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We started March with a very interesting training evening on 2nd entitled 'How to Capture Birds'. Our speaker was Michael Myers, a member whose bird images have impressed club members and judges alike.
After explaining how he got into bird photography by a series of accidents (according to himself) Michael went on to describe his 'Bird Studio' in his back garden and all the equipment that goes with it. Clever prepared perches including a 'tree trunk', feeding arrangements, anti-squirrel precautions and a pop-up hide. What food to put out to attract specific species was a key point.
Equipment options were discussed, with a crop-frame 23MP DSLR with a fairly fast telephoto zoom lens being preferred for its high burst rate and good separation of the background. Depth of field is kept down to blur the background and shutter speed up to freeze the bird's sudden movements.
Michael favours bright sunlight to get shots with his signature every-feather-can- be- seen look. Finding low-light conditions or the very chancy situation in a nature reserve not worth the effort, he willingly spends hours inside his hide in the garden. The results speak for themselves.
After he had twittered to the end of his excellent Powerpoint presentation, Michael rather reluctantly moved on to demonstrating the hide. It provided a comic/dramatic interlude as it sprung into shape and amazingly was re-folded into its bag - the tricky bit. The similarity to Arkwright's till was striking.
A great talk, delivered with frankness and wit, providing a very instructive evening indeed.