Categories: EnvironmentTravel

Wildlife photography tourism

Wildlife is among the most challenging motifs for a photographer, and needs a combination of good luck, patience, experience and good equipment.

Wildlife photography is a genre of photography concerned with documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat.

As well as requiring photography skills, wildlife photographers may need field craft skills. For example, some animals are difficult to approach and thus a knowledge of the animal’s behavior is needed in order to be able to predict its actions. Photographing some species may require stalking skills or the use of a hide/blind for concealment.

While wildlife photographs can be taken using basic equipment, successful photography of some types of wildlife requires specialist equipment, such as macro lenses for insects, long focal length lenses for birds and underwater cameras for marine life. However, a great wildlife photograph can also be the result of being in the right place at the right time and often involves a good understanding of animal behavior in order to anticipate interesting situations to capture in photography.

Countless documentaries, websites, and books include pictures of wildlife. This makes their information can come alive, and the pictures give people a better idea of what wildlife in foreign places looks like. Without wildlife photography, people wouldn’t have nearly as good an idea of what animals look like in faraway places, from African elephants to plants that are only native to a small region or island. Wildlife photography is often taken for granted, but like photography in general, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The world’s three largest photography organisations, the Photographic Society of America, the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique and the Royal Photographic Society have adopted a common definition for nature and wildlife photography to govern photography competitions, their respective presidents writing in a joint statement, “The development of a common definition for nature and wildlife photography will be an important step in helping photographers, many of whom enter competitions internationally, know what the rules are. It will also provide organisers with a very clear definition when they need to deal with the problem of ineligible images.”

Wildlife photography often requires a long telephoto lens, though things like a flock of birds or a tiny creature need other lenses. Video recording can be useful to capture animal behavior.

Gear for wildlife photography is very specialized and uses different lenses and equipment than most other disciplines. Most wildlife lenses have a very long focal length between 150mm and 600mm., allowing the photographer to get a tighter image filling the frame with their chosen subject. Some other specialized gear includes camera traps, hides, and flash extenders. While the majority of wildlife is shot with a long, telephoto lens, when a wide angle lens is used, it can be very striking.

Almost any photographic material is usable if one takes into account the constraints specific to this type of photography:

Low light or very mobile animals
Necessary discretion or camouflage
Photo equipment
This often results in the use of photographic lenses focal length (for example, it is common to say that the bird photography requires at least a 300 mm ).

The brightest lenses (despite their price that can reach unaffordable highs) also allow to use high trigger speeds or compensate for the lack of light (especially under a plant cover or in low light hours for nocturnal animals or the fiercest)

Stealth Equipment
Camouflage remains a central element of the photographic hunt. The animals are usually very shy and all means are good to hide from all the senses of the subjects to approach.

A bit like a predator, the photographer must transform his appearance. Clothes with few recognizable shapes (sometimes with shapes that can break the hunter’s silhouette, such as a tiger’s coat scratches or leopard spots, or the use of a Ghillie Suit ) are a recommendable minimum. The colors green, brown and sometimes black are often recommended. But few animals have a good vision of colors; This is why, in order to avoid accidents with other hunters, camouflages are sometimes recommended that involve gray and orange. It can also go to camouflage netswhen we stay on the lookout. This is recommended when animals are to be moved to a place where it is possible to settle in a relatively long time (the wait can last for hours).

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Photographers with devices that may be too conspicuous (for example, high-end white telephoto lenses, metallic devices) will find it useful to dress them with a sock or dark peel-off tape like the traditional Gaffer (generic name borrowed from the English language).

The billebaude intervenes when the hunter moves. As on the lookout, but more so, it is then necessary to be very attentive to reduce noises ( hearing is a very effective passive defense in thick cutlery) and, for example, one must be careful not to walk on the branches or pebbles. But clothing and items worn should not cause too easily discernible sound when moving (we think for example sounds usually from the hiker in motion as the movement of water in a gourd, the impact of a carabiner on a support, the wrinkling of a rigid garment, the creaking of some tissues rubbed on the leather).

In the case of photographic equipment, there are socks that can totally or partially pack a camera and its lens so that even the trigger in the immediate vicinity of the animal does not cause any alarm. The most sophisticated also provide relative protection against moisture and cold. They may include various openings to access the controls or displays of the equipment thus covered. Of course, any photographic hunter will have to de-select the trigger sound or function menu option, which is present on some electronic devices.

The characteristic whistling of the charge of the capacitors of an electronic flash is also a very characteristic or very unnatural sound, which can carry considerable distances for ears sensitive to high frequencies. It remains difficult to manage in the case of night shots on the lookout.

The smell of animals can also detect the photographer. In this case, it is strongly recommended to avoid the use of any deodorant, eau de toilette, perfume, too easily detectable and identifiable as human. But it is even more important to take into account the direction of the wind that carries the residual smell of the hunter that animals generally identify very well even in the absence of artificial complement.

More anecdotally, it should also be noted that some of the most sophisticated carriages are equipped with a chimney that allows aeration to be done several meters high, largely disrupting the location by a nearby animal.

Many exotic animals are hard to find, and parks sometimes have rules about taking photographs for commercial purposes. Wild animals might either be shy or aggressive. The environment might be cold, hot, or otherwise hostile.

The photographer hunter is first of all a witness of the wild life. He is a naturalist who, by dint of documentation and observations, knows and respects his subjects. One of his primary concerns is not to disturb the photographed species. This may lead to not making a photograph that exposes a subject to too much disruption.

Far from a solitary and selfish practice, the notion of sharing is very important within the community of photographic hunters. Witness the numerous forums dedicated to this subject on the Internet.

By showing the beauty and the fragility of the species of our forests, the photographer hunter thus wants to be an actor of the protection of the wild life through a committed and respectful testimony.

Behavior of the photographer hunter
It is obvious that any presence, even minimal or temporary, in the field will cause a disturbance of the animal, sometimes at times of high sensitivity (for example, the disturbance of animals during parade can reduce the chances of reproduction and risk of implicating – at least partially – the survival possibilities of the species).

Unfortunately, the hunt photo as any human activity does not escape a few abuses from photographers not respectful of wildlife. Nevertheless, the photographer hunter must respect at least two fundamental notions:

Respect for the animal that most often requires a certain knowledge of the subjects, their behaviors (depending on the seasons) and their habits;
Respect for private properties as well as nature reserves.