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Wildlife Photography14/02/2011 - 1:19 PM
By BadSoulPhotography - http://www.badsoulphotography.webs.com
Wildlife Photography 101
The most important thing to remember when photographing wildlife is that the animals are wild and could be dangerous. You could lose your life if you are attacked by a wild animal.
That said, when possible it is a good idea to go out into the wilderness with a park ranger, warden or biologist who specializes in the animal(s) you desire to photograph. If you can't arrange to go out with these guides maybe you could find a professional wilderness guide or a professional wilderness photographer who might join you.
Don't be afraid to take bear spray with you and use it if you need to.
Often the best advise is to respect the animals "personal" space. Humans don't like you sticking a camera in their face when you don't have their permission to take their picture AND animals don't like it either.
While many animals will take off, there are others that would rather attack any one who gets too close...they feel threatened.
Also they won't want you coming between them and their cubs, that could set them off.
Travel light in the wilderness, don't get too close, use wisdom, respect the wilderness and it's inhabitants... You're on their property, as a guest.
That said, now you've got your basic gear - maybe a monopod, definitely your camera or two, extra media cards and charged batteries, your bear spray and a powerful telephoto lens possibly attached to a teleconverter and you may or may not have a guide or companion - now you're ready to take great pictures.
The animals aren't going to pose for you so you may have to be patient for that great shot or you may want to change your position, but keep movement to a minimum because you don't want to spook the animal(s). Also keep noise to a minimum for the same reason.
There's really little better than zooming in and getting a picture that looks like you're right next to the beast while being actually a very safe distance from it. Take many, quickly and watch the shadows and shading which add nothing of value to the picture.
Zooming in catches the animal while eliminating as much of the undesired "clutter" around it.
Nowadays more wildlife photographers are using video cameras to catch the action which is great but a still photo camera can still work it's magic if you work it that way. Be cautious, creative and enjoy your time with nature and everything you paid to get to that spot for that shoot will be worth it.
When you're finished the photo shoot please leave the area un- littered.