Handy Photography Glossary

Canon sent me this link to a very handy photography glossary.  Here is a sample entry for a term of great interest to bird photographers:

The Basics:

AI Servo AF is a selectable AF mode, for when shooting through the viewfinder in an EOS DSLR. Short for Artificial Intelligence Servo Automatic Focusing, AI Servo is Canon’s dedicated focusing mode for moving subjects.  It has the ability to track and analyse movement, and focus the image based on where it predicts the subject will be at a given point in time. AI Servo AF is the preferred focusing method for Sports photographers, and any kind of photography where the subject is constantly moving.

Better Photography – Hand Holding Your Camera

In most cases when you are birding, you will be walking along a trail where it isn’t always practical to bring a tripod along.  You have to be ready to move fast as birds fly overhead and grab your camera quickly.  In other words, you will be “hand-holding” your camera.  Here’s the best way to do it.


Better Photography – Aperture & F Stops Explained – Part 1

DSLRs can be really confusing with all the controls and I still don’t really know how to use aperture and F stops so I was hunting around on Youtube and found this video which explains it very well with example shots taken at different F stops so you can see the effect on the background.  With bird shots, you usually want to background to be blurred out so the bird is clearer so you want a lower aperture.


Better Photography – Backlighting Part 1

Don’t you just hate it when a bird is on the wrong side of the sun?  It happens to me all the time and I never could figure out how to deal with it.  This tutorial gives some great advice that should tide us over until we learn how to move the sun or persuade birds to fly to a more suitable perch!



Don’t Lose Your Lens Caps

We’ve all been there.  You have your camera gear at hand and on your way to a birding hotspot when all of a sudden a bird unexpectedly flies overhead.  You scramble for your camera, rip off the lens cap and set it down somewhere and frantically try to get your shot.  Then you get so busy looking through the shots to see if any of them are good you forget to put the lens cap back.

Long after you’ve moved on, you realize the lens cap is gone and you aren’t sure where it went.  How annoying!

These nifty gadgets could solve that problem and at $5.99 for a pack of 5 are not expensive.


Even better, get a pack with spare lens caps – once you click on the link there are more sizes on the page.


Advanced Digiscoping

As I posted earlier, you can use a smartphone with your guide’s scope to get a shot of a bird you can’t find with your own camera.  Some people take the art of digiscoping to a much higher level and buy gadgets to attach a smartphone to a scope like this one.

I don’t recommend attaching your adaptor to a guide’s scope unless you have hired a private guide as it’s not fair to the others in your group.  You could always buy your own scope but they are not cheap!

Here’s how the pros do it.