Where do you find wildlife to photograph? In true wilderness, there’s usually a terrible amount of walking to find wild animals. Animals which are hunted become extremely wary of man and his machines so will seldom (read never!) let a photographer get close enough for a good, full frame photograph. However, some great photographic opportunities are available at zoos, National Parks and wildlife refuges. Modern zoos create natural looking habitat within well camouflaged barriers and take great care of their animals.
Many fine zoos even have exotic species like lions, tigers, monkeys, gorillas, giraffes and elephants available for you to photograph. Check out your local zoo!
What and Why
This photograph was taken by a Nikon D300 camera through a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm 1:4G lens with a Nikon AF-S TC-14EII teleconverter. With the camera set on aperture priority, I selected the largest aperture so the eyes would be in sharp focus but the background would be blurred making the face stand out as well as giving a sense of depth to the image. With ISO-400, the camera chose a shutter speed of 1/3000th of a second, far quicker than actually necessary to stop movement but I wanted the focus to be “tack sharp”. Since the coyotes in this pen were constantly moving, I set the shutter at “Continuous-high” and the focus-mode selector at “continuous” so I could be sure to get many good frames.
PS: Always focus on the eyes! People look at eyes first, so if they’re out of focus nothing else will count.
More Articles by: Steve Guymon, Outdoor Digital Photographer:
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Digital Photography Tip: Polarizing Filter
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Digital Photography Tip: Look Around
Digital Photography Tip: Shoot Many Images
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