So I asked her if I could interview her and she agreed. I’d like to introduce you to Kerri, author of the blog, A Little Piece of Me.
CG: Hi, Kerri. I've been reading your blog for several years now and have always been impressed with your nature photography. I hope you don't mind if I put you on the spot and ask you for a few pointers on how to take a good bird photo. In fact, I was thinking about you the other day while I was sitting outside in my yard, trying to keep still in the cold and keeping my movements quiet. And I wondered how in the world does Kerri do this?
To start, what type of camera are you using?
KERRI: From 2007 through the end of December 2010 I had been using a Nikon D40X - my first DSLR. Then my Wonderful Hubby surprised me at Christmas with a new Nikon D7000. I am still learning it but it is an awesome camera!
CG: That’s a good camera. What is your lens of choice when photographing fast-moving birds and butterflies?
KERRI: I am using my Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for most of my images.
For Macro work -I use a Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens - but only if something is very still - I don't normally use that if something is moving.
CG: Do you use a tripod?
KERRI: Never. I should! I know that all good photographers do - but there is just something about the feel of that camera in my hand that is part of the JOY for me. And I do it for the JOY.
CG: Is there a special feeding station set up in your yard?
KERRI: The feeding station is on my deck which is surrounded by pine trees. I have several traditional feeders and I also have two grapevine wreaths that I sprinkle bird feed in.
CG: Do you shoot through a window?
KERRI: I have a sliding glass door that leads to my deck. A lot of shots of the birds at the feeders have been taken through that sliding glass door.
CG: I read once that you used a blind to shoot. Could you explain this and maybe even share a photo of it?
KERRI: In October 2009 I purchased a $50 chair blind that hunters use and I use it for photography. I have also taken it to some of the wildlife areas that I visit and have shot "in the wild" with it. It works great. This is not the EXACT one but very similar -
It's basically a camo chair with a hood that has zippered windows that I shoot out of.
CG: Wow. That way you can move around some and not spook the birds. So what advice would you give to the novice nature photographer?
KERRI: Shoot Shoot Shoot. Take pictures, experiment with your settings, learn your camera and LOVE your subject. I think the JOY you find in your subject will come thru in your images.
Also - for birds - listening is the key for me. Sometimes I will stand still in the same spot for a LONG TIME and just listen. I usually hear them before I see them. And there is a sort of calmness that this gives to each outing as well.
CG: Thank you so much, Kerri. Lots of good information here and you continue to inspire me.
You can find Kerri’s work at the following places:
A Little Piece of Me (photo blog)
Kerri’s Flickr Photostream
Nature Store on CafePress (notecards, etc.)
All photos in this post are courtesy of Kreations by Kerri.