Some time ago, a friend showed me an image of a set up for photographing birds in the back yard. He knew I had birds in my yard that I often photograph and thought I might be interested in trying something new. He was right and I have. The set up took a bit of planning and a shopping list was created. Over the last few weeks I have gathered the items required and yesterday put it all together with the help from my ever indulgent husband. It actually came together very easily and the only thing I was disappointed about was the moss – it wasn’t green.
Behind the log is a banana attached to the edge of the tray. I use bananas because they can often be purchased cheaply if you don’t mind bruised or damaged one, and the birds love them! I have had sparrows, blackbirds, silvereye, tui and bellbirds all eating the bananas in our back yard over the years and I have managed to photograph all except the bellbird there so far. I am hoping that the shallow waterbath will attract the birds to bath in, giving me the opportunity to capture some different images than what I already have.
So the set up is easy, it is a black plastic boot liner filled with a bag of river pebbles. The log is attached at the end by a cable tie and the plants are in small pots with pebbles around them. All the gaps have been filled with sphagnum moss. All of this is on a table on my deck in front of some French doors, allowing me to photograph either through the doors or with them open, from inside the house – using the house as a hide. The birds are used to me being in the room moving around so take very little notice of me there.
All of these images were taken with my Lumix G9 camera and the Leica 35-100 2.8 lens. I plan on playing around with this lens for a bit before putting on the bigger 100 – 400 lens. The next stage of playing with this setup will be using external flash units and a manual controller. Something new for me that I want to learn. Feel free to ask questions about this post if you want to, I am happy to share.