Great Nature Photos – Select the Right Bird Photography Lens For Your DSLR

Getting just the right lens for each type of photography may not be in your budget, so you will want to choose the lenses that you do buy wisely. There are many different types of lenses that may qualify as a bird photography lens for your digital camera, and there are many that may “seem” to fit the bill but will fail to meet your expectations.

If price is no object for you, then just go ahead and get that $5,000-$8,000 super telephoto lens. But if you are restricted by budget, please read on before making your bird photography lens decision. And know that your choice of lens, because you want to get the best one possible, is going to cost you from several hundred up to fifteen hundred dollars.

There are 3 things to consider when you are buying a bird photography lens.

  1. Get the birds close. This means getting a long enough focal length to be able to fill the picture frame with the bird. Usually a minimum of 300mm, but 400mm would be much better.
  2. The lens must focus quickly. You don’t want to miss bunches of shots while your camera lens searches for the right focus.
  3. Image quality must be great. (This is a necessary qualification for any lens you purchase).

The best way to know whether the lens you wish to purchase is the right one for bird photography is to ask those who are already satisfied with their lens setup. Check the camera forums at or dpreview. There are lots of bird photographers who hang out at those two places.

Using Nature Photography to Deal With Grief

One day about a year after my husband’s death, I was sitting by a river watching my son play with his cousins. I glanced down and saw a red leaf lying on the stones. Radiant it lay dying against the sharp angles of the stones. I couldn’t take my eyes from it. Somehow it spoke to emotions that were buried deep within my soul. Using my compact, digital camera, I took a photo that became the first in a long series of nature photos that helped me deal with my grief.

Once or twice a month I was able to take time to be in nature and notice images that somehow spoke to the varying emotions I was experiencing in my grief. Much of regular photography is quick. It’s about getting the great shot at the right moment. Using photography to help deal with grief is a slow process. It includes notice the details of the image you see and taking the time to really notice what is happening within you as you view the image. Notice the emotions that are being stirred. This noticing will help be an intuitive guide to focus and frame as you make your photo.

These little trips into nature to take the photos were a healing and calming time in and of themselves. But the real benefit came with having the photos to use on a daily basis in the ups and downs of the journey. The photo-taking resulted in file upon files of photos on my computer. During the days and weeks that I could not get outside, I would scroll through the photos to find an image that touched the emotions I was experiencing on a particular day. When I found a photo that I wanted to spend time reflecting on, I would upload it into my digital scrapbook software. (I like to use My Memories Suite for ease of use, no need to be online, and allowing printing from your home printer.)

Once I had the photo uploaded I would journal about my reflection with three simple questions:

1) What do I see? (details of light, colors, objects)
2) What do I feel? (emotions that are stirred as I reflect on the image)
3) What do I receive or learn? (analysis and interpretation of my interaction and response to the image)

Time and again I was surprised to find how calmed and centered I would become as I went through this three-step process. No matter how many emotions ranged within before I started the process, I always seemed to find my way to a much better place by taking 10 to 15 minutes to journal my reflection with a photo from nature.

Perfecting Nature – Photo Manipulation Basics

The art of photography is different from other arts. This is something you realize when you start to learn photography. This is because photographs don’t come from the imagination. When you take a photo, you have to take an image from real life and immortalize it. The problem with that is real life isn’t exactly known for perfection. This means that unlike painting where the images have to pass through the mind, where it can be smoothed out and perfected, the camera can only copy reality.

The problem with that is the world is so used to perfection. Photography’s limitations are often detrimental for those who seek to create perfect pictures, namely fashion photographers and glamor photographers. This is where photo manipulation comes in. The art of creating touching up photos is something often used in the fashion industry. It makes sure that any imperfections that can be seen on the models in the shoot are smoothed out. This can be a light skin blemish or few wrinkles around the eyes, but the objective is the same: to create a perfect image.

In the old days, photo manipulation needed specialized equipment like airbrushes. However, in today’s modern world, computers are taking over that function. There is a plethora of photo-editing software available on the market right now. Combined with the availability of high-end computers, even the ordinary hobbyist photographer would be able to edit his shots. The boom of the Internet has also helped in this – tutorials are available for free online and some of them are quite accessible for beginners.

To start your journey into photo manipulation you must start by acquiring what you need. Getting a digital camera and a computer is a good start. Film-based cameras are fine, but since most photo editing is on the computer, it would be easier to work with a digital one. Next, you need to choose proper photo manipulation software. There are several freeware packages on the Internet and one of them should be good enough for a beginner. Finally, search the Internet for some digital photo manipulation tutorials to point you in the right direction.

There you are! That’s all you need to start your career in photo manipulation.