds against the Moon  . . . . . . . .   35

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHER’S CAMERA .  39
Three-Camera Tactic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   40
Key Camera Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   40
Full-Frame Sensor versus Cropped
Field of View  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   41
Continuous High-Speed Shooting
Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   42
Focusing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   43
Quantity and Quality of
Focusing Points  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   44
Low-Light Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45
Video Features  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   45

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHER’S LENSES  . .  47
Telephoto Lenses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   47
Wide Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   51
Telephoto Extenders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   53

SOURCES OF LIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  55
Mirrors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   55
Lamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   57
Flash Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   59
High-Speed Flash Sync . . . . . . . . . . . . .   62
Augmenting Flash Intensity . . . . . . .   63

REMOTE CONTROL  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  65

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHER’S TRIPODS .  70
Tripods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   70
Video Head, Ball Head, or Gimbal? .   71
Ground Pod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   72
Beanbag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   73

BASIC ACCESSORIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  74
Backpacks and Vests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   74

FOCUSING METHODS AND HOW
TO USE THEM  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  76

EXPOSURE IN BIRD
PHOTOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  81
Metering Light  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   81
Exposure Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   83
Exposure Compensation . . . . . . . . . . .   85
Bracketing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   85

FREEZING MOVEMENT . . . . . . . . . . . .  87

MOTION BLUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  92
Motion in the Wings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   92
Motion in the Bird and the
Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   92
Motion in the Background . . . . . . . . .   94
Everything Out of Focus . . . . . . . . . . .   97
Zoom Effect  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   99

SEASONAL VARIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Winter: December to February . . . . .  100
Spring: March to May. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  104
Summer: June to August . . . . . . . . . . .  106
Autumn: September to November .  108

ARRANGED SETUPS OR
SPONTANEOUS SHOTS?  . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Feeding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   110
Building Nests. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   113
To Succeed without a Script You
Need Luck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   115

KEEP YOUR EQUIPMENT READY . . . 119

OPEN YOUR SENSES AND USE
YOUR IMAGINATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

GET TO KNOW YOUR AREA . . . . . . . . 124
Potential Sites for Photography . . . .  124
Weather Matters When Choosing
Your Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   126

CIRCUMSTANCES DICTATE  . . . . . . . . 128
Freezing Cold (Markus)  . . . . . . . . . . . .  128
Dust (Markus) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  129
Humidity (Bence) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  130

USE WEATHER TO YOUR
ADVANTAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Rain and Snowfall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   132
Fog and Mist  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   138
Frost  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  140

LIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Front Light  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  142
Backlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  142
Diffused Light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  145
Bird Photography at Night . . . . . . . . .  145
Lightning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  146
Aurora Borealis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  148
Moonlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  148
Reflected Light Is the Best Light . . . .  149

ISO SETTINGS IN DIFFERENT
SITUATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  152

COMPOSITION AND CROPPING  . . . 154
In the Field and at the Computer . . .  154

BACKGROUND AND FORE-
GROUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  161
Telephoto Lenses Blend Background
Elements into a Uniform Backdrop    161
Foreground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   165

ANGLE MATTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  167

WATER AS AN ELEMENT IN A
BIRD PHOTO  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  172
Reflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   172

ATTRACTING BIRDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  179
Perching Branches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   179
Islands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   179
Nests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   181
Nest Material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   182
Decoys  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   183
Playback of Bird Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  184
Drinking and Bathing Ponds  . . . . . .   185
Feeding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  186

HOW TO BUILD AND USE A BLIND .  195
Invisibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   195
Good Visibility  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   195
Ideal Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  199
Working Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  199
A Low-Budget Tent or a Permanent
Blind? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  199
Blending in with the Surroundings   203

PHOTOGRAPHING FROM A CAR
OR A BOAT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Car (Jari) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  204
Boat (Markus)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  209

PHOTOGRAPHING AT MIGRATION
FLY WAYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
Photographing Resting Birds on
Migration  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   211
Photographing Flying Birds on
Migration  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   213

PHOTOGRAPHING AT NESTS . . . . . .  217
Disturbance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   217
Conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  222

HANKO PENINSULA, FINLAND . . . . 224

KUUSAMO, FINLAND  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

UTÖ ISLAND ON THE BALTIC SEA .  . 240

OULU AND VAALA, FINLAND  . . . . . 248

KANGASALA OSPREY
FOUNDATION, FINLAND  . . . . . . . . . . 258
Times and Instructions for
Photographing at the Center . . . . . . .  260

ICELAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264

EILAT, ISRAEL  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279

VARANGER PENINSULA, NORWAY  289

HOKKAIDŌ, JAPAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Red-crowned Crane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  303
Steller’s Sea-Eagle  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  304
Blakiston’s Fish-Owl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  308
Lake Kussharo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  309

LAKE KERKINI, GREECE  . . . . . . . . . . . 310

BOSQUE DEL APACHE, NEW
MEXICO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  315

HUNGARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
Hortobágy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  324
Kiskunság . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  324

COSTA RICA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  330

BRAZIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  332

PROMOTING AND SELLING YOUR
IMAGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334

NATURE PHOTO COMPETITIONS . .  338

SPICE UP YOUR SLIDE SHOW . . . . . . . 342
How to Make a Slide Show . . . . . . . . .  342

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY NOW AND
IN THE NEAR FUTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
The Future of Bird Photography . . . .  349
Show Your Images and Ask for
Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   350
Value Your Work and Enjoy It . . . . . .   354
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  355


Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Biography

Bence Máté is a young and exceptionally talented wildlife photographer. Growing up in a small rural village in the Hungarian plains, a birder's paradise, Bence studied nature, his biggest interest. Most of his spare time was spent fishing, hunting, or bird watching, and he built his first hide at the age of 14. At a time when Hungary had yet to see its first professional wildlife photographer, Bence decided to become one. He has since won numerous awards for wildlife photography, including the Veolia Environnement (BBC) Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 2010. In 2006, he started a nature photo tourism business, and his innovations in wildlife photography – custom-built hides, tripods, and one-way glass – have caught the interest of many photographers. In 2010, Bence published his first book, The Invisible Photographer. Eagerly tapping into all the possibilities offered by continuous technical evolution, Bence focuses on action photography of wild birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. He lives in Pusztaszer on his farm, which is also his business headquarters. He has built photography centers in Costa Rica and Brazil.

Jari Peltomäki is an internationally acclaimed bird photographer and tour operator based in Finland. His thirty-plus years of experience in the field is evident in his books, articles, and talks. Though bird photography is his main interest, his photo library includes other wildlife as well, photographed both in Finland and abroad. Since 2007, Jari has chaired the Professional Nature Photographers of Finland Association. His photographs regularly receive awards in international competitions and have received several awards in the Veolia Environnement (BBC) Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. He is the director of Finnature, Finland's leading wildlife tour operator.

Markus Varesvuo is a world-renowned bird photographer who has an uncanny knack for capturing action. While working in the business world for over 20 years, Markus ran a parallel life of bird watching and photography that began in his early teens. In 2005 he became a full-time professional bird photographer and has since written several books and received a number of awards for his photographs. His book Birds: Magic Moments was released by New Holland Publishers in late 2011 in six different languages. In 2010, he won the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in the Birds category. Markus is focused on European birds and works as eagerly with everyday species as he does with those that are more rare. He doesn't photograph birds in captivity or use a flash, as he prefers to photograph birds in their natural environment.

Bestsellers in this subject

Camera Trapping for Wildlife Research

NHBS Price: £34.99 $44/€42 approx

The Complete Guide to Bird Photography

NHBS Price: £22.99 $29/€27 approx

Wildlife Photography in Botswana

NHBS Price: £14.95 $19/€18 approx

Photographing Wildlife in the UK

NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€30 approx

A Diver's Guide to the Art of Underwater Photography

NHBS Price: £22.49 £24.99 (Save £2.50) $28/€27 approx