Do your research
If you don't own any digiscoping equipment like a spotting scope or digital camera, search the web and get lots of advice on the correct tools for the job before making a purchase.

Get to know your gear
Before you start digiscoping, make sure you can operate your scope and camera individually making it easier when you combine the two.

Don't run before you can walk
Practice makes perfect, before you even think about taking an image of wildlife, test your camera and scope settings in your back garden. Use a tree or bush as a subject and experiment until you are confident you are using the best settings. Once you are confident with the settings and your pictures are sharp, try taking pictures of birds in your garden, that way you can check on your computer if you are happy with your results and really fine tune your technique.

Don't expect too much
In my experience, possibly 90% of images taken on a digiscoping session will be thrown away, don't be disheartened, that's the beauty of digital photography, we can take as many pictures as we like, and only keep the good ones! - play with your settings to get the best picture. The buzz you get when going through your images and finding one that's just right is fantastic.

Be prepared
Digiscoping is heavily reliant upon the LCD of your digital camera, make sure your digital camera batteries are fully charged and take spares with you, I always carry three spare batteries with me when out on a days digiscoping. The same applies if you are using an electronic shutter release, always take spare batteries.

Enjoy it!
Don't get too bogged down and frustrated if you are out on a days digiscoping and your images are disappointing, there are many factors including the weather that can hinder your performance, remember why you are there - because you enjoy experiencing nature!

The right conditions
A lot of factors will determine the results of your digiscoping, not just your equipment, good light is important, allowing for faster shutter speeds in order to freeze bird motion and limit camera shake. Hot days can cause heat haze which will vastly reduce the quality of your results. Strong winds will increase the chance of camera shake, no matter how stable your tripod.

Take Care
Viewing the sun can cause permanent eye damage. Never view the sun with any optical equipment or even with the naked eye.

Always take care and follow the manufacturers instructions when attaching adapters etc to your optical equipment.


Image manipulation
All your images will require further work on your computer. This is perfectly normal. It is important that you purchase and get to know your way around your image editing software, it's just as important as your scope and camera, and will vastly improve your images. See the my technique pages for more help.

Before starting work on a digiscoped image, always save a back up of your original picture. That way you've always got something to go back to, should you make a mistake.

Always apply filters in moderation, build up in stages rather than applying 100% straight away, it's easy to got to far and ruin the image.

Don't over sharpen images, they will look unrealistic if you do.

Don't blow up your images past there original pixel size, they will drastically lose quality.

Rather than using the sharpen image filter, use the unsharp mask instead, it's more subtle and you can control the amount of sharpness applied.

If saving your images as a JPEG, don't compress them too much, the image quality will suffer if you do.



The advice on these pages is based purely on my own preferences and should be treated as guidance only. You may find other settings work better for you and your equipment.

The internet is packed with many digiscope websites to learn the best techniques, the digiscoping links page is a great place to start.