1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. oiseau

    oiseau

    Messages:
    3
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Newbie here.

    I'm a keen bird photographer - started on a 30x zoom bridge camera and then a few months ago upgraded to my first DSLR, a Nikon D3400 and got the 55-300mm lens to go with it.

    I've been getting to grips with the camera and feel that I understand what all the settings do and what situations to broadly increase/reduce them in, but feel I now want to understand the finer details and how to really get the image that I want.

    How do you approach improving? Is it best to seek out a formal course? Or are there good internet guides or books?

    Is there a limit to how good an image taken on a D3400 will be? I see some stunning images on Flickr I'd die to take, but when I nosy at their equipment they are taken on £3k worth of Canon 5D + telephoto lens or similar, which I will just never be able to afford!

    I don't want to win any global competitions or anything but I do want to capture birds as I saw them in that moment, to take home with me as memories, if that makes sense.

    Any advice appreciated :)
     
  2. Awgydawg

    Awgydawg

    Messages:
    91
    Name:
    Bird on a Stick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Get a big flash :)
     
  3. Awgydawg

    Awgydawg

    Messages:
    91
    Name:
    Bird on a Stick
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Then paste that into a suitable background :)
     
  4. The W

    The W

    Messages:
    511
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    There's no reason why you can't take great photos with a D3400. The lens is probably the weaker link (in your shoes I'd start a piggy bank to slowly put money away for a Nikon 200-500.) but it won't stop you developing your skills. Fieldcraft is the important 'tool' for nature photographers and that acquiring that only costs time.

    The answer is just keep practising, read & post in the Talk Nature subforum, read websites like NatureTTL.com, fill your Instagram timeline with professional nature photographers, stop paying attention to the gear behind photos on Flickr and start paying attention to the situation and fieldcraft instead, read books like 'Bird Photographers Handbook' or 'Wildlife Photography Field skills and techniques'...

    However the two most important bits to aim for is to be close and be eye-level with your subject. And if your subject happens to be 10cm tall, well then your need to get your camera down to their level.

    Ultimately it's not the gear that creates those stunning images you see on Flickr but the hours and effort they put in to being out in the field. Deciding whether you're prepared to be one of those people who'll get up before dawn and sit for hours in a location repeatedly over weeks, or if you just want to take photos while you go for an hours stroll on a Saturday will decide how far your photography progresses. Either is a perfectly reasonable life choice but it takes the former that'll return the greater volume of great photos.
     
    BBR likes this.
  5. MagicMynx

    MagicMynx

    Messages:
    5,605
    Name:
    Nattelie
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    You can get a cracking pic without expensive gear. The kit lens is a good general all rounder lens but tbh different lenses suit different shots. I'd say look at lenses if you're going to get more gear.

    Practice, videos and reading IMO are the best ways to learn. Photography mags can be useful to help you get to grips (practical photography etc) as well as books and video tutorials. A lot of stuff is done post processing too - amazing pictures usually have multiple layers. Studying lighting is also important. A photography course imo is always a good idea too tbh.
     
  6. AlistairD

    AlistairD

    Messages:
    382
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I'm no expert but I have three tips which I try and use:
    • get familiar with your camera and lenses to find how and where they work best together - practice and analyse the results, most lenses have a 'sweet spot'
    • read forums for advice but don't read lots of equipment reviews - it will only confuse you
    • find a 1-2-1 or 1-2-few teacher who can give you a few lessons - these tips will help immensely if they are personal to you.
    As the famously failed cyclist said and I've pinched - 'It's not about the camera'.... It's about you.

    A
     
  7. Leroy4bz

    Leroy4bz

    Messages:
    468
    Name:
    Leroy
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    IMHO just take loads of shots then see what works and what doesn't. You've got perfectly decent gear to get good images. The more you shot and the analyse your images the better you'll become.
     
  8. oiseau

    oiseau

    Messages:
    3
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks all I feel encouraged!
     
  9. Slyelessar

    Slyelessar

    Messages:
    363
    Name:
    Slyelessar
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Shoot shoot shoot. The gear is less important. Eventually you will find your own feel/style.

    Kit lens is fine :)
     
  10. OldCarlos

    OldCarlos

    Messages:
    6,768
    Name:
    Carl
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Just to add to the good advice above, see if there is anyone else in your area that you can buddy up with & have a couple of days out with them. :cool:
     

Share This Page