Not about everything

October 30, 2008

Long exposure bird photography

Filed under: bird,nature,nature photography,photography — takaita @ 20:46
Tags: , , ,

The “Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen” (Society of German Animal Photographers) has a prestigious yearly photography contest. Recently the 2008 results have been published: the “Europäischer Naturfotograf des Jahres 2008” (European Nature Photographer of the Year 2008).

You will understand that I want to be mentioned there too one day. So I looked at the winning photos closely. One thing was interesting: many winning bird photos were long exposure photos, but taken in daylight. Moving birds, a blurred image. I am not sure if I can explain it well, it is the best you will just look at it. Check out this photo, and this and also this one, and you understand what I mean.

This is inspiring photography. This is something to try myself. I took my camera, set it on ‘shutter priority’ at 1/5 or 1/20 seconds and went to the nearest park in my city. There are no rare birds over there, just some gulls and pigeons, ducks and such. You can imagine. That does not matter, this is not about the species, this is about the revolution in bird photography. A revolution I did not start, but of which I certainly want to be part of.

And here are my results:

Long exposure bird photograhy

Long exposure bird photograhy

Long exposure bird photography

What do you think? Am I going to be the next winner of this contest?

(Additionally, I did some more of this and some results aren’t that bad: see here)


  1. It’s an interesting concept. A concept certainly worth exploring further. Your first attempts are rather good.
    May I suggest something? Since you’re using a DSLR, why not try using aperture priority also? If you can find the “right” f stop to work at under given lighting conditions [I assume you would be working at F8-11-16 using the slow shutter speeds], set your f stop where you’re comfortable, use the correct shutter speed for that f stop, and then set your camera to bracket 5 images. It will take the “correct” exposure, then 1-2 stops under, and then 1-2 stops over…starting with a slow shutter speed anyway, you’ll get a range of shots with incremental shutter speed changes and you never know which shutter speed will give you the EXACT image you were looking for. Obviously, the trick with slow shutter speeds is the depth of field you get from the small f stop setting, which gives the blurring intermittent sharpness. I would certainly try setting my aperture at at least f11 to start. If you do try using aperture priority and shutter bracketing, let me know how it works out.
    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by studiophototrope — October 30, 2008 @ 21:29 | Reply

  2. The third image is rather appealing. I think you just might make it…sooner or later.

    Comment by thrillmysoul — October 31, 2008 @ 05:09 | Reply

  3. […] the past I have written about “Long exposure bird photograpy” with some self-made examples which were meant to be sort of funny. But I never came to show […]

    Pingback by Long exposure bird photography, II « Not about everything — November 17, 2012 @ 13:33 | Reply

  4. […] Long Exposure Photography website:… […]

    Pingback by Bird in Space | Abstract Art Updates — July 31, 2014 @ 23:08 | Reply

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