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How to take photos of birds from a floating blind

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How to take photos of birds from a floating blind
MrJanGear Floating Hide II with the camouflage cover on. Photo by John Gerlach

I have been an avid bird photographer for 45 years, and my favorite way to photograph birds is from a floating blind. It is a special feeling to be in the quiet waters of a bay at dawn with hundreds of birds that pay little to no attention to you.

My floating blind photography season begins in late April, when the ice melts near my Idaho home. On calm mornings, I drive to the lake and park close to the shoreline in a public parking area. I carry the 12-pound blind and photo gear 30 yards to the shore, mount my camera and lens to the Wimberley gimbal head that is attached to the blind, and slowly walk into the water. When the water is 2.5 feet deep, I slip under the camo cover, rest my elbows on the float tube, and off I go.

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John Gerlach

John Gerlach

John Gerlach is a professional nature photographer who teaches workshops and seminars and leads photo tours in the U.S., Canada, and Kenya. He has a degree in wildlife ecology from Central Michigan University and is the author of five books on wildlife, nature, and landscape photography. 

John Gerlach on social media