In our modern world of automatic cameras, which focus for us and adjust the exposure in an ever more perfect way (most of the time), the biggest difference between a good photograph and a mediocre one is the composition.
In every photograph we take, we can decide where the boundaries of that photo will be, called the cropping. We can also choose the viewpoint. If we are taking pictures of people or movable objects then, often, we also have the opportunity to arrange them into the shapes we want.
Once you have got all the equipment you are going to need (please see my other post - Bird photography - What you need and how to use it) it is time to get out there and and get some photos. Below are a few techniques and tips to help you obtain better bird photos and to produce more 'keepers'. Composing a photo involves you setting parameters in order to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing photo and whilst this may seem impossible in the field there are some things you can do before you press the shutter button and some you can do afterwards . Please do not take these tips to be set in stone, they should be used as a general rule only, and in some cases you may find that going against the norm produces the best photo...
Pictures don't just come out looking right. If you look at some of the pictures you especially like, you will notice that the way the picture was composed probably has a lot to do with it. What we mean by composition is how you place your subject(s) on the blank canvas that's your 4x6 (or 5x7 or 8x10).
With today's high-tech pro cameras and IS and VR lenses, learning to take perfectly sharp, expertly exposed photographs is a snap. There are thousands of technically perfect photographs in print and on the web and it seems there are as many talented amateurs emerging every day. But there is a notable difference in the work of a photographer who takes the time to think about the composition of their image. The composition sets the mood for the shot and tells the story. Compositions can be used to evoke powerful emotional responses in a viewer, a goal for many photographers, but something that is achieved by few.
When we spot a great photo waiting to happen, photographers often take many shots of the same thing to better their odds of doing it justice. But how often have you viewed your shots later and ended up with 5, 10, or 20 photos of the same scene or subject that are, well, pretty darn good! You can't put all these duplicates in your portfolio or your 'Favorites' set on Twitter, so you are left with the challenge of needing to pick your best photo from the set. How do you do it?