In Bird Photography the Focus is on the Eyes

In Bird Photography the Focus is on the Eyes

Great Blue Heron Great Blue Heron

The number one rule in wildlife photography, and especially bird photography, is the eye must be tack-sharp in focus. Everything else is secondary. It is also the most difficult to accomplish, especially with relatively small subjects such as birds taken from some distance through a telephoto lens.

Boat Tailed Grackle Boat Tailed Grackle, male

Birding is especially good this time of year in Florida. The winter migrants from the northern climes are here. Also, it is breeding season for many of our wading birds. With that in mind, I dug out my long lenses and went to a nearby Audubon maintained preserve.

Cattle Egret Cattle Egret

There weren’t a lot of birds present. It was cool and windy. I was able to get a few decent photographs made and was quickly reminded how important it is to have the subject’s eye in tack sharp focus. The grackles shown here were a challenge because their eyes are black and not easily distinguishable. 

Boat Tailed Grackle, female ‘What are you looking at?” Boat Tailed Grackle, female

It was good to be “shooting birds” again and I’m looking forward to more outings.

Green Heron Green Heron

My Gear: 

All of the images in this post were taken with an Olympus E-M5 Mark II or E-M1 Mark II and Olympus 300mm f4 Pro lens. Some also included a 2x telextender.

Green Thorn-tail Hummingbird Green Thorn-tail Hummingbird






Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Birds are my favorite as you know. Your hummer picture is excellent . Makes me want to draw it.

    1. Thanks, Carol. When you do I’d like to see it!

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