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Birds in Landscapes

Lesson 15 from: The Art of Photographing Birds

Frans Lanting

Birds in Landscapes

Lesson 15 from: The Art of Photographing Birds

Frans Lanting

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Lesson Info

15. Birds in Landscapes

Opposite of the bird portrait, bird landscapes show the bird in its natural environment to tell a story. Find inspiration from Frans' images and tips for including the landscape in bird photography. Gain insight from questions from students like you, including tips for photographing elusive bald eagles and other endangered birds.

Lesson Info

Birds in Landscapes

how the think of birds as part of an environment. Here's an extreme example. This is a weird bird. We don't have this one in the United States. It's called a put to its ah, found in South America. It looks a bit like an owl, but it is not, and it tries to look like a stick. It becomes an extension of the three branch that it sits on. So in order to do justice to Dilbert, you really want to find a way that is a compromise between letting it hide itself and making it visible. So forget about what I said about the bird portrait earlier on everything really smooth so that the only emphasis is on the bird itself. No, I want to make sure that the bird is complemented by that branch and look at it. It's a perfect, complementary pattern. We can take that a step further on. When you look at this Nightjar on these birds nest on the ground there, perfectly camouflaged their photograph, this one in beliefs, and it let me approach quite closely. There really were lying on their camouflage, and they...

'll only take off when you're about to step on them. So I decided to make this Burt as comma flossed as it could be, and that concept led me to closing my aperture all the way down. So it's an inverse of what I shared with you earlier about bird portraiture with your bitter limited up the field, and that this McCall perched on a branch in the Pantanal in Brazil. I did something similar. Opportunities closed old away. And now this becomes a study in texture, the texture of Iraq, the texture, the three branches and then that one splash of color with the McCall in the lower left of the composition pigments. We've seen a few of those before, but these are figment payments who nest in a forest in an island south of New Zealand. It's quite remarkable. I wanted to get there for many years, and then finally I had an opportunity. These are snares, crested penguins, and they live in the ocean. But their nesting colony is on an island that is largely vegetated by these gnarly trees. So and they come through the forest along this forest path, and it looked like a scene out of middle earth. So I studied a trail, I found a nice position. Where I could hide myself of is in a bit of a hollow so that I wasn't as imposing for the payments. And then I waited for them to come back a little bit of a kick from a fill flash, and that helped illuminate them a little bit of highlighting their eyes. It'll help create more personality in the birds and back to the albatrosses, something similar here birch in their nesting colony in the Falkland Islands. And by moving close towards the bird step at a time, giving them a lot of opportunities to accept me there. I was able to apply a wide angle lens and close the aperture down to F 16 and then I waited for the magical moment and another bird appeared in the sky. And now we have a subject. We have a secondary subject, and we have a counterpoint of a bird in the air, and that really lures you into the distance. So there's a lot of things to look at here. After a while, I started simplifying the composition. The essence of albatrosses is to live in a world made off water and sky to them, the existence of ah, life on land is peripheral to what I spend most of their time. And that idea was translated into this view. One day I was on a nice breaker in Antarctica's Vettel see and became upon this gigantic iceberg, the famous blue iceberg. And you don't have to see these payments up close in order to appreciate the grandeur of the scene. In fact, the smaller the penguins are, the larger the iceberg becomes. So I'd like to give it back to you. Now, what are the comments that there are coming in? Awesome Will start in the studio audience, right. We'll go back to the folks at home. Um, we didn't have this my beginning a little bit, um, specific. But, um, question to come in about special. Any special insights for photographing owls, Photographing owls? Yes. First of all, I'm not easy to find right. I always like to stay hidden, so they tend to be really habitual. I know of some places in Santa Cruz, California, where I live. In fact, there's a place very close to our studio where great horn owls come back to the same trees every day. so a, I would say, start looking very carefully Else do not want to be seen. So they will not spend the day on the outer branches of a tree. They're more likely. Do you'll sit in very dense foliage? And, um, of course, if you do find an AL during the daytime, that is when they need to sleep. So you've got to give him respect and make sure that you don't disturb him. And then it comes to photographing owls at night. It's the opposite, you know? That is when they're active. And, yeah, we talked about flash photography early around and the ethics of flash photography. I've become really leery about applying flash to nocturnal animals because imagine yourself in their position. You're trying to hunt. You're trying to make a living, and suddenly somebody flashes you into your eyes in your days to and it takes a while to get your night vision back. So just be careful. Videos. Thank you for mentioning that. Yeah, go ahead. So you mentioned walking up upon that bird with the wide angle lens About how long do you stop? Wait. That's a good question, Johan. Um, in that case, with those albatrosses. I spent a week in a converted shipping container, and I would walk out to that same stretch of coastline every day. And I found a couple of birds in particularly photogenic positions, and they really were quite used to be after a while. So albatrosses by nature are not that fearful of human beings because they're oceanic creatures in their lives. They hardly ever encounter people, but when they come ashore, of course, they become more vulnerable. But I really am very keen on understanding their body language. So if I see any sign of a version than just, I hold back because I do not want to capture doubting my images. And if you look closely at the body language of the albatrosses will knows n'est. In my opinion, there's no sign that they're feeling distressed. I think you know, you mentioned the ethics behind, um, using flash for owls at night. Um, we have some other questions coming in. I don't know. Now is the best time to talk about ethics or any any re sources that you could point people towards. But we had a question about the ethics of getting close to bold eagles. Oh, um, bold eagles were very rare, you know. They were covered under the Endangered Species Act. And this is another pitch that I can make about the importance of protecting our birds. And if it weren't for the Endangered Species Act, we would not have any more bold eagles today. So kudos to the people who secured a future for Dell Spirit. Um, so bold Eagles are now actually quite widespread, and they're quite tolerant when we saw them in that in that refuge in California, never pretty blase, we drove straight on the need to tree next to the tour road wherever sitting, and they didn't blink an eye as far as I could tell. Now, when it comes to nesting situations, that is a different matter. And you have to be extremely careful if you want to do any photography with burgeoning illness, and that is if it's legally possible, that is where you may want to consider putting up a blind and carefully hiding yourself. One more thing about ethics, and I really take that seriously. I saw a comment combining the chat room of somebody who recommended on by an ethics guy to burning and bird photography. I don't know if we have the specifics about that, but could be passed that alone back again. I think it was perhaps from the Audubon Society, but we can try to go back. That was quite some ways ago and see if we could buy that or folks at home are watching online. If you do have any other suggestions, feel free to drop those in. But certainly by Googling of ethics and all of that, you should definitely be able Teoh to find that perhaps I can extend that comment. If you're new to Burke photography, and you don't know that much about the behavior of Birch yet. Yeah, a really good a tip is to find other birds. You know more than you do and go out into the field together. And there's definitely a camaraderie. And, you know, there's something nice as you saw us to to head out in the morning together and you learn from other people who know more than you do. And every part of the United States has its own local Audubon chapter, so check them out and we're going to show some or resource is that you can tap into later on the intercourse

Ratings and Reviews

Carl Bergstrom
 

I was privileged to be in the studio audience for Frans Lanting's Art of Photographing Birds course, and it was amazing. The morning was a perfectly pitched lesson on the technical aspects of bird photography, intermixed with Frans's own photographs and excellent videos of him working in the field. The afternoon focused more on bird behavior, composition, and artistry, and was even more delightful. If you know Lanting's photography you already know about his ability to find unusual perspectives on the world. What really shone through in the class was his love for wildlife and especially for birds. His knowledge of natural history is as amazing as his photography, and I loved the message that to take great photographs of birds, one needs to understand them and their behaviors. I've admired Lanting as a photographer for decades. Today I learned that he is an equally talented teacher. I'll be purchasing all of his CreativeLive courses. Thank you, Carl Bergstrom

Marie Gessle
 

Amazing class! Mr Lanting is charming and full of knowledge about birds and of course photography. In every moment of this course you can see his great passion and love for these flying creatures. The course is full of tips for photographers who want to start capturing moments of birds life. Awesome!!!

André Audet
 

Great class, very inspiring. Packed with great tips and beautiful imagery. Frans is a great instructor. I enjoyed watching this class a lot, and will watch it again!

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