Photography Monthly's tip week: Mastering wildlife photography, tip 1
Welcome to our fresh new week of tips. This week’s theme is Mastering wildlife photography, where we’ll be giving you advice on how to get better snaps of this tricky subject.
We’ve all been there, the glass is giving terrible reflections at the zoo, the bars are too small to get your lens through at the wildlife park and even our own pets turn on us by refusing to cooperate for photographs. Our wildlife themes tip week will help you on your way towards some improved wildlife photography.
Today’s tip is all about getting close and keeping steady:
Animals are inherently more sensitive to the shape and form of an upright human being than they are to vehicles, and centuries of hunting have probably had a profound effect on the way they interpret, and sometimes fear our presence.
Many wildlife photographers use expensive and complicated blinds to hide themselves from animals. In the right circumstances though, you already have a working blind—your car.
Some more cautious animals will flee at the sight of a vehicle. Kestrels, for instance, flee at the sight of a car as much as they do a human being. But many species feel much more comfortable around them than they do people, especially in national parks where vehicles are a common sight.
If you don’t have a car handy then try to disguise yourself in the edge of the enclosure, or try lying flat on the grass or at the base of a tree.
For all these situations it’s good to have a tripod handy to help keep your camera stable while you lie, peek or perch on your vehicle or on the ground.
You can even roll up your window to the level at which you want to set your lens. Buy some cheap pipe insulation with a slit down one side at any hardware store. Slip this over the edge of the glass of your window and you can rest your lens on the edge.
The most important thing is that you can get as close as is safe, depending on your subject. Capturing the detail of the animal is key to good wildlife photography and getting the animal comfortable with your presence, whether it’s known or not, is crucial to getting a natural and exciting shot.
Have a go at getting some interesting close shots of wildlife and upload them to our online gallery and it could feature as our photo of the day!
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