I’ve always really wanted to take my own photographs of wildlife to use for reference photos for my paintings. Unfortunately I’m rather constrained by time and, as I would have limited opportunities to use it, I cannot presently justify the cost of a good camera with a decent zoom lens! I need extra hours in the day then I could choose to be a photographer and a painter. 😉 Occasionally however, I do get the time and this is what I do and how I built up to this way of taking photos…..
Whilst there are of course some fantastic photographers who allow me to use their amazing photographs for my paintings, being able to take your own photo and create a painting from it is just a really nice thing to do.
So for a sum of £250 (a few years ago) I decided to buy myself a bridge camera. I went for a Fuji FinePix HS20 EXR with a cracking little zoom. OK, on an overcast and dull day it simply won’t compare to a professional camera, but it does take some cracking close ups and I just choose a nice day for taking my wildlife photos! 📸
So what else do I need to be able to do this? A tripod and a portable bird hide! Well a tripod wasn’t a problem and not too expensive but the bird hide! Well, let’s just say a purpose made popup bird hide was sooo expensive, so what else can I use? Well……..here goes…..
Now we have the ideal kit and I have my first bird hide set up in the garden! I know you are thinking ‘that’s a clothes drying rack and an old bedspread!’ Well, yes it is, but beggars can’t be choosers! I simply set up the clothes rack in the garden, opened it up, draped the old cover over the top and cut a few camera holes into it. I even had cushions 🤣 I sat behind with my camera and tripod and got some really nice photos of our garden birds!
The Mark II featured seating, more head room, some waterproof trousers, some pegs and even a bit of ‘carpet’!!
But then came the Mark III. Made with a garden cane framework and a bespoke cover made by Jo on the sewing machine, it featured various window slots, which were covered, when not in use, with net curtaining!! The whole thing was easier to set up, taller and very nice to sit inside, I even made a little table for my cup of coffee and biscuit!
Now the final bird hide is actually bought, are you ready for this, are you sure………..it’s a portaloo tent! Yes, it really is! This is tall and ideal to fit a chair and tripod inside and it’s even in a camouflage material! Unlike purpose made bird hides, this retails at a lot less and folds up into a small, lightweight bag.
You had better not be giggling to yourself, but remember it works and it goes to show you don’t need much to be able to take some nice photos of your garden birds. Just using you mobile phone through a tent hole (moving your hand very slowly) will get some nice photos too.
So if you take photos of birds or wildlife, do you have a homemade hide you can tuck yourself inside?
Until my next blog, bye for now,