Images from the Id – The Image or The result.
In the field, I usually try to walk quietly and be as inconspicuous as possible. That’s usually a lost cause. No matter what I do the ability to sneak up on wildlife continues to be a difficult thing to do. As a rule do your best- but here are some hints to help. Learn where the wildlife is and hopefully a little more tolerant of humans. I have a location for Wood Ducks, a location for Elk, etc. Find good locations and return to them often. Wildlife activities can change with the minute, hour, day, week, season and even year. Patience is a necessity. Don’t physically approach animals it can be dangerous to both you and the animal. In most locales it is actually illegal. Don’t feed or bait the animal. I have seen many spectacular raptor shot “created” by bait with mice. This is also illegal in many areas because it creates unnatural behavior and dependence on humans. The practice can actually cause animals to starve. OK, I do break this rule a little. I have a bird feeder in my backyard. I rationalize it by the amount of activity it creates and I am sure this is a case of benefiting the activity and the birds won’t become overly dependent. Shoot during good times of the day if you can. Midday can cause many contrast and shadow problems. Careful of shadows at all times. They’re very difficult to work with.
In the camera, you must know your camera how to make it do things you want it to do. Basic problems revolve around lighting and catching action. Through practice you need to know the highest ISO the camera can do to your satisfaction. For most cameras you are limited to about ISO 800. Learn to overexpose a dark animal on a light background or underexpose a light animal on a dark background. Practice and bracket, take shots at several exposure setting. Check your histogram for any shots the are “peg” for butted up to the far right (light) or left (dark) sides. For flying birds, shot at or faster than 1/1000 of a second. Get your aperture less than wide open for more depth of field and sharpness. Shooting in RAW will give you more flexibility in processing but try to get the best file in the camera then you will get great images from your software.
Image #1 – “ Landing” This image won a second place at a wildlife competition. It is a perfect example of knowing where to expect to see Osprey close up.Good exposure,depth of field and motion is stopped. Taken with a Nikon D7100,1/2000 sec, f/6.7, EV, ISO 400, 0 EV, 240/345 mm
Image #2 – “Winter Doe” Shot with the new .ikon D 750. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge can guarantee at least one species. Last week it was Mule Deer. Tomorrow it may be Bison, Bald Eagle, or ? 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, 0 EV, ISO 500, 400 mm (a full frame camera)