Photography for the Birds

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Photography for the Birds (Image 1)

Some photographers have the ability to frame a shot with a piece of sandbar, a bit of sky and some water and it looks like something you would hang on your wall.  I'm not one of those photographers.  So I take pictures of birds.

Actually, I would take pictures of any wildlife, but there are more birds than other animals.  I'd love to be a photographer of, say, bears, but that would lead to a lot of frustrating Saturday mornings.  If you go looking for a bird, you're pretty much assured of finding one.

In defense of my hobby, I will say that birds move quickly, meaning lots of shots are blurry.  They also get nervous, so it's hard to get close enough to get the shot you want.  Often, when you get close enough to get the shot, the light is wrong, or there isn't much opportunity for composition.  So you get a) a boring shot or b) no shot at all.

Click Here to see John's Photos from Redskins Training Camp

 But when it all comes together, you creep up close,  the sun is in the right place, the bird holds still or the shutter speed is fast enough to freeze the movement,  you press the button and you have a photograph … of a bird.

That's a problem if you don't necessarily WANT a picture of a bird.  When was the last time you walked through an art gallery or a summer festival and bought a bird picture?  See the problem?

Despite the relatively small payoff-to-effort ratio, I spent a few hours during my recent trip to Florida trying to zoom on some of the shorebirds, which are interesting to my mid-Atlantic, mountain dwelling eyes.

I don't think National Geographic will be calling for any of my images anytime soon.  But I did manage to creep just close enough to snap a few keepers.   You can see them in our gallery at  Thanks for taking a gander.  Heh heh.  Little bird pun for you.

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