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07-18-2017, 04:14 AM - 1 Like   #1
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where and how to find " wild life " photography opportunity

the intent of this thread is very basic: an attempt to give members of and visitors to the forum hints and suggestions on

1 finding wild life photographic opportunities

2 what you might do when you find them - techniques

3 "wild life" is being defined here as any animal, bird, insect, etc excluding pets in your home or the neighbor's home - this means " wild life " found in zoos, " wild life " parks such as Disney etc. are ok

please help add to the knowledge and suggestions in this thread, it will need a lot of both

I'll start:

1 look out your window, regardless if it is happenstance or you use " attracting substances " " wild life " can be all around you and you may not have noticed

- got flowers ??? look closely for " pollinators ",

- no flowers - look for spider webs and insects attracted to your homes and its protection

- rodents such as squirrels, raccoons, opossums/possums, rabbits etc, etc, etc, and so forth and so on

birds of all types

decide if you are going for the " capture and release " system ( bringing such subjects, if possible, into an inside studio ) or attempt to photograph in place

will you " filter " through a window or screen or not

( if you have seen my posts, you know that I am a beginner, so I will leave hints on techniques to others who, hopefully will fill in the gaps )

[ well, this is a start, hopefully others will add to it ]


Last edited by aslyfox; 08-07-2017 at 06:14 AM.
07-18-2017, 05:34 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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Sign up for newsletters. Your local Wild Ones, Audubon, park district etc. They will often lead guided tours of parks and even restricted areas. Then you'll know a bit more about the area, and perhaps gain access to more pristine areas.

We do this kind of thing at Fermilab Natural Areas.
07-18-2017, 05:39 AM   #3
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Wild Life Photography

I Live in a City with a very active Wild Life Population Thunder Bay Canada. Make no mistake it is Wild Life living among a human population. With in the City Limits I have seen a Wolf trying to bring down a very healthy White Tail Deer; bears , Moose, racoons, skunks , Eagles etc. ; even a Woodland Cougar; all wild. The larger animals have caused traffic accidents through out the city. Its plentiful and the photo opportunities are enormous. Coupled with Urban sprawl and severe Health Problems I have adapted.
One of the Main tips I have is take the Shot and CROP HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:

Last edited by honey bo bo; 10-25-2017 at 08:06 AM.
07-18-2017, 06:17 AM   #4
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I'm fortunate to have wildlife all around me. A while back, right at dusk, I glanced out the window to see this little raccoon enjoying the ground bird feeder. These were taken thru a window in very poor light.

I so enjoy seeing different varieties of birds coming into my feeders and birdbath; also have a one-ear bunny that visits the ground feeder. I know some look upon photos using feeders with distain; however, I would never see all this wildlife without the feeders!

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07-18-2017, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
I'm fortunate to have wildlife all around me. A while back, right at dusk, I glanced out the window to see this little raccoon enjoying the ground bird feeder. These were taken thru a window in very poor light.

I so enjoy seeing different varieties of birds coming into my feeders and birdbath; also have a one-ear bunny that visits the ground feeder. I know some look upon photos using feeders with distain; however, I would never see all this wildlife without the feeders!
Fellow posters

Please

no such judgment should be expressed here IMHO

this thread is to entice others to join us

so long as no wild life is intentionally harmed lets add to this thread any and all techniques and approaches
07-18-2017, 07:34 AM   #6
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Good topic for a thread

I am terrible at finding wildlife opportunities near home. The reason mainly being laziness, I'm afraid - too difficult to find interesting subjects, and too much hassle bringing long lenses when I go out to shoot. And shooting macro of moving critters is darned hard! Kudos to those who manage to capture those amazing macros of insects!

So my way of finding wildlife photo opportunities usually involve traveling to places with high density of wild animals. Expensive but efficient (The downside being that I can't do that very often, of course...)

No matter where you shoot, I think the most important "technique" involved is patience. Find what you believe to be the right place and hang around, take the time to look around thoroughly, wait for something interesting to happen. Avoid chasing from place to place as I have seen all too many people doing. They frequently miss a lot.

I also think you will find most opportunities early morning and late afternoon most places. I prefer getting up early, to be ready on location before sunrise if possible. The main drawback with late afternoons (at least in most African reserves) is that you often have to be back in camp before sunset, and it's really frustrating having to leave a location just as the action starts happening!

Techniques for getting good pictures in a technical sense is no different from any shooting with long lenses; use all and any support available, make sure to keep shutter speed sufficiently fast. In failing light I usually opt for TAv mode and let the ISO soar as needed. Grainy shots are better than blurry shots.

So to sum up, get out of bed early, slow down and take your time to really look around.
07-18-2017, 08:50 AM   #7
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For NY my first stop is the NY DEC website...

Places To Go - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Audubon

Audubon Near You | Audubon

The National Wildlife Refuge System (As long as it's still around)

National Wildlife Refuge System

Nature Centers

List of nature centers in the United States - Wikipedia

Nature Conservancy

Category:Nature Conservancy preserves - Wikipedia

Find out if there are any land trust properties near you...

Central New York Land Trust – Protecting Nature's Gems, One Acre at a Time

Finger Lakes Land Trust

etc...

And even though I live surrounded by suburban sprawl, my yard is a little island for wildlife...it doesn't hurt that I live a half mile away from a NY Wildlife Management Area...



Technique? lil'Bigma on a monopod, F8 and be there...

Unless I'm shooting at my feeder. Then I use my tripod and gimbal...



At Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge I'm generally shooting hand held (I need to get a window mount) from my car. I've found that turning off the engine really helps...


Last edited by boriscleto; 07-18-2017 at 09:32 AM.
07-18-2017, 09:55 AM   #8
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Depth of Field = Aperture Choice

Another important detail is Depth of field. If you want your subject to be the focal point then the background and foreground have to be dealt with. In the following example I shot with the 55-300 WR which handles this beautifully at f5.8. Notice that the foreground is all but eliminated by very very soft focus and the background is softened a little but still gives definative location; while the subject DOE & FAWN are sharp. This all done by f5.8 or wider with spot focus. If I shot at f8 or smaller the scene would be all in focus and very busy given the scene. The 55-300 does this superbly


Last edited by honey bo bo; 12-20-2017 at 04:24 PM.
07-18-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Another important detail is Depth of field. If you want your subject to be the focal point then the background and foreground have to be dealt with. In the following example I shot with the 55-300 WR which handles this beautifully at f5.8. Notice that the foreground is all but eliminated by very very soft focus and the background is softened a little but still gives definative location; while the subject DOE & FAWN are sharp. This all done by f5.8 or wider with spot focus. If I shot at f8 or smaller the scene would be all in focus and very busy given the scene. The 55-300 does this superbly
It depends on the distance. At 50 feet a 300mm lens has a DoF of 1.88 feet @ F/5.6 and 2.66 feet @ F/8. At 100 feet it is 7.6 feet to 10.8 feet. At 200 feet it is 30.7 feet to 43.6 feet...

With the Bigma @ 500mm the DoF is 0.94 feet @ F/8 at 50 feet, 3.84 feet at 100 feet, and 15.5 feet at 200 feet...
07-18-2017, 10:40 AM   #10
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A suggested thought

Go out and experiment

If the situation allows, vary your settings and take multiple photos

( the toughest things for me is 1 -I forget and 2 - I revert to auto to get something )

IMHO, YMMV:

Always remember to look first, in all directions, and record with your mind, then try to use your camera and lens
07-18-2017, 10:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Depth of Field = Aperture Choice
If you Look at CSA 's raccoon shots f5.6 has Bokehed the back ground in all 3 pictures and the 3rd shot has the greenery framing almost eliminated with very very soft focus on the left side but still gives the framing affect. The raccoons are in focus and the center of attention and the foreground & background delt with.

Boriscelto's first photo of the pheasant is f8 notice how almost the whole scene is in focus it may be a little busy. The deep background is starting to soft focus @f8 and as you go smaller f11, f16, etc more and more would become in focus

---------- Post added 07-18-17 at 02:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
It depends on the distance. At 50 feet a 300mm lens has a DoF of 1.88 feet @ F/5.6 and 2.66 feet @ F/8. At 100 feet it is 7.6 feet to 10.8 feet. At 200 feet it is 30.7 feet to 43.6 feet...

With the Bigma @ 500mm the DoF is 0.94 feet @ F/8 at 50 feet, 3.84 feet at 100 feet, and 15.5 feet at 200 feet...
My head starts to hurt when I attempt to follow you technocrats. So given the following info does it fall within your calc.

The picture of the Doe & Fawn is not cropped @300mm the subject is 125 ' - the background is 130' the foreground starts at 100' in front of the subjects and goes back to 75' then the field is mowed from there to me parked on the road.

Make the answer as simple as possible as I'm old and have no patience whatsever. Thank you in advance.
07-18-2017, 11:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by honey bo bo Quote
Boriscelto's first photo of the pheasant is f8 notice how almost the whole scene is in focus it may be a little busy. The deep background is starting to soft focus @f8 and as you go smaller f11, f16, etc more and more would become in focus
The turkey was shot @ 200mm at a distance of slightly less than 50 feet. Total DoF was 6.04 feet. 2.84 feet in front and 3.2 feet behind. At F/6.4 (closest I can get to F/6.3 with this calculator) the total DoF would be 4.79 feet. 2.28 feet in front and 2.51 feet behind. Six inches either way wouldn't make much difference...
07-18-2017, 06:39 PM   #13
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One of the things that I do is sometimes when I know that I will be working out in my backyard for a while I will set up a long lens on a tripod so it is readily available if an opportunity presents itself.


Northern Cardinal-1
by Chuck Campbell, on Flickr


Backyard Blue Jay
by Chuck Campbell, on Flickr


House Sparrow-male
by Chuck Campbell, on Flickr


Nibbling on buds
by Chuck Campbell, on Flickr
07-18-2017, 07:18 PM   #14
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remember I suggested checking flowers

although this was actually found at the local zoo, it could have been found in your flower bed at home

1 no crop or pp

2 cropped and pp

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07-19-2017, 09:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
remember I suggested checking flowers

although this was actually found at the local zoo, it could have been found in your flower bed at home
d
Hyssop is a great mid-late blooming plant for your garden. Pair it with some Salvia which blooms earlier but draws similar bees and other insects, and intersperse with things like Spiderwort which is early blooming and very easy to grow. Bring the buzzers to you!
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