Have you ever found yourself hugely frustrated by the fact that you can’t get any closer to that leopard in the tree?
Or why on earth are those lions playing so far away from you within the sandy riverbed?
These questions often pop into our minds when we photograph wildlife, especially the ones we don’t get to see all that often. But is it really such a huge issue?
Have you ever stopped and looked at how beautiful the surrounding area is, or how perfect that lioness looks within her natural habitat?
Take a minute or two to do so, you might just find yourself thinking a little wider.
When I first started photographing wildlife I used to love getting right into that lion’s face, or the eyes of a leopard. Don’t get me wrong, I still really love doing that and it has its place but lately I often find myself looking at the bigger picture.
Some of the natural landscapes surrounding our subjects can be absolutely breathtaking, so much so that it would be worth it even for just a moment to put your 500mm down and reach for those wider lenses.
Yes I know it is not that easy but the results could surprise you.
For another challenge why not move a little further away and still use your longer prime lens and see what happens.
I absolutely love the effect.
Stepping a little distance away from your subject gives the viewer a sense of where you were. It gives you photograph some sort of identity. A close-up portrait of a leopard’s face could have been taken anywhere in Africa, but a leopard lounging around in a Marula tree narrows it down to only a few places in Africa.
It is necessary to have these images in your portfolio and I urge you not to put your cameras down when you feel you are too far away.
Take a look around you, think a little, reframe and shoot away.
Marlon du Toit
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