#7 ‘Birds’


Theme: Birds

So are you excited or worried about this one?

Will you go for the simple option or push yourself?

I mentioned in the video getting hold of a Sigma lens and some filters so here are links here:

Sigma 70-300mm Lens

How to Focus training as ever could be useful here, especially if you’re going for birds in flight!



See the details from challenge #1, I don’t want to keep filling each post with the rules.



Here’s a few ideas I quickly found using the method I explain in the inspiration post. These came from 500px, Google and the last four are my own from holiday. As ever thanks if they’re your photos, we appreciate the inspiration they provide.




Here’s the post I did on photographing birds in flight and if I get to photograph a Robin in the garden I’ll try to sort a post on that too.


Get posting!

It’s over to you!

So anytime now you can start posting your ideas below and any questions you have.

At any time through January you can post your final image and hopefully we’ll get a good selection flowing down in the comments below. Feel free to comment on others’ work and please as stated above give us a bit of commentary to go along with your image and the camera’s settings.


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  • Andy White

    In with a splash

    • Are you sure that’s not a brown dolphin, it looks like a fin to me!

      • Andy White

        Going going gone………

      • Andy White


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        • Andy White


  • Miriam Speidel

    50mm lens, f 3.5, 1/100sec, ISO100, no edit other than resizing to be able to upload it.

    • Ah, the robin I’ve been trying to capture. I wondered why he wasn’t in my garden!

  • Miriam Speidel

    This one is a bit of a joke as I completely overexposed a shot of some seagulls to the point the capture was near enough completely white. Out of curiosity I put it through “I’m feeling lucky ” on Picasa and this is the result, lol! Strangely, I quite like it.

    • I like it too, very artistic

    • Darren Goodall

      I like it, the frantic motion of the flying seagulls with the calmness of water and the other birds floating and swimming. It looks like you’ve made the sky simply disappear and with no horizon line the water blurs into the atmosphere. Then there is the hint of safety, the shore line, it’s wonderful…..
      Cheers Darren

  • Robbie

    I’m a beginner so be kind:) I used a Canon EOS Rebel T5i. ISO 100, f7.1, 1/400. I cropped the photo but no other editing was done. It has been a lot of fun experimenting with my camera and trying to fill the criteria for January’s challenge.

    • Hi Robbie, are you sure you’re a beginner, there’s nothing wrong with that shot, great job!
      Camera settings all look good but I’m guessing you’re on a program mode if you’re new to this?
      What lens do you have, a longer zoom would have helped but that’s down to available kit.
      As a final suggestion have a try with some ‘highlights and shadows in Photoshop if you have it, just to give a little detail to the back of the bird.
      This is a really great start though, well done 🙂

      • Robbie

        I was told by my brother that I would be cheating 🙂 if I used the program mode so I’ve had to do a lot of experimenting. I sat out for a long time and took lots of photos before I got this one. I don’t have a photoshop program but my birthday is coming up so maybe my husband will be super nice and purchase it for me.

        • Haha, good luck on that!
          You’ve thrown me though, in your email you said about school and homework so I assumed you were young, now I see you’re a married woman, presumably a teacher? Funny how you can read things different ways.

    • Darren Goodall

      That is a great shot robbie, I can’t say too much, other than well done.

    • Miriam Speidel

      I’m such a sucker for shallow depth of field so I just love it! and I think the composition is really successful as well.

  • Debs Cook

    OK, I adjusted the exposure a bit on these as it was a dull day plus the bird bath was under trees. I used a tripod and remote shutter so I could hide a bit a not scare the birds off too much! Bird bath – f/5.6, 1/40, ISO – 200 and Bird Table – f/6.3, 1/100 & ISO 100.

    • What a great idea to use the tripod and release that way!
      Lovely, just a shame you didn’t wait for a brighter day 😉

      • Darren Goodall

        Would increasing the ISO help, as well as altering the shutter speed and f stop?

        • Yes Darren but not too much as you start loosing quality if you increase the ISO too far. 400 would be unnoticeable I’d say.
          You wouldn’t want any slower on the shutter and I’m guessing f6.3 was as low as Debs could get on her zoom. Good that you’re reading and understanding it though mate.

  • Darren Goodall

    This Little guy is in our large bird cage inside.
    Trying to get it to stay still, what a nightmare.
    Yes he sings too, that’s great right? Not at 5.30 on your day off!
    He was a gift from my daughter to my wife, lucky ay!
    1/20 shutter,
    f 2.8
    ISO 640
    The second shot has a 1/50 shutter.
    It was late in the afternoon, the backlight was what I was aiming for when I was thinking about how to take the shot.
    Cheers guys

    • How handy having a resident bird! Why didn’t I make the theme dogs 🙁

      It looks a lovely bird mate, nice shot.

      Out of interest have you cropped in a lot?

      If you have the time and opportunity (which I know you do) I’d love to see what you could achieve with more light mate. I’m not sure it’d think to a flash but you could bounce it round the room to the right.

      …Just don’t blame me if it dies :-0

      • Darren Goodall

        Ok , I’ll have another go with a flash, I just won’t tell Jane!
        By the way if any grief should come to Nigel, the birds name, oh Jane what happened??

        • Darren Goodall

          Happy to say Nigel is chirping away, not a care in the world.
          I did use the external flash, on the other tripod.
          Using my 50 D on a Flash setting .
          ISO 100,
          f stop 2.8
          1/100 shutter, he was difficult to shot,
          I also managed to get the other 2 while trying to get Nigel
          Centre bird Zebra Finch,ISO 100, f Stop 3.5, 1/100 shutter
          Last bird Gouldian Finch ISO 100, fStop 2.8, 1/80 Shutter.
          All 3 survived the Flash

          • Darren these are awesome, I could give you a hug! Can you see the difference a flash makes!
            That first two shots are so sharp, I think the best I’ve seen you do yet, Nigel will be proud of you 🙂
            I think the second is my favourite, the combination of pin sharp eyes and the moving wings works really well.
            The third one isn’t in focus which is a shame as it looks a lovely colourful bird. While it’s possible to see the bars it’s amazing how you can shoot through them so well isn’t it.
            I feel like a proud teacher mate, really well done!

          • Darren Goodall

            Thanks for that, so glad you like them.

            I understand what you’re saying about the third shot and the focus being out and the bars. The bars were shot through in all shots. I don’t know why they disappeared on the 2 previous shots, I can figure that out some other time.

            It did take about 50 or so shots before the settings and movement of the birds combined to work.
            I focused and set to manual, with the settings were what I thought would work, then waited for a bird to land where I’d set.
            Then I modified the setting To what I thought looked best.

            It’s all about your lessons, thanks Adrian.

          • I’m not surprised you took that many, I’m the same but who cares eh, as long as you get the one you want 😉

          • Darren Goodall

            Yep, back in the day of my 35mm ohh so costly, love the digital stuff. How many shots? Who cares!

        • Oh dear, poor Nigel 🙁

  • Hereward gas

    1/600 f6.3 55mm

  • So I’m not getting any joy with my robin although I know a friend with a resident in his garden so I’ll try to get over there.
    In the meantime while I was out photographing my leaf this morning I saw these swans on an icy lake.
    I haven’t edited the photo at all.
    ISO -125
    Aperture – f3.2
    Shutter – 1/320

    I’m not happy to submit this as my final entry but as I shot it I’ll put it in.

  • LynneO

    I had my zoom lens on trying to get a flock of seagulls sat in the middle of a field when something startled them and they took off. Really pleased I managed to get them in flight even though I wasn’t quite prepared. F5.6, 1/800, ISO 100, 300mm

    • LynneO

      Think I’ve done it again, was having a little trouble with my connection this afternoon!!

      • That’s really cool, I bet you boukdnt believe your luck! Well done

  • Ali Nicolson

    Down and Dirty with the Ducks
    Spent a lot of time crawling around the river bank

    • Love the last one in particular. Getting down on his level makes all the difference, and waiting for it to look your way, brilliant!

  • Ali Nicolson

    More Ducks

    • I can just picture you crawling along on your belly sneaking up to them lol. Nice shots though

  • Ali Nicolson

    Duck photo info
    F16 ISO 6400
    Shutter speed 1/1000
    Went to this after having a blurred flapping wing shot with ISO 400 1/180 f6.7
    Used a little photoshop to pop the colours
    First time doing wildlife.

    • Ok, this is interesting. I’m curious what mode you were on here?
      1/500 would have been enough but 1/1000 will certainly stop movement so well done. My curiosity is over the high aperture f16, I would only use this on a wide landscape shot. If you kept the aperture lower you wouldn’t have needed the high ISO and the overall quality would have been better.
      As ever, this isn’t a criticism, just trying to coach you and help you understand your settings better.
      You got some great shots anyway and understand the fundamentals like getting on the same level as your subject where possible. Good work, glad you enjoyed yourself 🙂

      • Ali Nicolson

        Still in Auto mode afraid to say, only week two of moving up from using my iPhone for snaps. Using D60 Canon from work, with 17-85mm lens.

        • Wow, that’s impressive! Sorry for jumping on you, I guessed it might be auto and thats why it’s great to start understanding what’s going on and taking control yourself.
          As you’re nice and local you should keep an eye out for my photography training days, I have one early march with 2 ladies booked in already, it would be spot on for you.

  • Hereward gas

    f5.6 ,1/1600 62mm close above my head!!

    • Check you out Mr Wildlife Photographer! That’s awesome!
      Settings look spot on too, well done Tony.

  • Hereward gas

    thanks Adrian for the positive comments

  • Hereward gas

    a big bird ha ha

  • Nice crop.

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