Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: bird feeder setup Q

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    213

    Default bird feeder setup Q

    I have setup a bird feeder and im having some difficulty in setting it up so i have that uncluttered background. As you can see from the photo, a busy background is not good. So how do you set it up? What distance from the perch to background do you give? I dont have much bush/shrub apart from the fence line. If I bring the perch away from there they may not be willing to perch. I also thought about making a mobile perch with the ability to change the perch on the base and reposition to get variety. Any thoughts on this?

    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    SurfCoast, Victoria
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    5,951

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Carlos,

    Can you provide a diagram of your backyard? Show the area, orientation i.e. which way is North, where you have the trees and under-storey etc and I can provide recommendations.

    How far you need to place the setup from the BG depends on how far you are away when shooting. Its easy to figure out. Take some images of the perch at say f/8.0 and see what the BG looks like. If the BG is cluttered move the perch closer to you.

    If you want a mobile perch look for a cheap outside umbrella stand that you can move around the yard and change the perches.
    Another thing I do is leave an attractive plant (e.g. small banksia, grevillea) in a pot and move it around the yard. I have also planted particular species in places to allow me to get images during different seasons.

    My number one tip though is if you want to attract birds to your garden - get a birdbath.

    Edit: Here's an example. An Eastern Spinebill feeding from a grevillea I planted in a location to allow for winter shooting. The branch he is on is only six inches from the ground.
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    213
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Thanks Geoff for your very informative comments. Funny thing, with your photo (great photo btw), I suddenly realised that you took the photo from the 'side' of the plant, as opposed to facing the plant. So if I took the same shot, the grevillea would be very busy as a background.

    You have given me some more to go with, and im glad you also have mobility in your setup as well. So, ill post up a photo so you can get the gist of the layout, however I am yet to plant more natives and I certainly will get the birdbath.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Image Reposts
    No, don't edit
    Posts
    2,555

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    AS Geoff said, you need to consider the background, your subject to background distance and your distance to the subject. I guess you would (should be) be less than 10m from your subject or even closer to get an image that has the bird a reasonably large size, without dominating all the elements contained within the image.

    For subject to BG distance, this is even more important if you want to create a nice and smooth BG. If your BG (behind your perch) is close to your subject, then there is no way you will be able to smooth it using the lens' optics. However, if you were to place the perch say 5m in front of the closest BG bush, tree etc, then the smoothness will be automatically achieved (due to lens optics) while shooting at even moderate apertures. To see HOW the BG would look throw the image completely out of focus to see where the different bright and dark tones are so that later you will not regret not moving the set-up around to get an aesthetically pleasing BG.

    For perch selection, try a nice and UNDAMAGED, perch. If possible, make it a darker tone as our typical Aussie eucalypts that have very light grey bark will be harder to expose for in brighter light. Of course, it is not an impossibility, but if you have a dark subject on a bright tone perch, you probably see what I mean. You us the food/water to attract birds away from their cover. I have recently used a bucket of sand to place perches in while photographing Sating Bowerbirds in Wollemi National Park. Worked a treat.

    http://amatteroflight.com/gallery2/d...10127_9500.jpg
    http://amatteroflight.com/gallery2/d...10127_9446.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    213
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Thanks Akos. The bucket with sand is a good idea... havent thought of that! I have moved one of my perch setups to about 4 meters from the bush on the fence line and can see the difference. However, attracting the birds to an open space is not that easy! Ill keep at it, and try and get a shot of my backyard soon for comments.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    213
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    I changed my set up some what now, having the perch about 5 meters from background. This seems to have done the trick. Now I will need to look for a suitable perch as the one in the pick is a cut off and will die. I was thinking along the lines of what you said Geoff, a pot with a plant.

    Please ignore noise in background as my PP tools dont allow for selective as such (aside from CaptureNX) and also shooting through window.

    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kingston,Tasmania. Australia
    Image Reposts
    No, don't edit
    Posts
    620

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    The BG in your last post looks fine to me.
    IMO the ideal setup is to design an Australian native garden so the local birds will use it as a "home base" like my garden.
    By having bushes planted in different angles and positions there will be a lots of possibilities for good shots
    If redesign the garden is not possible then native plants in 25lts pots will be an option.

    Here is a photo of a honeyeater in a grevillea bush and also a phot of part of our native garden.



    http://www.plottier.net
    http://arthur-plottier.megashot.net/
    My gear: Nikon D300s, lens and Land Rover Defender

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Epping,Nsw
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Carlos, consider here another solution. Check out http://alanmurphyphotography.com/blog/ - and scroll down to the section 'Fun with a home made nest box' to see how the pros do it when they have the same opportunity to control the variables.

    cheers
    Arron
    www.patonga.me : botany, wildlife, fishing, check it out

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    213
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Thanks Arron, interesting articles in there.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Image Reposts
    No, don't edit
    Posts
    2,555

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Carlos
    I bought the Photographing Songbirds guide from Alan Murphy last year and it is an incredible read and he is the master at this sort of set-up photography. No one else comes close; period!

    Using some things I read there, plus some background research into the species I was targeting and speaking with a friend of mine who is a fine photographer (avkomp) I decided to spend a few hours in the Blue Mountains chasing the Satin Bowerbirds, which are gorgeous local birds that I have seen, yet never managed to get a decent image of. Did my approach work? I guess it did! Read my blog entry I just put up this afternoon.

    http://www.amatteroflight.com/wordpress/?p=266

    Just remember to see larger images you can click on them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kingston,Tasmania. Australia
    Image Reposts
    No, don't edit
    Posts
    620

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Just visited the blog.
    Good reading Akos, did you used a hide?
    Cheers
    http://www.plottier.net
    http://arthur-plottier.megashot.net/
    My gear: Nikon D300s, lens and Land Rover Defender

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Image Reposts
    No, don't edit
    Posts
    2,555

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Sorry, forgot to add, NO HIDE NEEDED at this spot.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    213
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Thanks Akos. But one must remember that you seem to attract birds (of the feathered nature) even without trying it seems!

    Interesting read and technique, another trick in the bag that oneday I can use. Thanks for sharing it.
    CC's, Reposts and Comments welcomed

    _________________________________
    Carlos
    Nikon D300s
    Land Rover Discovery
    http://www.plottier.net

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    12,147

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    Some great things in this thread!
    Arthur i must admit that whilst i love the colours in your garden, i think there is a danger of planting so many nectar rich plants. This will usually result in only more aggressive honeyeater species. In my area that would mean Rainbow Lorikeets, Noisy Miners and not much else. Planting locally native plants is a great idea if you can find the right nursery. Most nurserys sell alot of "native" plants that are really hybrids designed to flower alot more often than true native species.
    Geoff's backyard is an amazing example of the perfect garden to me - mostly non-flowering native bushes that look just like the heathland down the road and an amazing number of bird species!!
    All personal taste etc of course.
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS - Lord Howe Island - 29th November - 6th December 2017.

    Aus Life List IOC= 680 - Lord Howe Woodhen
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    4,949

    Default Re: bird feeder setup Q

    I would echo David's caution about planting hybrids which are often 'designed' to flower for most of the year. It does encourage the more agressive species (at least in suburban Melbourne) such as the Wattlebirds, Noisy Miners etc. which attack some of the migrant species. When our poor Eastern Spinebills arrive in the next month or so, they usually cop a beating from these bullies. I find that planting endemics helps and also dense/spiky bushes in which the little guys shelter from the bullies. I am involved with a local park group and I purchase from the nursery which propagates the local plants for us.

    I agree that Geoff's garden is superbly designed.
    Cheers,

    George

    Life List : 481 (Southern Cassowary, Etty Bay, QLD, Oct., 2016)

Similar Threads

  1. Nocturnal Setup for Owls :)
    By David Stowe in forum Photography Equipment
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 18-02-2015, 08:01 PM
  2. My desktop macro setup
    By Arron in forum Techniques and Educational
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 27-12-2009, 10:38 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •