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Things I’d Love to Shoot

May 22, 2009

No, this isn’t about drivers on the road in front of me. (Let’s just avoid discussion of that subject.) This is about subjects I’d like to get photos of at some point.

Hands down, my two favorite kinds of photography are nature and travel. Travel doesn’t even have to be exotic. Even a day trip to our local theme park counts. Nature is my absolute favorite by a wide margin.

There are a lot of things I’d love to shoot but two that have been sticking in the back of my mind lately are:

  • An owl in the wild. I’d especially love to get an owl in flight just as it’s swooping to capture its prey.
  • A woodpecker pecking at a tree (also in the wild.)

There is a secret to getting good nature shots. Actually, there are a bunch of secrets. That’s why I have a whole workshop on the topic. But the #1 secret is… SHUT UP!

Most people, even when they are out trying to get pictures of wild animals, spend a lot of time yakitty-yaking, stomping through the underbrush and generally making a lot of noise. Simply being slower, calmer and quieter can increase your chances exponentially many times over. Be quiet and listen.

With birds, after you’ve spotted one and only if you need it to turn toward you, try whisting very softly. Most have good hearing so it doesn’t take much. A person ten feet away should be able to hear you but a person thirty feet away should generally not. This works for animals too. Whistling is a sound that isn’t quite natural and isn’t quite unnatural. Animals don’t know what to make of it so they will often stop and try to make sense of it. Does it represent a threat? Is it some new species they’ve never seen before? This is when you will likely capture your most satisfying photos of birds and animals. (This trick may or may not work with housepets.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    May 22, 2009 8:43 pm

    Ya know, there are some wonderful places in my area to taken nature shots. Perhaps you need to make a trip up here to see for yourself 😉

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