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on Dec 18, 2017 in Wildlife Photography

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a ….

Gtr Sandhill Crane
captured by D5 / 300PF

I’m often asked how much lens do you need for bird photography? My response is a really old quote, “Go out with your longest lens or else you’ll comeback short!” And with that I always add, what’s the story you want to tell? Because for me after being so fortunate to photograph birds for four decades, the answer is real simple. Let me illustrate.

Gtr Sandhill Crane
captured by D5 / 800mm

My quick answer to the question is, 400mm as that’s the lens I started with. The long answer is 800mm but only us nutjobs spend that much on a lens. You really need to reach down and decide if you’re going to go with the herd and the easy route and simply stuff a frame with a bird and call it art, or the hard route and fill the frame with the birds word while making the bird the subject. Ya, it takes less lens for the latter, but a whole lot more skill and passion. And the complete bird photographer has both crafts in their back pocket to call on as needed. It’s real simple when the viewer looks at your bird photograph, do they ask is it a bird, is it a plane or is it …. ?