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on Apr 12, 2011 in Wildlife Photography

Dust Off the Bins, It’s That Time Again

It’s that time of year again when the snow disappears and spring brings a new beginning. Depending where you are, you might be seeing the birds just arriving back from migration, they might be just now courting or they might already be on eggs. Birds are such a killer way to celebrate spring, while you’re reading this we’re celebrating as I have for 24yrs, out on the lek with Greater Sage Grouse (it will be our 1st morning with them this season). While the portraits are very cool and an important part of the wildlife photography story, telling the whole story requires a little bit more biology, technology and time.

Be it Common Murres, Arctic Terns, Eared Grebe or a House Finch in your own backyard, they are make great subjects. Photographing nesting birds is a huge challenge and a great responsibility. I’m still of the opinion anyone can do it if they take great care, understand basic biology and start now when time is still in your favor. Where do you start? Well, there is a little read paper right hear on the site on photographing nesting birds that I personally think is a great place to start. But it’s not the end all!

For example, when you read that piece written a long time ago, you’ll notice technology has changed a lot. The biggest change for the 2011 season I’ll be making is employing the Pocket Wizard MiniTTl. One of the past issues has been having the flashes placement restricted by line of site. This can be a major problem when you have branches and the like between you and the flashes. Here’s the key to all of this, start now! So I’m testing the flashes with the Minis now but setting up the gear, finding obstructions and testing. You might not be at that place yet, you might be at the beginning. I highly recommend you read the paper here on the site on nesting birds and see if it even interests you first. If it does, you should then pick up a copy of Captured and give it a read. Now if you get through all of this and still are interested, give this video a watch. If you’ve made it this far, then get a pair of binoculars, get out and start looking. The rewards are huge IMHO but you pay the price with the investment in time. I’ve provided a the recipe, you’ve gotta do the baking but the cake when it comes out is oh, so schweet!