How to capture back garden wildlife

Hanging out with your folks in their garden has many pleasures - a lovely cup of tea on a sunny morning, relaxed easy conversation and a plethora of wildlife that the garden has been especially set up to nurture and encourage. The sunlit bird bath on the patio with the shady garden as a backdrop was the perfect setting for some wildlife photography without having to go out to the middle of nowhere and sit in a hide for hours and hours thanks very much! And there was tea and biccies on hand during the impromptu photo shoot too! Gotta love parents!

A well-lit foreground and darker background is perfect for shooting any subject that you want to be the star of your image. The sunlit bird bath was perfect for this as the rest of the garden behind was in shadow which helped serve as a darker backdrop. I pushed the ISO up a bit more than you'd usually need with this level of light so that I could increase the shutterspeed to freeze in action all the lovely droplets of water that were being flicked around by the little birds' feathers. I set the aperture to throw the background out of focus enough to show some fuzzy forms and the colours of the flowers in the background, but defocused enough to not be distracting and make the foreground action pop. Then it was just a case of guessing when to snap when the action kicked off!

Wildlife Photography by Suki Foster

A mature starling takes a moment to chill, poolside.

Wildlife Photography by Suki Foster

A young blackbird, a mature and a younger starling jostle for some bath time.

Wildlife Photography by Suki Foster

Bathtime for the birdies!

Wildlife Photography by Suki Foster

This little guy is going for it! Water splashing everywhere and he's having the time of his life!

Wildlife Photography by Suki Foster

Mr Pigeon is wondering whether he'd fit in there for a dip, but I think the general consensus is Nope.

Wildlife Photography by Suki Foster

This young starling was about to take off and I managed to capture him with wings open just before he lifted his feet off the bird bath and he was away. Predicting when to press the trigger to capture a shot is often as much about luck as it is about instinct.


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