One thing that totally changes the effect of your image is trying to get down to the ground or eye level with your subject but remember to still be ethical which you can go read in Johan Van Zyl’s blog. This concept holds true for all kinds of photography, not just the wildlife variety.
How and why this works?
It works because in doing this you will draw in your viewers, making them feel like they’re there in that moment with that particular animal. Another effect it results in is creating a nice creamy ‘bokeh’ (Blurred Background) because it helps separate your subject from what is behind it.
This can, particularly with wildlife photography, be quite difficult to achieve.
I’ll be pointing out a few things that will help you create these type of images.
Having an experienced guide who can position the vehicle in the correct place that will get you down to the same level as the subject to create images like this;
Sit as close as possible to the guide to ensure that you are as low as you can possibly be in the vehicle.
A telephoto lens will help a great deal. For the topic I am talking about, the longer the lens the better. It creates the illusion of being lower than you actually are, especially if you’re a fair distance away from your subject.
It will also help to have good knowledge of the subject, or even knowing the individual animal. A experienced guide will be helpful there again being able to judge that particular animals movements due to their routines.
YOU can also play a role by keeping your eyes peeled for animals that spend a lot of time in trees.
Where possible and again I’ll mention it, stay ethical and stay safe. Get down and dirty. Lay flat down on the ground to create your image.
The final thing that i will mention is LUCK. I often say it comes down to the luck of the day.
At times you sit, enjoy a sighting, or you snap away and your subject decides to come up to your level. May it be a leopard in a tree? Wild dog harassing wildebeest on a dam wall? You never know with that bugger called LUCK!
Go try it out! At home, at work or even better, while on your next safari with us!
I look forward to rolling around on the ground with you creating some spectacular images.
Until next time!
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