At an age of 10, a boy was gifted a 300mm lens and a SLR by his uncle. 20 years later its astounding to see the heights Studebaker has reached. Some incredible captures showing why bird photography is one of the toughest genre to excel for any photographer. I was completely blown away by his wonderful aspect of composition and majestic color sense. To compose and shoot a wildlife shot, you would need plenty of patience and a quality meditative mind. Matthew has the both and let us get to hear more from the photographer himself.

Matthew Studebaker - Story of a Bird Photographer who was gifted a 300mm and  a SLR at age 10

Few words about Matthew Studebaker?

I love art. Photography is my medium; Nature my subject. After obtaining a BFA in photography at Meyers School of Art, I found I loved helping others photograph what I love, and have the honor and privilege of leading photo tours for a living.

Why Photography & a big how for Bird Photography?

I fell into photography after my uncle gave me his SLR and 300mm lens when I was 10 years old. I have never put the camera down since. How to make a successful bird photograph? First find an approachable subject. Once you have a subject, pretend you are an abstract painter when choosing the composition. Much of my inspiration for nature photography comes from studying the history of painting.

Could you reveal something you have learnt over the years in this genre?

I have learned to trust my own instincts as an artist. I have learned that finding a mentor to give you honest feedback about your work is invaluable. I have learned to not be afraid to take risks and re-invent yourself as an image maker, rather than just finding a formula that works and sticking with only that.

What drives you for the constant passion for photography?

I have always had a need to make images since I was 4 years old. I’m not sure why I have the need to create, but I do know that I become noticeably irritable if I haven’t pressed the shutter button in a while.

A necessary ingredient for success as a photographer?

Photograph what you love, photograph what you know.

Your gear?

My gear is constantly changing. Right now I primarily use a Canon 5d3. My favorite lens is the Canon 70-200mm but I often find the need to use my 600mm to obtain adequate magnification for many wildlife subjects. I also love making images using my iphone when possible.

How do you plan a day out for photography?

To plan a photography day, I usually simply try to arrive just before dawn at a location that I know will host nature subjects that will likely yield photo opportunities. Once I arrive, I just follow my instincts, take the opportunities as they present themselves, and always pay attention to the light.

Your Inspiration?

Vincent Munier and Robert Bateman

Any final word of advice or thought for aspirants in this field?

Final advice? “All entertainers come original”.

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You can find Matthew Studebaker on the Web :

All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Matthew Studebaker. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.