Allen's Hummingbird, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Practice | Aug 2021

What if everything was practice?

Allen's Hummingbird, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog "Practice"

Allen’s Hummingbird, Male, Juvenile

So what is practice?

It’s an activity where the experience matters more than the result.

So we focus on what we’re doing instead of on what we’re achieving.

This can certainly apply to bird photography.

Mostly, because there is no guarantee of a result.

The only parts of bird photography that we can control are choosing when to start and when to stop. Beyond that, the rest depends upon being lucky enough to find birds and then being able to react quickly enough to capture a photo.

Practice has these attributes and benefits.

1) It sharpens our skill.

2) It reveals lessons that lead to improvements in our technique.

3) And (most important) it allows us to focus on the quality of what we’re doing, instead of on the results we’re obtaining. Then we can connect with and feel grateful for what’s working.

In addition, practice can lead to unexpected opportunities.

Here’s a recent example.

I’ve been going out to take photos of hummingbirds as part of deepening my awareness for a presentation on Hummingbird Photography.

This involves 10 to 15 minute periods of waiting for a bird. (As you must know, birds ignore appointments and requests.)

So I’m using this waiting time to practice by taking photos of butterflies.

Gulf Fritillary, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog "Practice"

Gulf Fritillary

Butterflies are smaller, more erratic, and more difficult to capture than hummingbirds.

And that’s wonderful. Because this challenge has led to adjustments that help me take better photos of hummingbirds.

And most important, by approaching photography as practice, I’ve found the experience to be more enjoyable (instead of frustrating).

Life can be like this, too.

Then life becomes a path instead of a destination.

And that helps us enjoy the experience, regardless of the results.

Much success,

Steve Kaye

Find More at:

Celebrate Ordinary

How to Be Lucky

6 Ingredients for Bird Photography


Did You Know?

The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.

Here are three organizations that excel at doing this.

1) American Bird Conservancy

2) The Nature Conservancy

3) The Trust for Public Land

Please visit their web sites to learn about the work they do.

Here’s an excellent book: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation

You can help – Please share this blog with others.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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  • Kaye Catherine
    Posted at 08:51h, 04 August

    Beautiful thoughts. Beautiful photos.

  • Mary Ann Ruiz
    Posted at 14:36h, 10 August

    thank you Steve for this thoughtful approach and reminder to be in the moment.

  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 15:14h, 10 August

    Birds and butterflies – what a great visual duo, and so artfully presented by you -thanks.

  • Cynthia Walpole
    Posted at 12:08h, 03 October

    I’ve tried butterfly photography and it indeed requires a meditative stance and lots of patience. More that I’ve been able to muster.
    Thanks for this post. Lots to think about.

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