Capturing sharp images of birds in flight is one of the most challenging techniques for photographers of all skill levels. Like all difficult tasks however, the rewards can be great. Watching these creatures in the wild gives one a true appreciation of nature. The images allow you to share this love of the outdoors with others. Here are the techniques needed to consistently create beautiful photos of our feathered friends.

First, set your camera to continuous high, or the fastest burst mode allowable. This will allow you to shoot many consecutive frames by simply holding down the shutter. Then, select the center autofocus point and the AI Servo mode which helps to track moving subjects. Like most high speed situations, a fast shutter of 1/500 to 1/1000 is recommended to freeze the action. The out-of-focus background is created with an extremely wide aperture such as f2.8 or f4. Finally, the ISO speed varies based on how much light you have to work with. I start low at 100 or 200 and will raise it as needed.