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Photographing Wildlife

Photographing wildlife is a fun challenge, but there are a few things that can make your life a lot easier.

When you have a great wildlife sighting it is easier to get very excited and take tons of photos. There is nothing wrong with this, but make sure that during your sighting once you have an in focus photo of the animal to reassess. Leaving an amazing wildlife sighting and having 500 nearly identical photos can be a bit of a bummer. I like to try and get those shots out of my system, and then take a step back an analyze the scene. Most of the best wildlife shots have more elements than just the animal. This could be because of a great behavior from the animal, or because you have put that animal into context. A major advantage of putting an animal into context is that you don't always need a massive lens to get the shot. Finding what makes the scene special what tells the story about the place that this animal lives? Answering these kinds of questions makes sure that your shots wont look like they were taken in a zoo.

Wildlife photo showing context

Zooming out allows for the context of the amazing colony.

In the exact opposite direction shooting animals as portraits. If you think of animals as portraits you can end up conveying a lot of human emotions that will help viewers connect with the animal. These tend to require longer lenses as you wont be able to get close enough without disturbing the animals. If you have a long lens getting a shot with amazing eye contact and at eye level and you will end up with a special shot.

Close up eye contact makes the shot.

Using wide angle lenses. This is something that I am not the best at doing. My brother David is a big propent of this technique, and it can lead to some really cool shots. The amazing thing about this technique is that you can put the animal front and center while still putting the animal in context. I will let him talk about this soon!

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