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This winter I bought a bird feeder holder that attaches to the railing on the back deck of the house. Now, the bird feeder is considerably closer to the window than ever before. It took a week or two for the birds to get comfortable with the location in such close proximity to the house, but now they don't seem to mind at all. However, all of my photography must be done through the window, since they are not fond of me being outside when they are feeding.
I have also begun experimenting with capturing the birds in flight, rather than waiting on them to land on the feeder and just photograph them sitting still with a piece of food in their beaks. So far, so good. It takes a little more practice to anticipate when one will leave the trees in the back yard and make their way to this feeder, but the results are worth it, don't ya think?
Another thing that helps is a camera that will capture multiple frames. I am shooting with a Nikon D7000 DSLR that will capture up to six frames per second. I am shooting around 1/500th of a second. Even though the feeder is only about fifteen feet from the window, I am still using a telephoto lens. These images were captured using a Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens. The top to photos were captured at a setting of about f4.0, which is the reason for the darker background. The last capture is at f2.8, which lets more light into the frame and is the reason that the background is a lighter gray. I have three telephoto lenses. My primary lens is a Tamron 18-270mm. It is on my camera most of the time because it has the widest telephoto range and works well in a variety of situations. The Tamron 70-200mm is a great lens for lower light situations like Friday night high-school football, indoor basketball and other locations where you need the lower f-stop. My final telephoto lens is a Sigma 50-500mm lens that allows me to reach out at touch someone. It is great for wildlife captures, soccer matches, etc. Why do I use third-party lenses instead of Nikon? Cost! I don't earn a living from photography and I can't afford the Nikon lenses. The third-party lenses are typically 1/2-1/3 the cost of the major lenses. I bought the Sigma lens a couple of years ago on Ebay and it was a steal!
Now that I am semi-retired I will have more time to enjoy this hobby and get more serious about capturing quality images. I participate in meme's like Ruby Tuesday because they give me a reason to practice photographing various images and they force me to notice specific opportunities in the world around me. Ruby Tuesday and Skywatch Friday are my favorite meme's and I have been participating in both of them for over two years. If you like photography, I would encourage you to find opportunities like the blog meme's to practice and perfect your skills. You don't have to have a DSLR to capture good images. Many of my favorite Skywatch photos were taken with a little Canon point&shoot camera that I carry with me nearly everywhere I go. The most important thing is take photos and lots of them. Have a great week. See you tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday and again on Friday for Skywatch.