Galahs and White Cockatoos are bold and silly. You don't have to wait long for something to happen. When to press shutter? I just try to "pick the moment" one shot at the time, others "rapid fire". Setting 1/3200sec, ISO 800. F5.6 and 600mm lens. (Tony)

Galahs and White Cockatoos are bold and silly. You don’t have to wait long for something to happen. When to press shutter? I just try to “pick the moment” one shot at the time, others “rapid fire”. Setting 1/3200sec, ISO 800. F5.6 and 600mm lens. (Tony)

Retired Mandurah GP Dr Tony Tropiano and award winning nature photographer Georgina Steytler have put their lenses together for these magnificent bird images.

Brolgas I was Doctor/Photographer for a Variety Bash and spotted birds from the vehicle. 1/1600sec F10 ISO 1000 lens at 200mm. Setting was more for cars with 70-200mm lens (Tony)

Brolgas I was Doctor/Photographer for a Variety Bash and spotted birds from the vehicle. 1/1600sec F10 ISO 1000 lens at 200mm. Setting was more for cars with 70-200mm lens (Tony)

Here they have compiled some of their insights.

Tony: Most modern cameras including phones take close to perfect photos on

AUTO mode in ideal conditions. At times shutter speed can let you down with anything moving fast. The rule of thumb about keeping shutter speed at a number similar to lens focal length is barely OK on still subjects. I double for hand held. E.G. 1/400sec for 200mm lens and prefer 1/3200sec for birds or action. With bird photography, try to get as respectfully close as possible, striving for a sharp, well-exposed photo. Creativity and composition are accumulating bonuses. Photoshop can’t fix a blurry photo.

Georgina: There are six steps to good bird photography.

  • A Good Lens. There is no getting around the fact that the better the quality of your lens, the better chance you have of getting a sharp image, even in low light. If you are just starting out, or if it’s always just going to be a hobby, then avoid a large prime lens and stick with a good zoom lens.The maximum focal length of the lens should be at least 300mm.
  • Get up early (or stay late). The light just after sunrise and just before sunset is soft and golden. It can transform an ordinary bird photo into something extraordinarily beautiful. Cloudy days can be surprisingly good allowing for pleasing low contrast images.silly. You don’t have to wait long for something to happen. When to press shutter? I just try to “pick the moment” one shot at the time, others “rapid fire”. Setting 1/3200sec, ISO 800. F5.6 and 600mm lens. (Tony)
  • Get close. Generally, the closer you get to your subject the better. There are lots of ways of getting closer to your subject, such as camouflage/hide/blind, long lens, teleconverters, remote triggers. But it’s best to let the bird come to you.
  • Shoot at Eye Level. If that means lying on your belly in the mud at the river’s edge to get a duck at water level, then that is what you do!
  • Keep the eye sharp.
  • Watch the background. We are often so focused on the bird that we forget to check what is behind it. A background can make or break an image. Generally speaking, you should aim for a background clear of distracting elements. Have fun! Bird photography should be relaxing. Don’t ever get so caught up in taking the perfect photo that you forget to enjoy yourself.
A Fishy Present Bremer Bay, WA, with a lot of activity on the rocks this male Crested Tern was trying to impress the females, flying around me several times with its fish, looking for a mate willing to accept his precious gift. Camera: Canon EOS-1D X; Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + Canon Extender EF 1.4X I; Shutter speed: 1/4000; F-stop: 9; ISO: 1250; Handheld (Georgina)

A Fishy Present Bremer Bay, WA, with a lot of activity on the rocks this male Crested Tern was trying to impress the females, flying around me several times with its fish, looking for a mate willing to accept his precious gift. Camera: Canon EOS-1D X; Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + Canon Extender EF 1.4X I; Shutter speed: 1/4000; F-stop: 9; ISO: 1250; Handheld (Georgina)

Buller's Albatross Lord Howe Island, NSW, The boat was rocking in a large swell and it was pouring with rain. I was being sick overboard when this stunning Buller's Albatross came in close. Sometimes a photo is worth the pain. Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II; Lens: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM; Shutter speed 1/3200; F-stop: 5.6; ISO: 640; Handheld (Georgina)

Buller’s Albatross Lord Howe Island, NSW, The boat was rocking in a large swell and it was pouring with rain. I was being sick overboard when this stunning Buller’s Albatross came in close. Sometimes a photo is worth the pain. Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II; Lens: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM; Shutter speed 1/3200; F-stop: 5.6; ISO: 640; Handheld (Georgina)

Juvenile Australian Fairy Tern Woodman Point, WA, As I lay on the beach, these young fairy terns (Sternula nereis) became so comfortable that some landed very close to me. Camera: Canon EOS-1DX; Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + Canon EF Extender 1.4X; Shutter speed: 1/2500; F-stop: 5.6 (exposure bias of +1); ISO: 1000; Handheld (Georgina)

Juvenile Australian Fairy Tern Woodman Point, WA, As I lay on the beach, these young fairy terns (Sternula nereis) became so comfortable that some landed very close to me. Camera: Canon EOS-1DX; Lens: Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + Canon EF Extender 1.4X; Shutter speed: 1/2500; F-stop: 5.6 (exposure bias of +1); ISO: 1000; Handheld (Georgina)

Ethereal Mandurah, A misty morning and still waters on the estuary. The Great Egret was one of the few birds looking for an early catch. Camera: Canon EOS-1D X; Lens: EF 500mm F/4L IS USM + 1.4x Canon teleconverter; Shutter speed: 1/1600, F-stop 7.1; ISO 1250; Handheld (Georgina)

Ethereal Mandurah, A misty morning and still waters on the estuary. The Great Egret was one of the few birds looking for an early catch. Camera: Canon EOS-1D X; Lens: EF 500mm F/4L IS USM + 1.4x Canon teleconverter; Shutter speed: 1/1600, F-stop 7.1; ISO 1250; Handheld (Georgina)

The Screaming Toodyay, WA: This young Black-shouldered Kite was calling all morning from its perch on our TV antenna. Eventually I went outside with my camera and as I did so, its parent came up with lunch. Some days you get lucky. Camera: Canon EOS-1D X; Lens: Canon EF 500mm F/4L IS USM; Shutter speed: 1/4000, F-stop 8, ISO 1250, Handheld (Georgina)

The Screaming Toodyay, WA: This young Black-shouldered Kite was calling all morning from its perch on our TV antenna. Eventually I went outside with my camera and as I did so, its parent came up with lunch. Some days you get lucky. Camera: Canon EOS-1D X; Lens: Canon EF 500mm F/4L IS USM; Shutter speed: 1/4000, F-stop 8, ISO 1250, Handheld (Georgina)

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