5 Tips on Composition To Help You Master Bird Photography

Wildlife photography is one of the trickiest genres to shoot as it requires a lot of knowledge, equipment, and patience for even a chance at a good shot. In this video, a world-class bird photographer walks you through his best tips for improving your composition.

I had never been overly interested in bird photography, as much as I love wildlife. The problem for me was that where I live just doesn't have almost any interesting birds. The second problem was it seemed as if you needed a cannon of a lens to be able to reach the subjects. Then, when reviewing a camera abroad, I had the opportunity to try some more bird photography and I learned that those two difficulties are the first of many.

One of the particularly tricky parts was patience, of course, and then a lot of knowledge of how birds behave, where they go, and how to capture them at the right time. This is all before discussing the camera settings which can be difficult too when you're using long focal lengths and varying natural light. However, one of the most fundamental parts of photography becomes unusually challenging when photographing birds: composition. You often have very little time to compose your shot, let alone experiment with different compositions. As with most things, preparation is key, and having some compositional ideas and basics in place before you pick up your camera is important.

If you enjoy bird photography or bird watching, I implore you to subscribe to Jan Wegener and check out his Instagram. We don't know each other and this isn't sponsored, he's just a brilliant photographer!

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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1 Comment

What's funny is that I knew it would be Jan Wegener just from reading the title of your article!

Ray Hennessy is also on YouTube, and creates a lot of great content about bird photography, especially about composition and use of ambient light. If someone's going to YouTube for info about the artistic aspects of bird photography, it's worth checking Ray's channel out, as well as Jan's.