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Creation of a BOAS Image


Creating a BOAS (Bird on a Stick) image is quite easy especially if you have bird feeders or a place to set up a bird feeder.  I typically set up a feeder and let the birds get used to it before I attempt and photography. I prefer to set up the feeder so that I am photographing in in side or front lighting. I place the feeder six to twelve feet from the camera position and at the same height as the camera. I clamp up a perch next to the feeder for the birds to land on before going to the feeder. Perches that are covered in moss, lichen or have interesting shapes or wood grain are some of the best to use. Behind the perch you want to have a plain nondescript back ground like bushes or green grass. I often use pop up studio backgrounds or painted  four by four foot painted wood. The background should be far enough back from the perch so that it can be out of focus. Typically ten to twelve feet. Unless you have extremely cooperative birds you are going to need to photograph from some sort of blind or hide to stay hidden from the birds. You can photograph from behind a covered window with a hole for your lens or throw an old blanket over a rope between some stepladders.. I have several photoblinds that i use. Some I have purchased and others I have made. Telephoto lenses 400-800 work the best though have photographed birds with a 50mm lens.  I always wrok from a tripod or ground pod. That way I can prefocus on the perch and not be moving the lens around scaring the birds. Lighting wise I prefer early mornings and late afternoons. For camera settings I tend to shoot in AV mode with the  Fstop between F 5.6 and F11.0 to allow the background to blur out. Once everything is set up it is a waiting game. Watch where the birds are landing and precompose on that spot. You will find birds just like people will approach the feeder in their own way. Look for pleasing poses and stay at the ready. This can be tough when things slow down. It takes a lot of patience. Go out and create!Dark- eyed JuncoDark- eyed JuncoSong SparrowSong SparrowWestern Scrub JayWestern Scrub JaySingle port feeder nd pop up backgroundSingle port feeder nd pop up backgroundPhotoblind made from a pop up changing roomPhotoblind made from a pop up changing room