Photographic Tip #7 by Kevan Dobbie

Welcome back everyone to another Photographic Tip part of the Learning in Lockdown series brought to you by Sigma South Africa.

It has been a while so where have I been? Well, the last few months have been interesting… from testing new gear from Sigma SA to receiving guests back at all the lodges across the country and to the enormous amounts of rainfall received. Based on the above you can see what I mean by ‘the last few months have been interesting.’

I have decided to change up the “Photographic Tips.” Now that we have covered the basics in a 6-blog series on how to use your camera and what works best for you, lets now see what Sigma’s wide range of amazing lenses can offer in achieving your photographic potential.

In this blog, I have decided to test the new 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport on bird photography in the Kalahari region. The quality provided when trying to photograph birds yet still having that dynamic range of a 60 – 600mm lens. Well, here are a few of the photographs I have taken using this lens over the last couple months.

Now by looking at a few images above, I highly recommend this lens (60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport) not only for bird photography but also as a general “must have in your bag” when going on safari. The versatile focal length ranges from normal to super-telephoto allows you to be in any position to compose a photograph and of course at any distance. This is also the lens for travelers who hate lugging many lenses and heaps of equipment.

Below I am going to attach a few more images of birds in the Kalahari that I have managed to capture with my 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport Sigma lens along with ‘My Quick & Easy Tips for Bird Photography.’

My Quick & Easy Tips for Bird Photography

  1. Time – early mornings are the best times for activity
  2. Location – Different birds are found in different habitats (make use of reference guides/birding hotspots)
  3. Know your settings on your camera and be quick, birds do not wait for you
  • Quality and direction of light
    • Do not cast harsh shadows on the bird (Exposure and Exposure Compensation are important)
    • Contrast of bird’s plumage
    • Create catchlight in the bird’s eye
  • Composition
    • Fill the frame as you generally photograph one individual
    • Background is important to bring out the subject, generally clearer backgrounds work better
  • Shutter Speed for either stationary or fast moving birds must be taken into consideration
  1. Do not disturb any nesting birds
  2. Practice
  3. Patience
  4. Enjoying your birding experience while attempting bird photography as it is a very rewarding hobby

Now that you have read up about Bird Photography using the 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport, try out my tips and bird photography of your own using settings from our previous blogs and settings you feel works the best for you to achieve your own photographic potential. Send us some photos and feedback on how these tips are assisting you. In each blog we will contribute in growing your skills as a photographer.

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Kevan Dobbie
Wildlife Photographer

Facebook: Kevan Dobbie Wildlife Photography
Instagram: @wildlife_with_kev