Wildlife Wednesday

All the rain we’ve been having lately makes me think, “I’m glad I’m not an animal!” We are spoiled I suppose. We can wear thermal underwear, pile  jackets, and GoreTex parkas. This combination of layers not only keeps the rain off of our skin, but we stay warm at the same time! Whenever I pause to consider what the Indians and early settlers wore back in their day, I realize how hardy they had to be to survive. Yes, we are spoiled in so many ways.

Photographing wildlife requires dealing with inclement weather. If you are only going to work on sunny, clear days then you will be limiting yourself tremendously. Besides, the light for photography is actually better with an overcast sky. Yesterday I was photographing a baseball game and the sky was gray and overcast. Immediately I could see that the uniform colors were brilliant and bold in this type of light. Part of the trouble in wildlife photography is trying to separate the subject from its environment. God made these animals with built-in camouflage so they can blend into their natural habitat and be hidden from predators. I’ve written an article about the advantage of wearing camouflage when photographing wildlife. It certainly works for animals and it can work for us photographers as well. The problem is that the wildlife blends in so well with nature. Our task is to draw out the animal from its elusive background so the viewer can actually see it. Light definitely helps with this. Side light, in particular, helps to reveal texture and other details of a subject.

Pay close attention to the light because it changes not only by the time of day, but even, at times, moment by moment. This will enhance your wildlife photography immensely and help to draw your subjects out of the background. Oh, yeah, and don’t be afraid to brave the elements and photograph wildife in inclement weather.

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