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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gemmell

Garden Bird Photography with my Fujifilm GFX

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Still looking for photographic subjects during this lockdown I decided that it was time to exit the darkroom where I have been attempting to learn the art of Light Painting. It seemed a shame to spend more time in my darkened room trying to perfect my Light Painting technique when the weather outside was so good! So a move into the garden was in order. We always put out food for the birds in our garden here in the UK. We also have fresh water for them in a garden birdbath. Blue Tits are well-adapted to gardens and we always get plenty of visitors whenever we hang the feeder from the trees.

So my setup for capturing these busy little birds was my Fujifilm GFX50R on a tripod with the GF110mm F2 lens. I also used a Godox flashgun fired remotely from the camera with the Godox X1 trigger. The head of the flashgun was covered with a small softbox to soften the light output. I set the camera to use high-speed sync so that I could use faster shutter speeds to reduce any motion blur in the images. All of the images shown here were shot at 1/250th sec at F4 with an ISO of 250. I pre-focussed on the feeder and then set focus to manual using the peaking highlight to fine-tune setting. A cable release with extension was also used allowing me to sit in my car on the drive with a careful eye on the feeder. My first attempt was a complete failure. I sat in the car for a good forty minutes watching the little birds coming and going, clicking the shutter remotely convinced I was getting some great captures. Everything seemed to be working perfectly and the flash was firing perfectly. I was sure that I had some great images with up to three birds on the feeder at a time. However, I discovered once I got out of the car and looked at the back of the camera everything was out of focus. Couldn't understand how that had happened as the focus was set to manual. I must have moved the camera at some point before retreating to the car.

My second attempt was successful although I had to wait sometime for a solitary arrival. He or she took up several poses for my Fuji and I snapped away until he or she departed. After that, there were no more hungry visitors to be seen and I eventually packed everything up for the afternoon. You can see my results here including the departure of my visitor ( mostly out of focus ) as they took off in flight.

Feeding Blue Tit

Blue Tit on feeder

Blue Tit busy feeding

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