By Mike Busch

One of my clients that is getting into wildlife photography asked me about upgrading to a bigger lens this week to get sharper images.  While I was happy to recommend a lens, I also passed on a tip that I think will get her better results without spending any money.  I have discussed back-button focus here before but as the Long Island Wildlife Photography group nears 17,000 members we have a lot of new people that may not have made the switch yet.  See below:

The best photography advice I have received and passed on to others is back-button focus.  Every modern DSLR has this feature, you will need to do a Google or YouTube search for your particular model.   You are basically removing the focus from the shutter button and moving it to the A/E Lock button, which is in a great spot to handle with your thumb.  When you remove the focusing function from your shutter button you no longer have to worry about holding it down halfway to maintain focus on your subject.  When a bird is in flight, it is easy to push a little too hard and take an out of focus shot.  By the time you recover, the bird will be gone!  

I set my camera to continuous single point focus.  That allows me to hold a different button (AE-Lock) and track the subject and maintain focus the entire time,  allowing the freedom to take the shot at the precise moment I want to or just spray and pray.

This is not just for wildlife photography, it will just become second nature and you will forget how to focus the old way.

It might sound complicated but once you get used to it I doubt you will ever go back!

Here is an article from Nikon that goes into more detail if you are interested.

This week Jim Botta and I have put together another big collection of some of this week’s photos below.  This week’s cover goes to Liana Merenda-Jonas with a beautiful Blue Grosbeak.  Also don’t miss some more great videos from Natalie Ann on the last page.

Try to check out all 11 pages and feel free to share!

Bald Eagle – Jill Weigold Wendling

Baltimore Oriole & Red-Bellied Woodpecker – William Walsh

Bay-Breasted Warbler – Lisa Wollerstein-Whitmore

Blue Grosbeak – Liana Merenda-Jonas

Blue Jay – Richard DiScalfani

Chestnut-Sided Warbler – Tony Fanni

Chipmunk – Donna Monte

Eastern Box Turtle – Victoria Virgona

Eastern Kingbird – Liana Merenda-Jonas

More Photos on Pages 2-11