Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Bird Photography Rules

Hermit Thrush
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
Gentle Readers,

I am going to share with you my #1 rule for Bird Photography. Yes, I know, someone of my abilities sharing her hard-won knowledge . . . it's truly an inspiration but, Gentle Readers, that's the kind of person I am.

Bird Photography is the perfect balance of art and craft, inspiration and desperation, luck and heartache. Rule #1 addresses these dichotomies.

Rule #1 states that when attempting to photograph birds whilst using one's car as cover, one should not inadvertently lay on the horn. Sudden, loud noises -- as it turns out -- frighten the birds and they fly away leaving you with pictures of where they were not what they are. Pictures of "where they were" are not interesting to anyone.

As is so often the case, however, rules were made to be broken. The picture above was taken directly after I learned Rule #1. A lovely bird, sitting in a tree, startled by the sudden blast of a car horn as I adjusted myself to get the right shot disappears rapidly. But, I am not easily swayed. I saw that the next bush over had started to bud out and the lovely bright pink flowers would make a nice shot. So, I got out of the car and walked over to take a shot of the flowers and noticed that the bird in question, a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttus) of the Pacific variety, had not gone far and was in fact hiding in said flowering bush and trying very hard to pretend I wasn't there. I couldn't delay there were a lot of people coming up the hill (going to pick their children up from school too) so I used burst mode, shot about 15 pictures and got one that was usable (not good, mind you, but usable).

So, as in all things, Gentle Reader, when life gives you lemons, by all means, make lemonade but if life gives you limes . . . make margaritas! And, those, my friends, are words to live by.

Cheerio -- The Mad Bird Lady of Boulder Creek

ps. These rules were inspired by the efforts of Lillian Stokes and Bill of the Birds who take the sharing of their rules more (or less) seriously!


Mary said...

LOL! Thanks for the giggle. I am in COMPLETE agreement with your statement: "Bird Photography is the perfect balance of art and craft, inspiration and desperation, luck and heartache." The last three words are so true!


Anonymous said...

What fun your blog is - yes everything you say is so true - I have just got the camera and the telephoto and am now learning that you take the photo before the bird flys away!!! Very funny enjoyable writing and you did get the shot!!!

Trixie said...

Ha! Rule #1! I love, love, love it! Thanks for the rules and the blogroll. I enjoy your writing.

mon@rch said...

So sorry that I had to laugh at your Rule #1! Can't wait to hear what Rule #2 is!

Susan Gets Native said...

And a TEE HEE HEE! laying on the car horn...
I need a minute.

Liza Lee Miller said...

I'm glad you were all amused! :) Seriously, I cracked up at myself and thought . . . oh, I have to blog this one! :)

Sandy said...

think this shot is good! The chickadees you have look so different from the ones here. And I just noticed the junco has one more color than ours.

LauraHinNJ said...

Entirely too true!