WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY made a little easier.

Started Mar 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Stevie Boy Blue
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WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY made a little easier.
Mar 22, 2013

Hi there

Naturally I appreciate that not everyone who visits these forums will consider what others with more experience may view as basic photographic principles. Hence, I submit the following two images of a nuthatch and squirrel as an extension to my recent thread on photographing woodpeckers.

For all intents and purposes, the samples I shot in 2010 are self-explanatory and will hopefully go some way to showing how the often difficult hobby of wildlife photography can be made easier with a little forethought in terms of your approach.

Admittedly these examples are of relatively common species. But regardless of how rare a subject may be, the simplest of ideas (such as concealing the bait/food somewhere out of sight in a natural-looking prop) can improve the appearance of your efforts no end.

Although these examples are pretty much off the cuff (and bearing in mind that I’d never post what I regard as my best images anywhere on the internet), it’s worth acknowledging that professional looking photos of animals and birds really can be achieved even with an FZ camera. Seriously, all it takes is a plan, lots of patience and a willingness to accept that even with every option considered, our subjects don’t always play the game the way we’d prefer them to. Many has been the time I’ve waited for hours for the subject to arrive and adopt the perfect posture whilst bathed in defused sunshine (my ideal), only for the creature to turn up just as though it knew in advance exactly when a big black cloud would darken the scene. Save to mention those times that subjects will turn their heads in every direction but towards the lens. No doubt you’ll already know all about that kind of frustration! These, of course, are just two examples from countless others I could mention.

The fact is, at least in my experience, wildlife photography is always a challenge and once any participant in this branch of the hobby develops a sense of quality in terms of the results that he or she can truly achieve, the percentage of images he or she chooses to keep just gets smaller and smaller. Hence, if you already keep/treasure 5-images from every hundred you shoot via each session with your wild, furry and/or feathered friends, you are already doing exceptionally well indeed. Remember, you’re not dealing with human subjects, who are exceptionally predictable and truly simple to photograph by comparison. The same applies to landscape subjects, which are always going to be there when the time’s right to shoot them. Not that I’m knocking people portrait and landscape photography, because I also enjoy them occasionally too. But I know categorically through my own experience that wildlife photography is the most challenging of the lot. In some cases it can prove downright demoralising too, hence the need for a patient and stern approach if one can adopt such a thing. In essence, for landscape, architecture and people images, I’d expect a 90+ percent keeper rate. For wildlife, I’m more than satisfied with 2 to 3 percent, perhaps only very slightly higher on an exceptional day!  

So, as my most recent visit is coming to an end, for a little further information on how, where and what to feed, you could refer to my woodpecker thread by clicking this link: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/51015770

As always, happy snapping and kind regards to all who view my forum contributions,

Stevie Boy

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