Eric Dresser Wildlife Photography|
Digital or Film
Take Only Photos
Leave Only Tracks
Getting Started in Nature Photography
a) If you are just getting started and haven't chosen a camera
yet, do some research and
choose a manufacturer that has a wide range of lenses and accessories (ex: Nikon or Canon). At this point you may feel
that you'll never need a 500mm f4 lens, but this game is addictive. For my type of photography a Digital SLR is the way
to go. A Digital SLR is a camera body that looks much like a 35mm film body with interchangeable lenses. There are obvious
advantages to digital cameras. Being able to instantly view your results may be the biggest advantage. Additional advantages
are no need for a scanner, not having to pay for film or processing, and with digital ISO can be adjusted at any time, with
film you can't change ISO in mid-roll. Pro model digitals are still quite expensive, but if you are just starting out, I definately would
b) Use a sturdy tripod whenever possible ! This will
allow the use of slow speed films. When choosing a tripod, check to see if it
allows you to adjust the angle of the leg spread so that you will be able to
set up at ground level when shooting insects, wildflowers and various other
subjects. Gitzo makes the best (in my opinion), but they are pricey.
I prefer the Gitzo GT3530LS. The GT3530LS lacks a center column and the legs can be
spread completely. Bogen makes a much more affordable tripod, model 3021, which
is very adequate. A tripod is
one of most important pieces of equipment that a professional nature photographer
c) Pick up a copy of John Shaw's *The Nature Photographer's
Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques*. I already had my own techniques
and equipment options before reading this book, but I'm sure it would have eliminated
a lot of frustration in my earlier years, had such a book been available. Not
only is John an excellent photographer, he is an excellent writer. John, in
this book, goes into depth about the technical side of Nature Photography. It
is a must!! Next pick up a copy of his revised edition called John Shaw's Nature
Photography Field Guide. While this is called a revised edition; each book has
must reading that is not covered in the other.
d) When photographing wildlife, knowing and understanding your subject is just as important as knowing photography basics of exposure and composition.
By knowing your subjects habitat, habits, food preference, and basic instincts, you will have a much better chance of putting yourself in the right spot at the right time.
More Photography Tips Below:
Getting Started /
Getting Published /
Finding Wildlife /
Birds in Flight
Duck Tips /
Insect Tips /
Mammal Tips /
Deer Tips /
My Equipment /
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All photos and content © Copyright Eric C. Dresser / Eric Dresser Wildlife Photography.
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