Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Quick Blind

Because today was a bright sunny day and the birds were bathing in our water feature, I felt the need to take their photos. This was the type of day to set up and learn how to take a good photo of a bird which should be easy, right. All I needed was my burlap, tripod, camera and shutter release cord. I did say burlap. I use this as a simple blind and I mean simple.

I started out by observing where the most activity of the day seemed to be. This happens to be the water feature of our pond. Because it holds some water while spilling the rest, it draws in the birds. They like to bath and drink in it and sometimes fight over it. So I set up my camera on the tripod as close as I could. I only have an 18-135mm lens to use so I need to get close. Because I am close it would be ideal to have a radio remote shutter release but I don’t. I just have a 2 foot long shutter release cord and as close as I am, all I’m going to get is a whole lot of nothing. This is where the camouflage burlap comes in handy.

Last winter I got a camouflage burlap screen in hopes to set up a blind which I didn’t. But this did work out for the better and this is how. After setting up the camera I grabbed a chair and the burlap and placed it over me. I stretched it out so that I have no real shape and because it is rather easy to see through all I had to do is watch and wait.

In a few minutes the birds started to survey the area. They would look hard at the lump and be kind of spooked by it. Eventually one of the birds got brave, went to the water feature and began to drink . Once the bird was drinking I started shooting. The birds did not mind at first but after a few clicks they took off but by then it was too late, I got they’re photo. The birds finally got comfortable enough they did not even pay attention to the click of the shutter. I got a lot of photos but of course most were slightly soft or blured by action. So I made some readjustments and went out shooting again. Got a few more shots and called it a day.

Now most of the birds around the area are sparrows and for the most part they seem to tolerate a lot. I would like to try this out at different times of day because of the different birds that congregate. I am hoping that this set up works for them as well.

So if you’re looking for a quick cheap blind, don’t rule out an inexpensive piece of burlap. If they can see you they don’t know you’re there.