Thursday, March 10, 2016

THE EXCITING WORLD OF "WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY"

THE EXCITING WORLD OF 
"WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY"

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First of all, let me tell you that it is not easy to be a good "wildlife Photographer".  I admire these photographers.  They have to go to some great extremes, to go to the habitats of some of the fiercest animals, sometimes, and learn how these animals are.  Sometimes they go to take the "perfect" picture and spend hours and never get that one.  It takes incredible patience, persistence, and tenacity to get to be a real good wildlife photographer.  So, when I see some of the great photos, I know, they deserve some praise for that.  

I live not too far from Yellowstone National Park.  And we often hear of people who get too close to a buffalo, and elk, or a bear and hear of when the animal turns on them and kills the person.  These animals are just in their own element and we, the people, are invading their territory.  So, I have also learned to respect the wildlife.  I would not even consider taking pictures of wildlife without having a big lens and a good tripod, so, I don't interfere with their life, and I can go home knowing I didn't upset nature.   So, with that in mind, I wanted to take this time to A- give a quick lesson on Wildlife Photography, and B- give you some great photos of Wildlife. A small gallery of some of the great Photographers who know how to do it.   So, here we go:

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HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH WILDLIFE
By:  Roberta Hochreiter

To get good shots of animals and birds, you will have to learn to be quick in setting up and framing your shots. Waiting until you get out in the wilderness to learn these tricks is not a good idea. What I found to be very helpful was practicing on my cats and on birds in my yard or local parks. You learn to anticipate their behavior and react fast to get the good shots. Here are some tips on how to get the best shots of animals and birds in the wild (or at your local zoo).
Practice taking shots of moving targets. Learning how to pan moving targets will allow you to take dramatic photographs with a sense of speed.
Keep your camera handy and set up for unexpected encounters. Make sure you have fully charged camera batteries and plenty of film or memory.
namibia cheetah
Photo by Massmo Relsig.
Before you go into an area, read up on what kinds of animals and birds are commonly found there. Learn all you can about these animals and birds. This will help you know where to look to find them and what kinds of behavior to expect.
Learn to walk and move quietly and practice freezing your position so that your presence is not startling or threatening to the animal.
Learn to be observant of everything around you using all your senses. With a little practice, you will gain the ability to be aware of small movements, unusual colors or sounds, even smells that can tip you off to the presence of an animal or bird even when they are well camouflaged. I cannot believe how many times I’ve watched people walk right by wildlife without noticing them. Hiking with an awareness of your surroundings enhances your experience immeasurably.
british squirrel
Photo by Flickr user Airwolfhound; ISO 250, f/5.6 aperture, 1/100 exposure.
In the wild, telephoto lenses are basically a must. This brings you in a little closer without scaring the animals. The use of a tripod is not always mandatory, if you have enough light you will be able to shoot at a fast shutter speed to eliminate shake. Some telephoto lens have vibration reduction technology but are considerably more expensive.
When you photograph animals and birds, make sure the focus is sharpest on their eyes.
Shoot small animals from a lower angle.
caiman alligator closeup
Photo by Alexandre Alacchi.
The best times of the day for viewing and photographing wildlife are early in the mornings and just before dark. This is when wildlife is usually most active and the light is the most dramatic.
Try to keep the sun at your back so that the light falls directly on your subject.
Using all these tips will help you improve your nature photography. The very most important thing is practice, practice, practice and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
About the Author
Roberta Hochreiter (womengophoto dot com) is an avid photographer, hiker, and backpacker with five years’ experience in nature photography.
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Photo Credit: Isak Pretorius

Photo Credit:  Isak Pretorius

Photo Credit:  Isak Pretorius

Photo Credit:  Satzione Ornitologica della Riserva Naturale del
Laghi Lungo e Ripasottile

Photo Credit:  Excell Photo

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PHOTOGRAPHING WILDLIFE:  THE 
EYES HAVE IT
BY:  Andrew Goodall

For beginners, wildlife photography can be one of the toughest fields to master. Along with all the challenges of everyday photography, you also have to work with subjects that have no interest in cooperating.
wildlife photography eye contact
“Sea Lion Pup” captured by Dag Peak
For an experienced photographer, there are so many things they’d love to pass on to beginners to help them get started. Good lighting is essential. Timing and composition are subtle arts that come with lots of patience and experience. But what is the one golden rule of wildlife photography that you should learn above all else?
It’s all in the eyes.
Photographing wildlife is not the same as photographing a landscape or an inanimate object. Your wildlife subject has eyes, and our natural tendency as humans is to make eye contact. As a result, if you can capture the eyes effectively in a wildlife photograph, you have achieved the main ingredient of a great image.
Take a look at some of the great wildlife photography to be found in print and on the Internet. You’ll notice that very often a picture only shows part of the animal, and perhaps much of what is visible is out of focus. The subject may be half-hidden behind a bush or lost in shadow.
Despite all these ‘problems’ the photos are successful. Who knows, maybe they have won an award or two. How can this be? Because the eyes are captured in a compelling way that creates a bond between the subject and the viewer.
"Jasper - Dash 'n' Splash" captured by Steve Collins
“Jasper – Dash ‘n’ Splash” captured by Steve Collins
What’s even more remarkable is that the subject doesn’t have to be looking at the camera for the eyes to have impact on the picture. With our natural instinct to try to make eye contact, we’are inclined to look first at the eyes of a subject and to follow its gaze. So if the subject is looking to the left, our eyes will tend to wander in that direction.
Imagine the power this can have in a composition. By using the position of the subject and the direction of its gaze, you can actually influence the way your viewer looks at your picture. For example, imagine a scene with a kangaroo and a striking tree in the background. Position yourself so the kangaroo is on the left and the tree is on the right. If you take your shot when the kangaroo is looking to the right (towards the tree), you will have created a composition that brings the two elements of the picture together. People will first notice the kangaroo, then follow its gaze to take a better look at the tree.
This is a great method of creating structure in your composition, but it also adds a little bit of pressure on you to get it right.
Two simple tips can help you make the most of the impact of the eyes in your wildlife photo. To begin with, photograph your subjects when the light is soft and even to eliminate harsh shadows across the face of the subject. This is a simple matter of shooting early or late in the day when the sun is low, or on cloudy days when shadows are not a problem.
Photo captured by Richard Dicosimo
Photo captured by Richard Dicosimo
Photo captured by Richard Dicosimo
Secondly, make sure the subject is facing toward the center of the photo. Remember that just as the eyes can lead the viewer into the picture, they can also lead the viewer out of the picture. When your animal subject is on the right, try to catch it facing left (and vice-versa).
These are just simple guidelines. As in all nature photography, every rule is made to be broken. You will sometimes find situations where these tips just don’t work for your picture. You may even decide to break with convention from time to time, just to create a different kind of impact. However, even when you decide to try something different, never forget the power of the eyes in your wildlife photography. In most cases, it means the difference between a snapshot and something really special.
About the Author:
Andrew Goodall writes for http://www.naturesimage.com.au and is a nature photographer based in Australia. He manages a gallery in Montville full of landscape photography from throughout Australia.
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Photo Credit: Jennifer Warner / National Wildlife Federation

Photo Credit:  Eric Hatch / National Wildlife Federation

Photo Credit:  Joan Lane / National Wildlife Federation

Photo Credit:  David Barr / National Wildlife Federation

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There is just a small sampling of some great photos of wildlife.  And I hope you enjoyed the Photo tips from professionals who are in the field and know how to do it.  Thanks to PIctureCorrect and their great articles, especially this time:  Andrew Goodall and Roberta Hochreiter for their great articles.   
Now, do you dare go out and try it?  I hope this inspires you to go out, away from the city and find some wildlife to take pictures of.  You will notice it is not always the mean animals of Africa, it can be a cute bird in your back yard.  Good luck on those.  It takes great practice to even get a good picture of those.  
Until next week>

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