Hi Lynda, thank you for your kind comment on my photographs and page. I’m not a professional photographer. My bridge camera is a Panasonic FZ300, which I upgraded to from the FZ200. The FZ300 is far superior. It’s a camera which doesn’t support zoom lenses, other than the Raynox macro convertor lens. The max zoom on my camera is 600mm, with 600mm digital zoom, which I have disabled. I have the ISO set to a max of 400. To shoot birds I use Aperture mode, set at AFS/AFF. The exposure metering mode is always set to centre. I have a monopod, but rarely use is. The majority of my shots are taken by hand held only. Focus, on my camera is set to f4.5. Which I find is it’s sweet spot. For my camera I find that those setting, give the best results. I always use a lens hood! It has to purposes, one to reduce lens flare, and the other to protect the lens. I use one to reduce lens flare, even when I take macro shots. I hope this helps! I’ve only ever used Panasonic bridge cameras, so I can’t speak for other makes.