Photography: Getting Close Ups Of Nature

People are always asking me how I get close up bird photos. I am self-taught, and I don’t know what a professional photographer would tell you. But I’ll tell you how I accomplish this.

First, you must practice patience. If you want bird shots, make it a practice to sit outside quietly with your camera. I use a Canon Rebel T2i with a zoom lens.


Sooner or later, particularly if you have bird seed out or a bird bath, a bird will come visit you. Be ready.

Focus on the bird and make sure you can see it clearly. Many times the bird is far up in a tree. I have to take quite a few shots, not knowing if any will come out. But sometimes I score big time!

Then I take my camera inside and download my pics. I then take them to Picmonkey. If the bird was far away, I wait with anticipation while the photo loads. Then I start cropping.

Sometimes it will be too blurry or the lighting will be all wrong. Sometimes I can fix this with Picmonkey. Sometimes I can’t.

And sometimes I am rewarded with a really great bird photo.

The secret is cropping. Even with a zoom lens, it’s going to be hard to get the really good ones. Crop, then crop again. If the photo is getting blurry, you know to stop cropping. I don’t crop below 500 pixels.

Robin building a nest

Wait until you’re done cropping to set your pixels on how big you want your photo.

In my early days, I didn’t pay attention to this, and I didn’t realize I was loading photos with thousands of pixels. And some people would have a hard time loading my blog.

I generally set my photos at 500 pixels. I prefer the vertical shots, because I get more bang for my buck. Also Pinterest prefers vertical photos.

Photographing nature is something I came to late in life. I am never more patient than when I am tracking a bird. Waiting for it to find a perch so I can do my thing. It is very rewarding to get up close shots of my bird buddies.

I will be back this afternoon with Tweak It.

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  1. Oh, Brenda! What a wonderful way to start my day…your bird photos are amazing! Thank you for sharing them, and for the tips. I recently purchased a new camera with a zoom lens, now if I can just find the patience it takes to do this!

  2. Thanks for the info, love your bird pics. I got a few last winter around the feeder, but the trees are so thick in my back yard during summer you rarely see the birds. Looking forward to feeding (and photographing) again this winter.

  3. Well those are all pin worthy amazing award winning shots, Brenda.

    Thanks for sharing your secrets.

    I think you lost ME with "practice patience." LOL.

    I have a good camera and great subject matter but seldom have the patience or drive to make good pictures GREAT pictures. Ah well, sometimes just posting is enough of a challenge on some days.

    LOVE that Cardinal – it's our state bird here in Ohio.

    Have a wonderful week.

  4. You have a lot of patience whether you know it or not, Brenda. Your bird pictures are amazing.. Birds don't hold still very long to have their pictures taken..
    I love the picture of the Cardinal.. I guess because Cardinals are red and they are our Virginia state bird.. The females are beautiful also. I think their brownish color helps to camouflage them while they are on their nest.
    I love little black-capped Chickadees also.. They have their own special little bird noise that they make.. I can always tell that they are in my yard when I hear them.
    I enjoyed seeing all of your pictures today.
    Smiles, Charlotte in Virginia

  5. You sure have some great shots there, Brenda. I love the one of the woodpecker! I don't think I have the patience for bird photography. I can never seem to get a clear view or some other problem 🙂