Tag Archives: backyard

The lazy bird photographer

Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) in my garden

Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) in my garden

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)

A remote setup controlled from the kitchen. The 200 mm lens is focussed on the pine branch to the right of the bird feeder.

A remote setup controlled from the kitchen. The 200 mm lens is focussed on the pine branch to the right of the bird feeder.

Why not take photos while sitting in comfort by your breakfast table drinking a cup of coffee. I have tried this while photographing birds visiting my bird feeder. I have erected a pole near the feeder were a proper branch can be nailed in place. Many birds prefer to land here rather than landing directly on the feeder. All you need is a camera, tripod, remote control and some patience. I have made the remote control cable longer (about five meters) so that it can be taken in through the open  window, then the window is closed.  The camera lens must be focused at the branch or slightly in front of it. I use a 200 mm lens on a camera with APS-C sensor. Use a short shutter time, like 1/500 s. Also use an aperture of about 5.6 to blur background but still have some depth of field. If the light is good an ISO value of 200-400 should be OK. I have also made a box for the camera in case of rain. You can see the set-up in my garden and some results by the images enclosed. Both birds are finches and seed eaters. The red bird is the bullfinch and the brown bird is the hawfinch. The latter species is known to have a very powerful beak pressure, enough to crush cherry stones. It is definitely the boss of the bird feeder.