Wildlife Photography

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This one was actually captured in the wild (For a change).

I do not particularly like the composition. I would have preferred to capture the full wingspan. However, wildlife photography in my opinion requires a lot of patience and agility. I had a zoom lens, so could have framed wider, but was not agile enough. One of the reasons I am not so much interested any more

From 2012.

Sony A300 70/300 at 150 f 5.6 1/1250 ISO100

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warren

Lifer
Sep 13, 2013
11,811
16,576
Foothills of the Chugach Range, AK
Try to get the eye sharp, tack sharp, with a light reflection. A sharply focused eye with a reflection of the light source is what captures a viewers attention. Every thing else is pretty much of secondary concern when shooting something live. Note though, many of the secondary concerns are vitally important.

Reflected light in the eye confirms to the viewer that the subject is alive, it's a bridge into the photo. It's a subconscious feeling I think but, so important!

That being said, first and foremost is to be there and get a shot. Critique later or, with most cameras, evaluate on the screen, consider post production, if such may be worthwhile (there are pitfalls in manipulating a shot though) or, delete and and continue your quest.

The best method of improving your eye and technique is to be your most brutal critic, take lots of shots and, seek the opinions of people you respect and ... trust to be honest.

I wish all budding shooters lots of luck and enjoyment.
 

huntertrw

Lifer
Jul 23, 2014
5,338
5,756
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
One of the things I enjoyed about Ansel Adams books on photography was how he would say how he screwed up here, or there, and how he figured out ways to coax from the resulting negatives those images that have been loved by millions.

Mr. Adams used to say that the negative was the score; the print the performance. I could not agree more.
 

warren

Lifer
Sep 13, 2013
11,811
16,576
Foothills of the Chugach Range, AK
Adams was a master of getting the most out of his camera/lens and the resulting negative. He did fairly well with his composition. I do wish he'd developed his "eye" a bit better. His photos are striking for the detail he was able to coax out of the negative. A master manipulator indeed!

Every working photographer looks at his shots and sees how it could have been better captured. My three bears, posted in another thread is nearly perfect to my eye except for slightly soft focus on the lowest cub. Hindsight!
 

lraisch

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 4, 2011
642
1,264
Granite Falls, Washington state
The excellent cameras on these dad blasted cell phones we all have are more than adequate for everything I used to use a Kodak for as a kid.

They’ve about killed off cheap digital cameras.

But I think there’s still a place for traditional interchangeable lens cameras for photographing wildlife.

I own several cameras, but recently I’ve discovered that a $170 used Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM and my used $400 Canon 7D Mark II is capable of some great wildlife photos at our local park.

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My 7D II has an autofocus system so capable I’ve been reading a couple of books figuring how to set it up.

But it works well enough as it comes out of the box.:)

I’m surely not the only one on here that takes photos of critters.

Let’s see yours!
A few more._DSC2719.jpg_DSC2724.jpg_DSC2771.jpg
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,840
13,949
Humansville Missouri
Like shotguns, watches, pocket knives, guitars and pipes I know I have too many cameras.

A true professional, who has paying clients, has one excellent camera body they learn how to manipulate without looking at it, like playing a guitar. Then they get a spare body if their main camera shoots craps, or maybe with a fast prime attached for portraits.

And another reason I’ll never be a professional photographer is you forget they are present. They become a fly on the wall, invisible.

I shoot photos for the fun of it, and part of the fun is owning Olympus, Canon, Sony, and Pentax bodies, plus lots of lenses, of course.

This morning I’m playing with my 2009 Pentax Kx


A Pentax is sort of like Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect.:)

All the major popularly priced camera brands are going mirrorless. Pentax tried that a decade ago and people didn’t buy them.

But for a gadget lover Pentax makes wonderful gadgets to play with.

The reason a gadget lover needs a Pentax is my $100 Kx body accepts every one of the K mount Pentax lenses ever made, plus if the old film era K mount has a automatic functions, push a green button on the modern Pentax and it all works.

And even a 12mp 2008 era Pentax with an ancient 100-300mm SMC FA lens works well enough to capture my renter’s critters:

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This set up costs about $100 for the Kx with kit lens and I paid $50 for the long 100-300 lens.

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warren

Lifer
Sep 13, 2013
11,811
16,576
Foothills of the Chugach Range, AK
The Germans greatly assisted their ally with designing and building glass. Pentax came to American shores by the thousands as occupying GIs returned home and separated from the service. Pentax really shown during the fifties and into the sixties. It was well built, surprisingly light with more than adequate glass. Pentax became the camera of choice for tourists wanting a quality, inexpensive, easy to haul around SLR with interchangeable lenses. The company never capitalized on their free advertising from returning military to America. The were very content to service the Japanese market and leave the rest of the world to Kodak, Nikon and lesser brands. Leica made the world's best "pocket" camera. Expensive as hell though. Many Japanese brands were imported but failed to launch well run ad campaigns and so became "also rans". Minolta, Pentax, Fuji and many others never really competed with Nikon and Canon. These two quickly realized the value of photographers wearing their colors on TV screens at the Olympics, Super Bowl, F1, World Series, championship class soccer and such. Free advertising worth billions.

Both companies lent gear to magazines, provided wearable swag for the shooters and prominently displaying their name on the front of the viewfinder for a TV camera.

Sony was/is an innovator in electronics. Nikon and other brands used Sony parts inside their camera bodies. But, Sony didn't really enter the camera/lens market until the nineties. And, they jumped into the market with a good product, retailer support and decent prices.

No brand appeared to dent Nikon/Canon leads. Canon really crushed Nikon's predominant position with the ever so innovative 70-200 f2.8. Sports Illustrated, National Geographic and others canned Nikon and switched to Canon simply because of that piece of glass. It took Nikon two years to market a comparable lens and the damage was done.

All the well known brands offer great entry level packages. I don't see the need to advertise for them here. Or, to even tout one brand over the other. Let 'em pay for advertising and prospective buyers should should visit retailers to find a package which meets their needs.

When I was selling cameras at a friend's shop the whole idea was to determine the customer's need and steer them to the cheapest usable body and the best glass they could afford. But, that was the time of "the light tight box" which held film flat. Then came cameras with electronic shutters, built-in light meters and such. The photo world started to really and rapidly change. Mostly for the best.

Always keep in mind when shopping for a camera, "It's the size of the pixels, not the number of pixels." Larger pixels equals more information collected. Bigger is better in this case! Slow transfer of data can slow shooting rate. Good cards, large is you shoot video, with fast transfer rates often means getting or missing a shot when shooting sequences of birds in flight, sheep in rut and what have you.

I'll end here as I really doubt that many members are interested in most of my trivia.

One more notation, harsh, bright sun isn't the best light! Tough to get decent, detail filled shots. Softer, overcast light is usually best for wildlife. So, do not let clouds or even a light rain deter you. Grab a camera and shoot ... shoot a lot.
 

warren

Lifer
Sep 13, 2013
11,811
16,576
Foothills of the Chugach Range, AK
Shooting clouds I expose for "average" area and hope the sensor captured sufficient detail in highlight and shadow detail. Then I make adjustments as required. Tricky subject scenics. Gotta decide, in harsh light, what to expose for. My point was that it is easier to get close to a proper exposure in softer light. I'm always exposing for the subjct, birds, sky lined sheep, etc.

Actually, with the newer cameras, the best setting for new and average shooters is to set the camera to program and leave there for ever. The latest DSLRs will, 90 precent of the time, capture a "decent" exposure.
 

BarrelProof

Lifer
Mar 29, 2020
2,701
10,579
39
The Last Frontier
This certainly isn’t the greatest shot, but the shot is definitely one of my favorites. We don’t typically get Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers around here. There was one last year and apparently it returned this year. Even less frequent (read: today is the first time in recorded history that it has occurred) is a visit from a Red-breasted Sapsucker.

I got them on the same tree in the same frame today. I wasn’t set up specifically for this shot and got it out of pure luck. It turned out alright, but definitely could have been better. What it represents, however, is worth sharing (for me, anyways).

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