Thursday, July 5, 2018

Simple Set Up Bird Photography B. O. A. S.

Surprisingly many of the bird images that grace the magazines showing backyard birds were created using set ups. The simplest set up is often jokingly referred to by many photographers as B.O.A.S or Bird on a Stick. These images are made by placing stick or branch close to a food or water source usually a bird feeder of some type. The photographer waits in a blind erected close by and prefocuses on the stick and waits for a bird to land on the stick to create the image. I created the following B. O.A.S. images in my yard. I started by setting up a platform feeder roughly ten feet away from my photoblind. Next I set up a non distracting background approximately six feet behind the feeder. In this case the background is a piece of ¼" hardboard 4' x 4' painted a light green. Next I stood up some 1” x 2”s on either side of the feeder. I clamped a lichen covered stick or branch above the feeder to the 1” x 2”s. I filled the feeder with a mixture of black sunflower seeds and chicken scratch. Then I climbed into the photoblind and waited. I prefocused my camera on the branch and waited. I was using a Canon 7D MkII camera and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens. For settings I prefer using an F stop of F 5.6 or 8.0 to throw the background out of focus. In this instance I had an ISO of 800 as the feeder was in the shade. I photographed for just a little over two hours waiting patiently for the birds to come in and feed. After editing I ended up with 150 images. Out of these there were six great images of Steller's Jays and Band- tailed Pigeons. The Band-tails were nice because they can be a very difficult bird to photograph as they are very wary and really hard to photograph without a blind. If you are interested in learning more about using set up photography please check out my book, Secrets of Backyard Photography, from your local library or purchase it on Amazon where it has been getting excellent reviews. It is available both as a hardbound book and as an e reader. #Team Canon God's love and blessings upon your day, chris Cut and paste the following into your web browser


  1. I appreciate the comment, Claudia. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Great photos!

    1. You are most welcome, Jenny. I really appreciate you stopping by to check this photoblog entry out and commenting on it.