Today’s image is another bird image I made at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Most of the other egret images I have shown are the great white egret, sometimes known as a white heron. This one is a smaller egret with a black beak – a snowy egret.
One reader asked for more photography tips, so here are a couple of tips for photographing animals:
1. Use a shallow depth of field to blur the background. This helps make a clear distinction between the main subject and the background. In this image I used an aperture of f/5.6 which was the largest aperture available for the lens I was using. Remember the smaller the number the larger the aperture opening since the number represents a fraction: 1/5.6 is larger than 1/22. The larger the opening the more shallow the depth of field. If I were to use f/22 the background would have been in focus and therefore more distracting. Aperture works just like our eyes. If something in the distance appears out of focus to us, we squint to bring it into focus, which is just like making the aperture opening smaller.
2. When you use large aperture the entire animal may not be in focus. That is ok as long as the eye is in focus. Since we are naturally attracted to the eye, it absolutely must be in focus. I usually use the old fashioned method of having a single focus point in the middle of my frame. I focus on the eye and then, while the shutter is pressed half way down to set the focus, I re-compose and move the main subject out of the centre. I know the new cameras have all sorts of fancy focusing methods, but I find the old fashioned method is easiest and fastest for me to make sure the eye is in focus.
Did you find these tips helpful?
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