Step 2: Feeder Placement
A bird feeder in the middle of open ground can put small birds at risk of hawk attacks. Too close to the ground or a fence provides easy access for cats to pounce.
Still, we want a suitable location for photographing our feathered friends. Think about where you will sit with your camera and then consider the following factors.
First, the more light, the better. Stopping motion requires fast shutter speeds. The faster the shutter speed, the less light enters the lens. More on that later, but, unless you have very expensive low light lenses, place your feeder in good light. You want as sunny a spot as possible. Relatively low sun in the morning and evening, (still bright and rich in color) allows you to have your back to the sun and the light on the birds.
The second consideration is the background. Conventional composition suggests a non-distracting background and one with contrasting colors that complement the subject. To present a natural setting, avoid absolutely straight lines. For the most part, absolute straight lines do not exist in nature and suggest man-made objects, even when blurred. A shallow depth of field will have the subject in focus while blurring a distracting background. A wide open aperture will provide that shallow depth of field.
Third, place the feeder near convenient natural perches that the birds will land upon and pose for you. Iron brackets, plastic poles and store bought lumber that support your feeders detract from that natural look. Attach cut branches for perch enhancement. Change these branches often for variety in your photos.