5 Key Camera Settings for Attention-Grabbing Bird Photos (VIDEO)

For those new to wildlife photography, birds provide a great opportunity for capturing impressive images. If you’re lucky enough to have a wildlife refuge nearby, that’s a great place to start. But you can also make some great photographs in your own backyard.

Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced photographer, you can increase your percentage of “keepers” by configuring your camera properly. In the video below you’ll see how one experienced shooter does just that.

Sean Leahy calls himself an amateur because he doesn’t make a living as a photographer. Nonetheless, his beautiful imagery would make any pro proud. In the five-minute video below, Leahy reveals what he says are the “five camera settings that I feel are best for photographing birds.”

Leahy demonstrates his advice while shooting on a cold day in Duluth on the far west end of Lake Superior. He begins by explaining how he sets his camera to meter a scene, and why his approach is particularly important with constantly changing situations like capturing birds in flight.

You’ll also see how Leahy configures his camera for continuous shooting, which he says is ”one tip a lot of photographers overlook.” He also explains his preferred approach to shooting when using a high-speed continuous mode for both fast-moving and stationary subjects.

The other settings Leahy discusses include the spot metering mode, his preferred autofocus options for various situations, and why he always shoots using a single focus point in the center of the viewfinder. While watching the video you’ll quickly realize that Leahy’s advice is useful for all sorts of wildlife subjects—not just birds.

You’ll find more great bird photography tips on Leahy’s You Tube channel, so be sure and take a look.

And don’t miss a tutorial we posted from another wildlife photographer, explaining how to capture razor-sharp photos of birds and other wildlife subjects.

MindStormPhoto's picture

The background music is louder than the voice. Nearly impossible to listen to!

Also, on cameras that support it (Sony 7R4 as an example), zone focus with "animal eye detect" is a far better focus.

I couldn't really watch the rest, with that blaring music...