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  1. How to Take Beautiful Bird Photos - 5 Digital Photography Tips to Take Better Pictures of Birds Blow out the background. The very first step in taking beautiful bird images is to make sure the bird stands out from the background. Usually, you will be photographing birds in their natural habitat which includes a very cluttered background of trees and leaves. There are two things you can do to "blow out" the background so it does not distract from the photo. The first way to reduce the clutter is to increase the aperture. Use your widest aperture. On a good lens, that will be f/2.8 or f/4.0. The wider aperture decreases the depth of field, meaning that the plane of focus is very narrow. The second way to decrease background clutter is to make sure the subject is as far away from the background as possible. Try to position yourself in such a way that you increase the distance of the bird from the closest background. Increase the shutter speed. Try to get your shutter speed up to at least 1/250 sec or faster. This will reduce the chance of camera shake and give you an opportunity for a much sharper photo. In lower light, you can increase the ISO speed up to 400 or 800 in order to increase the shutter speed to an acceptable point. Move your camera. Another photography tip for taking good bird pictures is to get on the same plane as the bird you are photographing. If the bird is on the ground or in the water, this would mean that you will get your camera as low as possible. Using a tripod that allows you to get right down on ground level will help. You might also consider using a bean bag to steady your camera on the ground. Taking the photo looking eye-to-eye with the bird will dramatically improve your image. Set a single focus point. This is a technique that is often overlooked by photographers. In normal situations, you can use multiple focal points to get the entire photo into focus, but when you are limiting your depth of field, you want to make sure you have just the right focal point. The best bird photos have the eye of the bird in perfect focus. If you use multiple focus points, the camera may choose the beak or feathers as the main focal point, and your photo will be just another snapshot. Change your lens. Finally, use the best telephoto lens you can afford. Great bird lenses are not inexpensive, but they are oh, so worth it when it comes to getting great bird photos.