GREAT WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST CAMERA SETTINGS

Click below to get my free eBook, “5 Tips to Improve Your Wildlife Photography”

Download Now
 

5 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

(THESE TIPS CAN BE USED WITH ANY CAMERA WITHOUT SPENDING MONEY)

free eBook!
100% privacy guaranteed - no spam!
Associated with:

The lost art of patience

by Trent Sizemore in Blog, Technique

I wouldn’t be able to tell you the number of times that patience has paid off in my wildlife photography. I also couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen wildlife interrupted by impatient photographers willing to do anything to get the shot. Not only does impatience and aggression disturb wildlife, but it often ruins an opportunity for anyone else there.

What ever happened to waiting to get the shot you want? It seems our selfish society’s “me” attitude has worked it’s way into wildlife photography. When the photographer getting their shot takes priority above all else, our wildlife suffers.

The three points below should be cardinal rules in wildlife photography, and there are laws against them in some places. However, laws can only be enforced if someone of authority is watching, which is rare. It’s up to the wildlife photography community to uphold a guide of ethics, and stop promoting photos captured at the the expense of wildlife.

All of these follow one simple concept: photograph nature as it is. Do everything you can to avoid disturbing the wildlife you photograph.

1. NEVER CHASE AN ANIMAL

This should go without saying, yet I see it ALL the time. Impatient, desperate photographers will chase an animal to no end so they can keep getting their close up shots. Not only is this unnecessarily stressing the animal out, but do this with the wrong animal and it may turn back towards you with a different attitude…

2. DON’T MAKE NOISE TO GET ATTENTION FROM AN ANIMAL

This is a pet peeve of mine, but it still breaks the ethical guide of disturbing the animal. If you whistle, clap, make a call, or purposely do anything to make an animal look up at you… you’re disturbing it. You should be photographing nature doing what it does naturally, not doing what you want it to do. You don’t need an animal to look directly into your lens, and it doesn’t make your shot better.

With that said, animals are curious and may look at you on their own, but it should be temporary. If they look up at you, then go back to whatever they were doing before, you’re not really disturbing them. They’re aware of their surroundings, but aren’t feeling alarmed. Even if you aren’t making a noise to get their attention, they may look up because you got too close.

3. DON’T GET TOO CLOSE

The specific (legal) distance you should keep between you and wildlife varies from one location to another, and an actual law may be absent in others. In Yellowstone specifically, you have to remain 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and 25 yards away from everything else (even birds). There are instances where a ranger is on scene and allows you to get closer, as long as the animal isn’t being disturbed. Another point in the law mentions that if you ARE causing the animal to change its behavior, you are too close (even if you’re outside the legal distance). That’s the key – if you’re causing the animal to change its behavior, you’re too close.

Read