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|Category:||Animals / Wildlife|
Backyard Safari - a guide to wildlife photography on your doorstep
Do you fancy yourself as a wildlife photographer, but don't know where to get started? Do you think it will be expensive to get the equipment together? Don't have the time to go to all those exotic locations? Well specialist equipment and time away in far flung places just aren't necessary as Ian Andrews explains.
Do you know that there is a wealth of wildlife a few metres from your back door? No matter where you live, be it city, town or country, there are animals, birds and insects living in your vicinity and flora abound. If you like to get out and about, there are even greater opportunities within a short journey.
The equipment you will need starts with a camera. Any camera. The one you have will be fine to start with, whatever it is. You may want to get more suitable gear once you progress a bit, but in the meantime why not have a try with what you've got. You may also like to take along a black bin liner to kneel on or use as an out of focus background to isolate wild flowers.
How you find your subjects, and more importantly, how
you photograph them, is down to your own circumstances and ingenuity.
90% of all my photographs are taken within 5 miles of
home, and some are literally taken in the back yard! The first place to
look is just outside the door. The webs of spiders make wonderful
subjects early in the morning with the dew still on them. Birds are
everywhere and can even be shot through the window if you are a little
careful about reflections. Turn over stones in the garden for all sorts
of bugs and crawling insects. Watch flower beds and blossom carrying
trees for flying ones which may only stop for a moment, but if you are
there ready when they do, you have a better chance of getting your shot.
Once you have given it a try, you may well find that you have a liking or a knack for being a bit more specialised. You won't know this until you have had a go, but when you do you might find you enjoy photographing butterflies more than birds, or plants more than mammals. Most modern cameras have the capability to cover all of these in their simple form. Close up facilities and zoom lenses are the norm on all but the most basic cameras in this day and age and although they may not be super zooms or true macro lenses, they give you enough of a spectrum to allow you to find out what you enjoy.
You don't have to fill the frame with the subject to
produce a pleasing picture. Although you don't want an unrecognisable
speck in the middle of the frame, the inclusion of habitat is a very
acceptable way of producing fine wildlife shots. Look for ways of
composing your shot to frame or separate the subject within the picture
in order to overcome any shortfalls in the equipment you may have.
Learn a little about depth of field
in order to help separate your subject from the background or to
include other elements into the frame.
This photograph could have been taken with any camera.