Friday, March 19, 2010

Finally A Blue Jay

I finally got a few decent photos of a blue jay! He doesn't look very blue in the pictures though. I guess the blue of the sky and the blue of the bird worked together to throw off the vision of my camera a bit. It doesn't matter because I still got the pictures!

I really didn't know what kind of bird it was that I was seeing when I took the pictures. My usual method is that when I hear a bird, I stop and stand as still as possible. The less movement there is means that there is less chance of scaring the bird away. It doesn't always work out though.

I then scan the trees the best I can to try to find where the sounds are coming from. I have to hope the bird keeps singing so I can eventually see it up there in the trees. This is maybe the most difficult part because the bird could be behind a branch or farther away than it seems.

The only thing to do is hope that you see a little bit of movement on a branch somewhere among all of that tangled mess. Then you have to hope that the bird decides to stay in one place long enough for you to get your camera focused on it. Another very hard part.

You might think you're home free now. Nope, not at all! You've already found the bird with your eyes, but now you have to find it all over again with the viewer on the camera. It's a little easier because you already know where to look, but it's usually hard to pinpoint the bird with the camera even then.

After you finally get the bird in the middle of the viewer, you have to hope and pray that it doesn't decide that at that very moment it's a very good time to fly away. I've had that happen to me more times than I can count. The best thing to do is start clicking as soon as you can see the bird in the camera.

I always keep my camera in continuous shooting mode so that I can hold down the shutter release button only once to take several shots. In my opinion, that is the only way to get good photos of a bird. It's the only way you can keep up with these speedy little creatures.And you can end up with some spectacular shots that way too.

After you do all of these things, you will begin to get some good bird photos. You'll find that most birds stay in one spot for only a few seconds, so you have to be very quick in every step. This is the way I finally got these clear pictures of this blue jay. You can do it this way too.

Whenever you see pictures of a bird in flight, or with its wings spread out, the photographer usually used continuous click mode. Try it out for yourself if you haven't already done so. I'm sure you'll be able to get some good results with a little bit of practice.

And remember, this doesn't just apply to bird pictures. You can use this for anything. Like I said before, I always use my camera this way. You need it for good nature photography. I've done some pretty good stuff with a camera that most photographers would laugh at.

Try out these tips and tell me how it goes for you.


  1. What a great suggestion I will definitely have to try using the continuous shoot mode. I've had the same experience you described with trying to get photos of birds. You spot it and then when you look through the camera, you can't find it. Very frustrating.

  2. the continuous mode is definitely helpful. Pretty blue jay too.

  3. Thanks for the tips, Ratty! I couldn't take my camera out fast enough when I see the birds..Your photos turn out great.

  4. Your tips definitely work very well. I tried, and it worked most of the time.

  5. My camera is always set on macro mode. I never remember to change it.

    What I hate about birds - there always seems to be a branch sticking out ruining my focus.

  6. I agree- birds are tough. I seem to usually have some foreground branch in the way too- like they know how to position themselves that way on purpose. I think blue jays have no color in their feathers- it's just the way it refracts the light.

  7. That is such a good lesson in how to take a picture of a bird. You are really good at it. I always wondered how in the world to take a good picture of a bird. Good job. Hope you have a wonderful week end.

  8. Ratty, I love bluejays, great shots on here. Thanks for the tips as well though my camera is a cheapo and does not have continuous shoot mode. I'll have to invest in a new camera soon.

  9. yes, Ratty, I agree with you...I often got my best shots by using the burst mode on my doesn't matter what tricks we use, as long as we are out there trying and getting those great photos, right?

  10. You have an award on my blog, Ratty, sir.

  11. Great shot of the Jay Ratty. Is it possible he is a Gray Jay?

    Good tip on the burst mode, I use it a lot with birds in flight. It's also great when we go to races.