Shoot Stunning Bird Photos with Natural “Setups” in the Field (VIDEO)

A lot goes into making eye-popping bird photos in the field. First you have locate an attractive subject, and then catch it in a great pose against a pleasing background. Once you’ve done that, you still have to get the exposure right under often changing light—all before the bird decides to take flight.

In the video below, one of our favorite birds photographers explains a unique approach that’s responsible for some of his incredible images. The idea is to locate or create natural looking setups in the field that are sure to attract birds. Then you patiently wait for them to arrive.

Australian Pro Duade Paton is a highly acclaimed outdoor photographer, specializing in nature and wildlife photography, and sharing his insights on his popular YouTube channel. And while some may find this approach a bit controversial, his results certainly speak for themselves.

On this journey he demonstrates how he captured a gorgeous shot of a vivid Red-Capped Robin, isolated against a soft out-of-focus background while perched on a colorful plant. And Patron shares a list of his favorite equipment for this type of photography in the description beneath the video.

This technique is all about scouting a location and using bird-attracting setups in the field. While some are found objects, you can carefully make your own, as long as they blend into the scene and don’t appear artificial. In other words, Paton’s approach is far different from the common bird perches some photographers create in their backyards.

As you’ll see, nature provides numerous opportunities for this interesting method, including rock piles, fallen timber, flowers, broken trees and water. The trick is being mindful of what’s in the background and the gear and camera settings you use. The best part is that once you’ve found the right spot, you can return to it over and over again.

You can find many more bird photography tips on Paton’s YouTube channel. And don’t miss our earlier tutorial, explaining how to make landscape photos more interesting by including birds in the shot.