Bird Photography with a Camera Phone
While most bird photographers lust over 600mm f/4 lenses and $500 tripod heads, there are some of us out there who believe all one needs for successful bird photography is a camera phone. Yes, you read that correctly.
Here is a Red-tailed Hawk in its natural habitat, a bike rack in Boston. The reason it’s sitting there is because it had spotted a wounded grey squirrel, which can just about be seen below it, hiding under the bike rack’s feet. I took this photo with my BlackBerry Storm, which has a very wideangle lens; I was actually standing about 3m away from the bird (click on the photo to see the complete frame). I was going in closer to get a portrait but somebody had a run at the bird and shooed it away. While Red-tail Hawks in urban areas are used to human presence and generally are not bothered by us, they are still wild, birds of prey and should be approached with caution. Running towards them, screaming, is NOT recommended because a female hawk close to its nest will not hesitate to attack you.
Yet another Red-tail Hawk, in one more of its typical hangouts, a fast-food joint in New York. This photograph was taken by David William on his iPhone. Please visit his blog to read the humorous account of how he found himself so close to this hawk: Excuse Me, Waiter…? There’s a Large Bird of Prey in My Soup.
See? There is no need for expensive, heavy equipment to photograph birds. A camera phone is enough.
I rest my case.