Glenn Bartley talks on Bird Photography simplified

Date Published 
Thu 4 Mar 2021

On Tuesday 2nd March we had Glenn Bartley giving a talk on "Bird Photography simplified". Glenn is a world renown Canadian photographer and he was speaking to us from Vancouver Island.

Glenn's talk wasn't really a canter through his portfolio with some explanatory tips, rather it was detailed exposition of how he views bird photography, how he plans trips, what give images the Wow factor, and some simple tips on choosing images and post processing. Having said that, the images Glenn used to illustrate the points were absolutely first class, and warmly received by our own highly regarded nature photographers.

Glenn started with his view of what is required to make a good bird image. This involved a list of obvious factors such as exposure, focus etc but Glenn dealt in depth also regarding things such as the background and what the perch and framing contributes to the image. Moving on the how Glenn plans the shoot, whether it be a solo trip for a day or a group expedition, he went through setting up a target list of what he hopes to achieve and produces a planning sheet for each target bird. This could include timings to look for it, the nature of it's calls, and the time of year it is prominent. He showed us three websites he uses to locate birds and the sites at which they are currently being observed, the sound of their calls which aids in spotting them, and details of their habits and habitats. He also mentioned the Breezebrowser website which he uses to collate, cull and compare his images as he will typically discard 90% of the images from any shoot and possibly only post process maybe 2 or 3 %.

Finally Glenn rounded off with some post processing tips which involved using Photoshop actions to make his own preferred basic edits to batches of images simultaneously.

Although majored on bird photography, Glenn's talk was such that any photographer going out on a trip could usefully glean information from it. Glenn also presented the talk very professionally. Another high quality talk which the members really enjoyed.