Why bird photography is the best form of mindfulness

With spring just around the corner (hopefully!) the benefits of mindfulness in nature are worth bearing in mind for anyone who would like to declutter their mind.

For me, this is the best time of year to take my camera out on birdwatching trips. The trees are still bare, which makes photography much easier as the wee creatures are more visible, and their activity easier to spot.

But there’s more to it! I believe that birdwatching is the ultimate form of mindfulness in nature.

Let’s explore further.

Warning: a whole new level of mindfulness awaits…

Photography gives a real purpose to your trip into the wood, park or garden. It provides a focus which can be lacking if you sometimes wander, lost in your surroundings and trapped in your negative thoughts.

The concentration required to capture a good picture will bring a whole new dimension to your immersion in nature.

The stillness you need to have to attract the birds will bring your heart rate and racing brain to a much slower pace, to suit your surroundings and help your mood. The more regular your breathing, the steadier you will hold your camera and the better the shot.

You quickly become better at observing the behaviour of birds – where they perch, how quickly they move and how they interact with each other. You will be far more involved with their life and very quickly you think of nothing but where to train your lens.

You will master your camera and develop your photography skills. Small birds are not easy to photograph as they are flit and flutter. The process of mastering your shutter speed, aperture and ISO is immersive. No room for worries or cares!

Capturing what you see on film as with any other type of photography, is incredibly satisfying. When you look back over your pictures after the trip, you can relive the most special moments. You may even have an image for your wall!

I hope my images give an idea of the life, the richness of being still in a beautiful place with just your camera, some time and the beauty surrounding you. Truly the best form of mindfulness. Even if your images are not as good as you hope, it will remind you of your visit. And it’s a reason to return as soon as you can, to take better ones!

What is your favourite form of mindfulness?

All photographs ©Angela Yates

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