Squatter Pigeon approached slowly and keeping low. Eastern Reef Egret shot into the sun early afternoon in Darwin.
This is the first in a series of blogs I am going to write in order to share the ways in which I approach my wildlife ( particularly birds) photography. I will cover a series of topics, the first of which is on the way I approach wildlife with my camera in hand and also some links to some ethical considerations, which I strongly believe are necessary to protect the welfare of the birds and animals that we are photographing. By adopting these guidelines and approaches we can share the experience with others with minimal disturbance and impact on our subjects.
BUSHCRAFT SKILLS AND ETHICS- 10 TIPS
1. Wear neutral clothing, you don't have to make a fashion statement!
2. Keep as quiet as you can, patience is a virtue.
3. Move slowly, observing the bird as you go, backing off if it looks agitated.
4. Take some initial shots, adjust your settings and improve as you get closer.
5. Assess backgrounds, if looking too busy, move until you get a cleaner background.
6. Check the light, preferably it is behind you or side on. Move if you have to. Shooting into the light can also be good if you are wanting to create a silhouette effect.
7. The best time for wildlife is early morning, up to 2-3 hours post dawn. Most birds and animals have to feed first up after the night before. Late evening is second best, 1-2 hours before dusk. Overcast or misty days are next best and can also help to create some nice images.
8. Try to get eye level with the subject – go low, go slow if they are on the ground or water.
9. Walk away and look for another shot if it is not working.
10. Approach nesting birds with care- see APS and Birdlife Code of Ethics.