If you have trouble identifying a bird or just have a spectacular bird photo you’d like to share, I’d love to see it. Birders are a community, and photos you submit may be considered for use in future galleries, bird profiles or other articles as appropriate.
Guidelines for Submitting Photos
When submitting your photos for identification help or use consideration, please follow these guidelines:
- Submit photos with as large a resolution as possible. Zoom in to capture the bird as closely as you can, and do not resize or crop photos before sending.
- Submit several shots of different angles or different birds of the same species if possible. Multiple photos will make identification easier.
- Attach no more than three or four photos per email, but feel free to send multiple emails with additional pictures if necessary.
- Preferred file formats are .jpg or .jpeg.
- When submitting a photo, include as much information about the image as possible. Useful information such as your geographic location, where the photo was taken (habitat type), when the photo was taken and any notes about the bird’s behavior will be helpful.
- Send all photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like your photo to be considered for use in a bird photo gallery or to accompany a profile, you must grant permission for its use. To do so, the photo must be yours and you must own the copyright for its distribution (which you do if you took the picture).
Your full name (not screen name) will be required for proper attribution, and you must state explicitly in your email “You may use this photo on About.com” or something similar. I receive a number of outstanding photos each week but cannot use them because the photographer does not state whether the photo can be used, though I will send follow up emails for particularly extraordinary pictures.
If your photo is used anywhere on the site, you will be sent a notification email with the URL for the article or gallery where you can find your photo. Photos may be cropped, resized or otherwise slightly altered to meet the requirements for use, but they will not be significantly changed and each use of the photo will include attribution to you.
Birds can be challenging to photograph, but capturing a great bird photo is also very rewarding. For the best bird photos:
- Include some of the bird’s habitat to show it in a natural setting.
- Capture the bird’s behavior while feeding, interacting with other birds or preening rather than looking for “posed” photos.
- Take photos with the sun or other light source behind you for the best detail and resolution.
- Hold the camera stead or use a tripod to prevent shaky or blurry photos.
- Use a wide aperture setting to capture the detail of the bird while blurring the background for less interference.
- Take more pictures than you may need; you never know which one will turn out best.
For more bird photography tips, visit About.com Photography.