Wildlife Photography Tutorial: How To Photograph Small Birds

In this wildlife photography tutorial, I go over how to photograph small birds in the wild.

My Wildlife T-Shirt: https://teespring.com/stores/brent-hall
Get My Lightroom & ACR Preset Pack: https://brenthall.bigcartel.com/product/brent-s-fall-2019-lightroom-preset-pack

My Main Camera: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B6OTTIM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01B6OTTIM&linkCode=as2&tag=lightbender06-20&linkId=479ff1c01d2b420785df20b175f9f7f5
My Second Main Camera: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KURGS9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01KURGS9E&linkCode=as2&tag=lightbender06-20&linkId=f782a8ca42064c87f00f7b7c603f51c5

My Favorite Lenses
Favorite Telephoto Lens: (also, probably my most favorite lens overall) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PF39PEY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00PF39PEY&linkCode=as2&tag=lightbender06-20&linkId=50e77b3ab2392f5dfb5495f88b1f1dbe
Favorite Wildlife lens for the price: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LNSAYJ4?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B01LNSAYJ4
Favorite All Around Lens: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075TXGRP7?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B075TXGRP7
My favorite Phone Lenses: https://www.shopmoment.com/shop?ref=brenthall27&program_id=pro-l2&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=influencer&utm_campaign=pro-l2&utm_content=brenthall2

My Favorite Wildlife & Adventure Camera Bags: //shimoda-designs.pxf.io/c/2004561/674902/10250

My Mics
My Main Mic: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0749GV5L3?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B0749GV5L3
My Second Main Mic: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015R0IQGW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B015R0IQGW&linkCode=as2&tag=lightbender06-20&linkId=709c63b264a016b83c586cb138564adf

My Tripods
My Travel Tripod: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YEUA1ME?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B00YEUA1ME20&linkId=b6a5f51a82ed380d81688694ffc0068b
My Favorite All-around Tripod:

My Filters
Circular Polarizer: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CFCM78Y?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07CFCM78Y
My Main ND Filters: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C1SMZX4?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07CFDBL9Q&th=1
My Favorite Light Panel: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W62X6NW?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07W62X6NW
My Tiny Travel Lights: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N7RLDP4?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07N7RLDP4

My Other Bag: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JJVH8J8?ie=UTF8&tag=lightbender06-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07JJVH8J8

Try it before you buy it! I use LensRentals every time I want to test something out, or just need to rent something that I don’t have for a shoot or trip:
LensRentals Site: http://www.gopjn.com/t/TUJGRktHSkJGTkVJTUVCRkpOSkVN
My Editing Software: https://clk.tradedoubler.com/click?p(264355)a(3092259)g(22804962)url(https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html)

Follow me on social media!
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lightbendersvisuals
(main account)
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/hallofbirds (my birding account)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lightbendersvisuals
Website: http://www.lightbendersvisuals.com (for workshops, prints, and more)

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33 thoughts on “Wildlife Photography Tutorial: How To Photograph Small Birds

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    Nice video. How much do you crop? 50 percent, 75 %? Even with a 600mm lens, a small songbird is a tiny portion of the frame. I'm sometimes cropping my 24 MP down to 4 or 5. How bout you?

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    I spent a while this morning attempting to get a good shot of a Carolina Chickadee but was not successful due to their flighty nature. I wasn't sure of what settings might be best so I came here to watch your video again. Thanks for posting your personal setting likes as it really helps others like myself. Glad you mentioned EBird.com as it is a great resource.

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    I just found your channel, looks like good content! I have been shooting birds for about 6 years but 99.9% of my shots were big birds of prey, I got a new lens and was doing some test shots in my yard before going out in the field..I took a few shots of sparrows and song birds and to my surprise I did not realize how beautiful the small birds are when you get a good shot and can see them still and up close, even the common sparrow has awesome colors on its head and from a distance they look like a brown bird but are actually quite colorful..So this year im spending more time on the small birds!!! Good video btw!

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    Hello Brent, I've been watching (and enjoying) your wildlife tutorials and just wanted to add a brief tidbit of clarification for your viewers. eBird, All About Birds, and Merlin are all resources developed and maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell University). Merlin is the mobile app version of All About Birds, and eBird is available both as a website and companion app. I've really enjoyed your explanations, insight, and tips and look forward to viewing your other videos. thank you for sharing!

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    Thanks, this was a good video. I didn't know about the websites you mentioned.

    It's December now and there just aren't a lot of birds anywhere in the US. Can't wait for spring.

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    beautiful photos , I'm just starting out with bird watching and on a look out for a decent camera. any tips on a really good camera please

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    very informative…thanks for sharing your knowledge….what focal length lens you are using on your full frame camera?

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    Great video and excellent tips Brent, hope I can contribute. All of my bird/wildlife images are taken in the northeast of the uk where good light can be a bit of a problem even in summer! my basic settings are ap priority wide open, depends where I'm at if in the open I start my ISO at 800, obviously if its bright I reduce this in shade It's increased, good gear is a massive help I shoot with the Canon 500 f4 mk2 lens and camera is the Canon 5dsr and please do not take notice of people saying this is just a landscape camera believe me this camera is great for bird photography, if you want to check out my images hope this proves this, I am frank5426 on flickr

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    Very helpful tips Brent. One point though when you up the exposure compensation when there is adequate amount of natural light, will some of the brighter colours in smaller birds especially orange, yellow and light blue get over exposed….or do you keep adjusting the exposure compensation for every shot if required. Additionally do you keep the AF tracking towards the Locked On position rather than Responsive. Thanks again for the knowledge sharing.

  • April 4, 2020 at 18:11

    My mobile is a Pixel 4XL. It has a great camera function. Shoot at any bird (or other), instead of pressing the capture button, click "more", then "lens", and a pic of what you are aiming at comes up, click, and it tells you the name of the bird and everything you ever wanted to know about it. I will shoot a pic on my Sony A7R3 and aim my mobile at the camera back and do this and it tells me the name of the bird. It really wow's people when I show them. Not many people know about this function. I think this will work on any recent Pixel phones. So if you're out and want to know the name of a bird, you don't have to pull open an app and drill down finding pics of it. It's instant and I'm glad I could share!

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