• Georgina Steytler

Five Steps to taking Good Bird Photos with a Mobile Phone

Australian Pelican (Monkey Mia, Western Australia). Taken with a Huawei P30 Pro.

So you think its impossible to get a decent bird image with a mobile, right? Wrong! It's not impossible, and below I'll tell you what exactly you have to do, but, and I'm gonna be straight with you, it IS hard. Like really, reaallllllly HARD!

I mean, there are some incredible mobile phone shots out there, but when you examine the subject matter of those images, you will see that 95% are of landscapes, especially urban landscapes.

That is because the small sensors and lenses used by mobile phones, whilst suitable for wide angle/landscape shots, present two HUGE problems for bird photographers:

1. to get good detail on a subject like a bird with a mobile phone camera, you need to be CLOSE to it, as in almost touching it, and be shooting in good, clear light; and

2. mobile phone cameras give you too much depth of field, that is, too much in focus.

You can definitely take good wide angle 'birds in the environment' type shots but what you cannot do is sit in the car and snap great, sharp detailed bird shots from the window like I can with my Canon 1Dx full frame DSLR with 600mm F4 lens (a.k.a the Bazooka).

In other words, it is much easier for me to get good photos with my equipment than it will be for you.


"If you are shooting with a mobile phone or small compact camera, you are going to have to be MORE CREATIVE, THINK SMARTER and TRY HARDER than everyone else."