Book Review: Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography

I’ve always been interested in trying bird photography and have long admired those practitioners of the discipline needed to create these kinds of images. (See Barry Staver’s post on the photographing hummingbirds on our sister blog, Mirrorless Photo Tips.) But I didn’t know where to start.

Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography by J. Chris Hansen takes the stress out of getting started with bird photography by first making it convenient—you get to do it at home. The book is small, just 128 pages, but is jam packed with all the information needed to make really good bird photographs, not just snapshots.

birdbookThe book is beautifully designed with excellent reproduction quality so you can enjoy the author’s impeccably captured images. But more than that, the text is informative on several levels:

First there is the technical photographic aspect that may have stopped you from trying this discipline but Hansen gently guides you through the process offering all kinds of tips and helpful advice. Who knew that one way to get smooth backgrounds for your bird photographs was to set up a portrait backdrop, something that’s easy to do in your backyard but might not work on a wildlife preserve.

Second, there’s the behavioral advice that Hansen includes. It’s an old cliché that in order to photograph a subject, you need to know something about it. Heck, I don’t know anything about birds but the author helpfully provides this information, such as the fact that some birds such as quail and doves (lots of them in my yard) prefer ground level feeders rather than the platform feeders you typically see,

Blinds are often used for bird photography and here Hansen tells how to build your own Chair Blind, listing all the materials needed along with instructions of how to build it. This is the perfect example of all the information that’s been jammed inside this book that along with inspiring images of birds that will encourage you to make your own avian photographs—right in your own backyard.

This is a great read and if you’ve been thinking about giving bird photography a try, Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography should be your first stop

  • 128 pages | Hardbound, 8.5 x 8.5 in.
  • ISBN: 978-1-937538-55-2
  • Print and eBook Bundle: $34.95
  • Print Book: $24.95
  • eBook: $19.99

Author: Joe Farace

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