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Wildlife Spotting

Top tips for wildlife photography
By Geoff Coalter
Published: February 1, 2007
bee messy
Tanya Nygren

Wildlife is both challenging and rewarding to photograph. Try these tips to make the most of your expedition to your backyard backwoods or beyond:

1| If you have an SLR type camera, don’t skimp on the glass: The best way to get up close to any kind of animal is to have a long lens. Usually a zoom lens topping out at 300mm will be sufficient, but if the animals are potentially dangerous, consider a maximum focal length of 400mm or longer.

2| Focus on the eyes of the animal – especially when using a longer lens – to get the most striking shot.

3| Animals move fast. Try the “sports” mode of your digital camera to give you the best shutter speed and exposure settings.

4| Explore your camera’s Macro mode – sometimes close up images of small wildlife and plants can be just as rewarding as the big game.

Nancy Ruf WY
CABIN LIFE reader Nancy Ruf photographed this pine marten high up in a tree.

5| Patience is key. Animals don’t know that you are waiting for them to yawn, jump or go after prey. Holding out that extra few minutes may reward you with a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

6| Photograph animals in their natural settings so your pictures tell more of a story.

7| Know your wildlife! Some of your “models” are docile creatures, and some are highly dangerous. Make sure you understand the difference.

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