What’s your favourite subject in wildlife photography? I’ll tell you mine… clicking pictures of small birds gives me more satisfaction than any other subject. Because it’s very challenging to photograph these small birds. You need to bring in all your knowhow… your composition skills, your artistic ability, you need to bring all of that to the table to get successful photographs.
But when I get successful photographs of small birds, good setting, good light, nothing gives me more joy!
This is a behind the scenes look at photographing small birds such as Bushchats and Stonechats from a boat in Kumbhargaon near Bhigwan. Photographing small birds is always a challenge because they are always on the move. So we need to be technically sound to get sharp photos of small birds. In the video I talk about focus point selection and the use of a bean bag for photography.
I teach photography courses via Zoom. You can participate in my courses from anywhere in the world. See https://www.girishmenon.com/ to know more about my photography courses for beginners and semi-professionals.
Hi, have you ever wondered if you should consider Ricoh GR cameras? Especially for candid street photography?
Lots of photography enthusiasts love the idea of doing some candid street photography. And always wonder what gear to use. Cameras used for street photography have always been small and discrete. Street photography is all about getting as close to your subject as possible. And using wide angle lenses rather than with telephoto lenses from further away. So if we look at some of the great masters, they’d use prime lenses such as the 24mm or 28mm, 35mm or 50mm.
Cameras by Olympus, Fujifilm, and Sony compete with Ricoh for street photography. The GR series is now in its 3rd generation. The 3 things that I like the most about these cameras are their small size, the TAv mode, and Snap focus.
In spite of their small size, they have an APS-C size sensor. The GR III has a 24 megapixel sensor with a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens. Beginner and semi professional DSLR cameras have APS-C sensors. So it’s wonderful to have a sensor that size on a camera as small as the GR.
We can simulate the TAv mode on any DSLR or mirrorless camera. To do this, we need to do is set the camera’s mode to manual. Then we dial in the desired aperture value and shutter speed, and set the ISO to AUTO. But having that TAv mode separate from the manual is useful because we can switch from one to the other.
The main thing that I want to tell you about is the Snap Focus feature. Now again this is not something new. All professional lenses have a distance scale. We can set the focus manually by adjusting the distance using the focusing ring. But in the thick of things, the ring can get disturbed. And this will result in undesirable results.
Whereas on Ricoh GR cameras, you can hardcode the focusing distance. We can set the distance to 1 meter, 1,5 meters, 2 meters, 2,5 meters, 5 meters or to Infinity and it’ll stay there. I found myself setting it to one and a half meters most often. Then in the TAv mode, I dial my aperture down to f/8 so that I get a pretty good depth of field. I set my shutter shutter speed between 1/250th of a second and 1/500th of a second. The shutter speed depends on the speed of the action that I’m clicking and the speed at which I’m walking.
We find all these features on any or most cameras. But I get a big sense of relief and liberation when I click pictures with GR cameras. That’s the primary point that I want to convey through this video. When technical settings aren’t occupying my mind, I’m only thinking about composition. It brings all the fun right back into the game!
I use an external optical viewfinder. That way I’m not looking at the LCD screen at all, or chimping after clicking every picture. The camera is so small and light that I can enjoy life unfolding in front of my eyes and keep slices of it for myself.
So now you know a little more about Ricoh GR cameras, and street photography. This will enable you to click much better pictures in the future. The GR III has image stabilisation which is a big advantage. Please see the links in the description below.
I’m Girish Menon and I teach photography through LIVE video calls. You can be based anywhere in the world, and still learn photography from me, how cool is that?
In this video I tell you how to go about choosing lenses, depending on what stage of photography you’re at.
I can teach you more about photography via LIVE 1:1 photography workshops via live video calls. These are not pre-recorded videos that you sit and watch by yourself, I’ll actually be present on the call. You can be based anywhere in the world and still learn photography from me!
My workshops are open to anyone above the age of 8. You do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience with photography to enroll for my workshops.
Raptor birds of prey are constantly on the lookout for food. Bird photography, especially birds in flight, is always a challenge. Clicked with a Canon 100-400 Mark II lens on a Canon 7D Mark II camera.
The discussions went on for a few days on Facebook and WhatsApp groups about the ID of a harrier. Experts from all over the world joined the conversation.
Stunted deciduous trees give us an indication that trees don’t grow very tall in the region filmed in this video. These limitations make this terrain unique, kind of like a desert.
Harriers, migratory birds, fly in just towards the end of the monsoons and roost here between October and January. There’s something about this terrain that must appeal to them during this time of the year. Obviously there’s food, and the colour of the drying foliage beautifully camouflages female pallid and Montagu’s harriers. The males are grey in colour. Perhaps their prey mistake them for rocks.
I teach photography online via live video calls—not pre-recorded videos that you sit and watch by yourself. You can be based anywhere in the world, own any camera, and still learn photography from me—HOW COOL IS THAT!