Get Low | Bird Photography

June 22, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Sandpiper | F/7.1 ISO800 400mm 1/2000 sec


I must be getting old...these days I'm consciously reminding myself to crouch down once in awhile, especially when photographing shore birds. Last month I stomped along a beach...all 6'1" of me before I realized that I scared every single creature with wings away. I basically had to lay flat under some cover along the edges and wait for over an hour for them to return. Especially the Sandpipers..skittish little things.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca see more of my work on instagram @leighmillerofficial

Great Blue Heron | F/5 ISO400 261mm 1/800 secs

Herons aren't much more sociable. I stalked this one along the edges of a marsh..on my stomach, or more accurately my elbows and knees. I got close enough to get some really good shots after crawling through lot's of vegetation. Being me though...I pushed my luck hard, and paid the price. I got video for ya.

I was edging close in order to get a really tight frame-up and not really paying attention to how close along the water's edge I was advancing. The tall grass and reeds made it hard to keep track. I got about 20 seconds of good video before I pushed my luck again and went for a swim...face first. At the end of that clip you will see the chaos as I tried to save the camera from a bath...it was fine, but I didn't need the dip in the pool I was planning for later.

Anything for the shot...right?

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Sea Gull | F5.6 ISO400 400mm 1/800 sec

Gulls and Robins are easier...especially around densely populated areas. They get used to humans walking around and/or feeding them and lose most of their natural fear. They aren't the most unique looking birds but I tend to take whatever I can get so as not to waste a day putting up with heat and bugs.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Robin | F5.6 ISO400 400mm 1/200 secs


I shot this set over several outings with the Fujifilm X-T2 camera and XF100-400mm lens combo which I've updated to use the new FIRMWARE 4.10 that was recently released. Also, it seems my days of complaining about Adobe Lightroom is coming to an end within the next version or two. I'm finally seeing some improvements in the RAW file interpretation with the current software (also recently updated). I'm still doing my primary sharpening inside of the Photoshop application but Lightroom is showing less artifacts and color smearing.

Rumours are floating around that the current crop of X-Cameras may be the last to use the X-TRANS sensor...sure hope not. I finally have it figured out.

On another note you may notice that I'm typically set between ISO400-800 for most of my images with this combo. I got the idea based on the F-LOG video profile which defaults to ISO800...and it generally delivers excellent images quality while allowing for the max dynamic range. Seems to work equally well for stills regardless of light levels with little to no noise penalty. I'm not seeing anything to be concerned about until around ISO1600 which is edging outside of my comfort zone anyway.

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