Meeting Photo Challenges
Creative Image Processing
Nature & Outdoor
Creating Better Photographics
Night & Low Light Photography
Light & Exposure
Close-Up & Macro
Digital Black & White
Color & Design
Choosing & Using Lenses
Digital Photography Equipment
Wildlife Photography; Lenses, ISO, And Shutter Speed:
Even when a larger animal is lying on the ground, like the Siberian tiger I photographed at a Montana game farm (#15), spread the legs of your tripod out so the camera can be positioned below eye level. The tiger appears to be even more powerful than we know he is because my camera was just a few inches above the snow when I took this picture.
If you must shoot from a vehicle, instead of standing up and taking pictures out of the hatch, shoot through the side window. It is less comfortable, but it will result in better pictures. Also, use the longest lens you have. If the animal is far away, the fact that the lens is parallel with the ground and not oblique to it (as if you are shooting downward) means that you’ll get the best type of composition without shooting from ground level. The black rhino I photographed in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania is an example (#16).
If you see that your shutter is 1⁄80th of a second and the lens you are using is a 300mm, in order to increase the speed of the shutter to at least 1⁄300th of a second (this is two f/stops—1⁄80>1⁄160>1⁄320) the ISO has to be raised by two steps. If the ISO is 100, it needs to be changed to 400. If the ISO is already high—say 800—then it needs to be pushed higher, to 3200. This is assuming, of course, that your lens aperture is already wide open. When you are struggling to make the picture as sharp as possible by raising the ISO to get a faster shutter, you don’t have the luxury of depth of field.
Animals In Captivity
When I was in Kenya, I was able to visit the Jane Goodall chimpanzee center and photograph the chimps on a small island with a telelphoto (#20) and also through the electrified fence where mothers brought their babies (#21) to view these strange creatures with cameras.
In a reptile house in Costa Rica, I bring my photo tour group to photograph the exotic indigenous snakes, frogs, turtles, and other reptilian denizens of the country (#22). This is a wonderful opportunity to capture amazing animals that would be extremely difficult and sometimes very dangerous to get close to in the wild.
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