Friday, August 2, 2013

Home Set up for Photographing Birds and Other Creatures

Black-capped Chickadee on Branch
I have continued to do some photography around my condominium complex and have set up on my back porch perches, so that I could photograph birds coming to eat the sunflower seeds.  I have utilized ideas from Alan Murphy, who I wrote about in October about his two excellent e-books on attracting and photographing birds http://photobee1.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-ebook-on-attacting-bird-for.html.

The first things that we did, was attach a small feeding tray to the railing and fill it every day with sunflower seed.  The birds have gotten used to coming for the food, along with squirrels and a chipmunk.  The chickadees even tolerate us when was sitting on the porch.  The next thing we did, is attached branches to the railing for the birds to land on.  I utilized Gorilla Tape, rather than regular duct tape, to attach the branches, since the gorilla tape is tougher than ordinary duck tape.  I have my camera with my 500 mm lens on a tripod set up in my dining room with the curtains held around the the lens.  Because the distance to the perches, is at the lowest focusing distance of the lens, I added a short extension tube to give me closer focusing distance.Also, distance to the trees in the background is far enough so that when I am shooting at F/4, or lower my background is a nice green blur.

The next part of the project is instead of using the curtains the hide camera and me, I am going to make a camouflage curtain to make it easier for me to see the birds and keep them from seeing me.  After that I am going to get a tree trunk and place it in a Christmas tree stand, drill holes on the back side and fill it with peanut butter to attract woodpeckers and nuthatches.

It's nice sitting comfortably in a chair, watching all the activity, photographing the birds and mammals, and having a drink of whatever you like right at hand.

From the dining room looking outside
Set Up
Looking Toward the Camera and Lens
Eastern Gray Squirrel

Mourning Dove

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse