This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Solutions: BushHawk Shoulder Mount

If tripods and monopods don’t work for you when photographing fast-flying wildlife, try a BushHawk
Outdoor Photographer may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. Outdoor Photographer does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting Outdoor Photographer.
This Article Features Photo Zoom

As an avid bird photographer, I’ve tried to photograph birds with big telephoto lenses. When I used film, I shot lots of pictures, but didn’t get many keepers. After I purchased my first digital SLR camera and had taken lots of travel pictures, I decided to try it out on the birds. I visited our local lake and found that I could catch a few birds in flight. The real benefit was that I could trash my bad images without the cost of developing them, so I kept at it and seemed to get better. I tried different tripod and ballhead combinations, but I still wasn’t satisfied with the images.

Then I came across the BushHawk, which reminded me of a shotgun, except instead of a gun barrel, it had a camera lens attached to a camera. It looked intriguing, so I bought one and attached my Canon EOS 10D to a Sigma 400mm. I headed off to the zoo, and the images I captured surprised me—they were beautiful, crisp and clear, and tack-sharp.

I’ve since used the BushHawk for both bird photography and sports photography. On my wall, I have an image that I can see from my desk of a windsurfer with the board’s mast parallel to the horizon as he surfs a wave in Maui. For my long-lens photography, the BushHawk has been a revelation.

I’ve been photographing at the Gilbert Water Ranch in Arizona for a number of years. There are thousands of birds there, and I spend most every Saturday morning searching for them. I use a Canon EOS-1D Mark II N and an EF 400mm ƒ/5.6L USM lens. My photography of birds in flight has become fun and rewarding. I get more keepers, and I enjoy the process of photography much more than I ever did using a tripod setup. Bird-flight photography is an integral part of my life, and the BushHawk has been a big part of my success. I don’t go anywhere where birds are flying without it.

Here’s my setup for working with the BushHawk:
solutions1 Set the white balance to Sunshine or Cloudy
2 Open the lens to the maximum ƒ-stop
3 Set the minimum ISO for the light of the day
4 Set the camera to AV; then go looking for birds. As I see a bird flying, I raise my BushHawk and aim my camera on the bird, with the image within the small circle in my viewfinder centered on the bird. I follow the bird, holding down my trigger and take several images.

The gunstock-style BushHawk lets you photograph with a long lens that you can keep steady. For fans of the device, there’s no substitute for getting dramatic, on-the-wing images.

BushHawk, (800) 325-8542,