A few tips on being a wildlife photographer ...from wildlife photographers

KUSA - People really like looking at photos of animals. We’re not surprised, we’re incredibly supportive actually. We too like looking at wildlife photos.

And with the weather hopefully settling down at last (we know, we know, famous last words) you might be interested in moving beyond what others have done, getting out and taking snapshots of your local wildlife.

We support that as well. So we reached out to the good posters on the Front Range Wildlife Photographers’ Facebook on to photograph wild animals.

What was repeated often was “don’t feed them” and “never bait them.” This can foster unwanted dependence.

“If you are affecting the behaviour [sic] of an animal you are too close,” wrote Carol Ann Burkett. Others advised purchasing a larger lens, to better capture the animals on film without getting too close.

“The worst human behavior I've seen is when people with iPhones or iPads try to approach wildlife for photos,” Larry Pennington wrote. “There is a REASON we use long telephoto lens!!”

North American Nature Photography Association had a list of ethical and legal practices to observe while taking photos, including:

  • Learn animal behavior patterns, to ensure minimal disruption
  • Respect wildlife and do not distress them
  • Know how delicate the ecosystem is, and stay on trails to lessen ecological impact.
  • Learn the rules and laws of the location. For example, obey any minimum distances for approaching animals.
  • If appropriate, inform managerial authorities of your presence and intentions.
  • Be respectful of other photographers, and ask before you join in a shoot that’s in progress.
  • Tactfully correct any inappropriate or harmful behavior you see, and if that fails to stop it then report it.

Brian Gustafson had a tip for getting good photos.

“Every waking moment of a wild animals life is a quest for it's [sic] next meal,” Gustafson wrote. So if you want photos more interesting than an animal with a nose to the ground, hunting for its next meal, try to catch it in between feedings.

Kent Turner offered similar advice. Watch for the patterns in an animal’s behavior, to where you can predict it. You’ll catch them better in their “natural behavior.”

It may also help to learn by studying examples, so we have a few pictures submitted to us of various wildlife gathered here.

That, and we really do like wildlife photos.

Wildlife photographer Lauren Lang stopped by the 9NEWS studio to answer questions and offer her advice on photographing animals. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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