One of the most difficult and frustrating shots for me is trying to get good pictures of birds. It drives me crazy trying to get a good bird shot because they are very hard to get.
- Birds are always high up in trees so if you can get close to them it is a ridiculously bad angle on the bird and therefore a worthless shot. Sometimes you get lucky and the weird angles work like in this shot of a bald eagle I got in Michigan where the angle from underneath is actually really nice because it gives an inside view of the eagle’s body. However, most of the time it just turns out flat and boring as you get a picture of the birds butt. And no one wants to see that.
- If the bird isn’t up in a tree seemingly miles away from you, then it is at a good level angle. Sounds good right? not really because it flies away as soon as you get to an acceptable distance from it to be able to take a decent shot. You think you are blessed with a good level shot of the bird but as you stealthily creep closer to where the bird is to get the shot, it gives you that I am watching you look, then flies away before you can get the shot. Devious little creatures i saw, very devious. They know exactly what you want and tease you with their beauty just to take it away. That is so frustrating when you think you got lucky but it just flies away. I can’t tell you how many miniature hissy fits I have had over trying to get bird shots.
Let me just say to all those people who get amazing bird shots out there, first of all I envy you. Second of all you must be photography gods or extremely lucky because for me at least it is near impossible to get bird shots.
On the ride up to Yosemite I was on a mission. I was going to get a good shot of a bird no matter how long it took. My plan was this:
- Watch the side of the road for fence posts because they would be at a perfect level for a good shot and right up next to the road. Then spend five hours of driving staring at the side of the road in search of birds perched on a fence post.
- When a bird is spotted, slam on the brakes and veer to the side of the road. Hopefully right next to the bird (and not scare it with the car) roll down the window or get out and get a successful shot.
Simple plan? not really. Driving at eighty miles and hour and trying to slam on the brakes fast enough to not miss the bird is incredibly hard because by the time you actually spot the bird and start screaming and frantically gesturing to pull over, you pass it.
Strange thing is that these birds on the side of the road really don’t seem afraid of cars. However as soon as they see a person emerging from the car they get the flock out of there. So even if you stop in time just as you creep closer it would fly away. Then there is the disappointing walk of shame back to the car without a single picture. Trying times, very trying times. However I finally did get one so the hard times and the disappointment were not for nothing. Here it is, the fruit of my efforts.