Black-crowned Night-Heron by Demayne Murphy


Hi there and welcome to my first monthly IOS newsletter post. My name is Demayne Murphy and I started photographing birds a couple of years ago, primarily at Montrose Point’s Magic Hedge in Chicago. I have been a birder, however, for over 25 years. I almost chose not to venture into the world of avian photography, as I was reluctant to change my birding experience — something I have always treasured — particularly for its meditative qualities. And indeed it has changed the way I view birds and other wildlife. But I can report that while the experience is somewhat different now, I do feel it is enriched by the focus that photography brings. So if you find yourself considering photography as a new adventure for yourself I hope that my posts will speak to you. My goal is to bring you some quick and easy tips that will make your life as a burgeoning photographer a little simpler. The web abounds with tens of thousands of photography web sites, from individual photographers who usually offer their own tips and techniques, to learning sites geared to teaching you everything you need to know and more. And if you are at all like me, you may have explored some of these sites and found it all completely overwhelming.

No experience necessary

I myself have no prior experience in photography. And of course the stunning images available online may only intimidate you further — thinking nothing you can manage will ever compete. So while I cannot say that I have created any of these stunning images yet, I can say that the process has become so enjoyable that I find myself continually motivated to persevere and grow as an artist.

What I really want to say in this first missive is just get out there!! If you find yourself intrigued, just give it a try. The only thing you really need to do initially is find out if this art form is for you. If not, you’ve tried something new; check it off your bucket list. But if you do find yourself positively thrilled by the experience, as I did, then a whole new world awaits you.

And make no mistake, photography is an art, not just a technical skill. There is tremendous scope for individual expression and innovation. You may just open a door that changes your life.

What about gear?

So what about gear you ask? A dangerous question to ask a photographer, unless you have loads of time for the answer. Let’s keep it really short and simple right now. You don’t have to buy anything. Consider renting a camera and a lens for a week or two. Below are links to a reputable company that will rent you the camera and lens I use. This combination combines the speed and the reach you will need.

Rent a camera from Borrow Lenses

Rent a lens from Borrow Lenses

I have no affiliation with the company or with Canon, other than having used both myself. And yes, you can shoot with Nikon or Sony or Fuji etc… and everyone has an opinion about which are the best. But rather than get bogged down with that in this exploratory phase, I encourage you to just give this tried-and-true combination a test run. Next month I’ll talk about some basic camera/lens settings to get started with. And I hope the experience surprises and delights you. See you out there!

© Copyright 2019 Demayne Murphy

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