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Beginner's Guide to Bird Photography

Lesson 13 of 14

Location Shoot Overview

Ben Knoot

Beginner's Guide to Bird Photography

Ben Knoot

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Lesson Info

13. Location Shoot Overview


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:00:25
2 Location Scouting Duration:12:54
3 Gear Duration:07:43
4 Camera Settings Duration:05:54
6 Composition Duration:01:51

Lesson Info

Location Shoot Overview

Overall we had a really nice morning. We started off with great views and great photo opportunities of Louis' woodpecker. We got there nice and early so that we didn't have to shoot into the sun, we could shoot in the flat, even light. These are not gonna create super vibrant colors, but it's gonna be a lot easier shooting that bird in that light than directly into the sun. Continuing up the road, we had a really nice opportunistic shoot with an American robin with the pink flowers and that awesome perch. These are really fun things 'cause they're not planned. So these are the ones that really make it worth it. When you come out here and you're looking for a bird and you find it, it feels good, you got what you want. But then when you see something and you just come across something that's really cool like that, that's what adds to the experience. We kept going up with the blue bird. It was a failed attempt to get him on the perch that we wanted, but he ended up flying over to a backli...

t area that had some really cool opportunity for a more artistic shot, so we were able to get that. Continuing on down the road, we got some pygmy nuthatch. The pygmy nuthatch were really cool. It took a little while to come in, but with a little bit of patience and perseverance, we were able to wait, get him on the perch that we wanted and nail some nice shots. Right after the pygmy nuthatches left, there's a western wood pewe that came in. I didn't quite get him, I wasn't quite fast enough, so I'll try him again at another time, but that happens where you're shooting, sometimes a bird just flies away before you're able to get a shot and that's okay. I kept going down the road towards the lake area where I know there was a family of ruddy ducks and I was delighted to see them swimming across the pond, backlit with all the bugs flying with kind of some highlighted spots on the water, it looked really, really cool, so that was a great photo op and one that I didn't expect at all, so you always gotta be ready for those unexpected shoots. Overall, today was a really good morning. Not all days are like this. Sometimes I come home with nothing, sometimes I come home with a lot, it just depends. Just remember that patience and perseverance will pay off, you will get the shots you're interested in. One thing I'd like to add, it's really important to have a goal. Do your research, come back, get the photo you're interested in, be happy with your results.

Class Description


  • Learn the habitat and behaviors of a variety of birds
  • How to make the best light choices based off your subject
  • Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary using color, shadows, and symmetry
  • Fast post-processing techniques to take your images to the highest level


Make the most of your wildlife adventures with Ben Knoot in this beginners guide to bird Photography course. Ben Knoot has a background in environmental policy and education as well as a keen eye and love for birds. He has honed his skill into becoming a professional photographer guiding tours around the world to help enthusiasts understand their cameras and their subjects. In this course- Ben will walk through the importance of researching and understanding your subject and the habitat they dwell in. He’ll discuss how to interact and engage a variety of birds so you have a stronger opportunity to capture them while out. He’ll walk through camera fundamentals, how to set your camera, think about composition and work with a variety of lighting. Ben will even talk through his switch to an Olympus mirrorless camera to help improve his ability to make and craft the artistic images he does.


  • Bird Enthusiasts
  • Beginner Photographers
  • Wildlife Photographers


Adobe Lightroom CC 2019




Ben is a 23-year-old nature photographer originally from California. Before graduating in 2018, he studied Environmental Policy and Environmental Education at Western Washington University in Bellingham Washington State. Ben now leads educational and instructive photography tours and workshops for Tropical Birding Tours; Ben’s goal while guiding is to provide a memorable, exciting and successful experience so that other people can enjoy photographing earths beauty as much as he does. Ben has been published by several organizations including, Natures Best Photography, Audubon, Ranger Rick, NANPA, Wildlife Photo Magazine, and the BBC. His deep love and passion for nature has guided and will continue to guide the way he chooses to live his life, with a sense of wonder and curiosity of all things new and exciting.



I liked this class. It gives beginners a great place to start photographing birds. I especially liked his lesson on post-processing. Too many classes skip that part. The use of bird calls is what it is. To be competitive in bird photography you probably have to use them. I personally won't; it's just not worth it to me. So nice to see a young person active in this field!

Colleen Church

This class is wonderful. Ben give you some very helpful information to starting your photo birding adventures. The apps he suggested are very helpful. The tips for scouting and what to look get you going. I will definitely be watching it again.

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this course. The instructor doesn't beat around the bush. He gives you useful information that you can implement. I especially loved that he talks about apps on your phone that could be used to make your experience more fruitful. The only thing I didn't like was the advertisement for Olympus, but you can just skip that part.