Bird photography is a growing field and is increasing in value every single day. It is a niche that everyone should experience at least once. In doing so, you’ll need a good camera to work with. So, whether you’re just starting out or are a professional bird photographer, the Nikon D7200 can prove to be the best camera for this purpose. It has impressive features that give you the most incredible images to take home or publish.
The D7200 comes with a compelling CMOS sensor that captures images at up to 24.2 megapixels. Such a sensor will give you the most detailed photos you can ask for, and you’ll retain the ability to edit in whatever ways you want. It also comes with a 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor that helps you with stabilizing images in a very high-quality way. So, whether you move or shake, your images will still turn out as sharp and perfect as ever. You will not need any external assistance to help you in image stabilization after switching this function on.
Additionally, this camera also has fantastic autofocus functions. With features like auto-lock, subject tracking, and manual focus, you will get a wide array of options to choose from when deciding on the focus style. In fact, this camera can focus on 51 different points, which allows you to play with the range and type of photography you wish to pursue.
Here are 5 tips on using the Nikon D7200 for bird photography.
Use Automatic ISO
Bird photography is a very sensitive task to venture into. It requires immense amounts of patience but also quick reflexes. When you’re taking pictures of birds, you take them quickly in the spur of the moment, and this quickness can disturb the image’s exposure levels if your camera is not set on the auto-ISO mode.
So, always keep your camera on auto-ISO mode. This will help you balance out the extreme exposure levels and the continually shifting light conditions in a forest or jungle. The ISO will automatically adjust to any external light changes and will give you a good image to work with.
By using the automatic ISO function, you will also be able to control the aperture and shutter speed more aptly. Depending on where you are and what bird you’re photographing, you will be able to speed up or slow down the shutter, and the ISO will adjust according to that, giving you the most perfect white-balance you could ask for.
Additionally, you will also benefit from keeping the aperture under your control by changing it up to wide open so that more of the image is visibly captured while the ISO is working automatically.
With the Nikon D7200, you get a fully automated setting for ISO levels, shutter speeds, and aperture settings. It gives you the option of auto mode and manual mode and depending on which one you choose, you will get additional features in the subsections. With an ISO range of 100-25,600 and a shutter speed of 1/8000 sec, you will be able to take many great bird photographs without any trouble.
For decades now, people have resorted to conventional methodologies when photographing birds. They either use the golden triangle or the vibrant color modes to capture the somber images that would please the crowds. However, these imaging styles and their final products have also become very stereotypical, and you should try to avoid them. Breaking stereotypes entails taking pictures in alternative forms and structures. It essentially means breaking the rules and risking it!
For example, if you’re taking a picture of a bird on the ground, then instead of photographing a close-up, you can shoot a wide-angle shot. In fact, instead of capturing the bird in vivid colors, you can take a monochromatic approach and take a dramatic black and white image. These techniques help develop the viewers interest by allowing them to question the image and its form. It invites intrigue and critique, which is the best thing for a photographer.
Using the aforementioned manual modes on the Nikon D7200, you will be able to customize your own photography styles that will allow you to deviate from the stereotypical modes of photography. With features like 6 fps continuous shooting, you will be able to produce an incredible series of photographs that will speak to your audiences vividly.
Don’t Crop Too Much
When editing your images, it is highly recommended that you don’t crop too much. Birds high up in the forest canopies may appear very tiny against the larger forest in your image. However, suppose you crop too much to show the bird. In that case, the picture’s quality will be compromised, and you should never, under any circumstances, compromise on the quality of your image. Cropping 50% of the image may allow you to get closer to the bird, but it will not give you the same satisfaction because the photo would have turned grainy.
Instead, what you can do is crop less. Try cropping 20% of the image by allowing some of the forest and trees to remain in the image. This adds character to your photo and also gives an adequate reflection on what the bird’s life in the tree is like. Such positioning may also allow the viewer to look at the image from a live-view perspective. Another way is to zoom in or use a high-quality camera with a strong imaging sensor.
The Nikon D7200 comes with a powerful 24.2-megapixel sensor that will allow you to crop as much as you want without the image pixelating. In addition, you can also optically zoom in on your subject through the viewfinder as it allows you to use the digital functioning tools to do so. You can also focus on your bird with its lock-focus option and only get the bird in sight, without the background being a part of the picture.
Your Camera Matters
Your camera matters a lot when you’re doing bird photography. You should preferably carry a camera with a detachable lens function or one with a strong optical zoom. This is important because the birds are usually far away or very high up on the tree branches. Getting too physically close to them might jeopardize the whole photoshoot. You might unintentionally scare the bird, and it may fly off. So, get a camera that either has a good zoom lens or has the option to attach an extra lens.
Your camera also matters in whether or not it allows you to take control of certain functions. For example, many digital cameras don’t have a burst mode or will not let you manually change the ISO/aperture settings. These are important notes because it is with these functions that you will create your distinct style of photography and get the pictures that you want to capture.
Your camera matters in many other respects, like the quality of its imaging sensor, the focus retention, the shutter speed, and the exposure modes. All these functions are important to have in a camera so that you can take decent photographs of various kinds of birds.
Since the Nikon D7200 is a DSLR, you will also find that it lets you attach additional lenses onto the body. So, you can get a variety of Nikkor zoom lenses and add them to your collection for bird photography. With its incredible imaging sensor and processors, you will be able to get the highest quality pictures of all kinds of birds.
Last but not least, you have to always remain ethical with respect to your subjects. It is you who is taking pictures of the birds, something they never asked for. So, you have to remain conscious of how you approach their habitats and their flocks. Make sure you’re not hurting the birds physically in the process of the shoot. You should also make sure not to cause any hindrance to their lives, either to their eggs, their nests, or their food chains.
Apart from being conscious about the birds themselves, you should also remain aware of how your pictures will be used and perceived. Ethics demand that your product causes nill to minimal harm to your subjects. Make sure that the images will not cause more people to flock to the birds’ nests to take more pictures, potentially destroying their habitats in the process. To avoid such a thing from happening, try to show how nature is being destroyed by human interventions.
With the Nikon D7200, you could tell the story of a bird and its lost home due to deforestation or any other climatic/extinction related issue. This way, you can remain ethical and work to further the cause of reforestation for the birds and their survival. The camera gives you many features like HD video recording and multi CAM display to document birds in an ethically sound manner. So, go out there and start your bird photography adventures, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.