A few years ago I was sitting with a group of photographers as we photographed a herd of elephants.
After 5 or so minutes one person put their camera down and said that they have all the image they are going to get from this sighting. We started chatting about the possibilities that many of us forget about when we are out in the field.
Some of those included:[space height=”20″]
- Use a different lens
- Include more of the environment
- Include less of the environment
- Look for and photograph abstracts
- Look for and photograph interesting behavior
- Look for and photograph interaction between different animals
- Try a lower angle
- Try a higher angle
- Change your angle by moving around your subject
- Try creating images with different depth of fields
- Use a slower shutter speed to create the feeling of movement
The options really are endless so there is never – I believe – a point where you put your camera down and say that there are no more photographic opportunities here.
And the best thing is that if you wait for a while your wildlife subjects will move or do something – because that is how things work – which will give you the opportunity to start again and work through an endless amount of photographic possibilities.
The above is not a checklist or a top ten ways to photograph wildlife but rather a guideline. A list of possibilities. A mental toolbox you can use whenever and however to create wildlife images.
Nikon D7000, 420mm, 1/30, f/22, ISO 320
On a recent trip to the Northern Tuli Game Reserve we sat photographing a herd of elephants as the slowly moved through the open, dusty plains.
The photographic opportunities was spectacular. After I tried a whole bunch of different things, and got some great images, I sat back for a second to see what else I could try. The ellies were not moving fast enough for me to do a proper motion blur of them walking past us but I saw a possible slow shutter speed shot.
What caught my eye was the movement of the back leg when it moved past the other leg. I would have liked the bottom of the foot a little sharper but all in all this images makes for a great addition to the mini elephant portfolio I shot that afternoon.
Great images. Great experience. And never a moment when I sat back and thought – There are no more images to get here.
Until next time.
Gerry van de Walt
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