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Wildlife Camera » Uncategorized

Archive for 'Uncategorized'

Wildlife from the car window

24 November 2009
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Pere David's deer

Victorian books on shooting had whole chapters devoted to “Getting Close to your Quarry”, complete with illustrations of hunters disguised as buffaloes or hiding themselves in haycarts. The trick was to get inside something that animals and birds were familiar with, and would ignore.

Today’s equivalent to the peasant’s haycart is the family car. It is the perfect mobile hide for the wildlife photographer. 

Whether you are hunting down lions or herons, the car is the best place to go into hiding. It is comfortable and, if you’ve got nerve, it will go almost anywhere.

Animals and birds, large and small, tend to ignore vehicles. And you can usually open the window quietly without spooking your target. It is very unlikely that the birds or animals will try to come in, although safari park monkeys are an exception — they will reach into the car and grab your camera and probably your sunglasses as well …

Elsewhere in these postings I have mentioned the rival philosophies of two types of birders, the leggers and the arsers. The leggers keep moving and hope to find something; the arsers sit quietly and wait for the birds to come to them. The leggers don’t want to get bored. The arsers are allergic to perspiration. (more…)

Nile offers heat and history at a discount

19 November 2009
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cruise ship at Kom Ombo

The Nile has two great selling points in winter – it is hot, and it is cheap.

The Nile has one great selling point in summer – it is very cheap (because it is very hot).

River cruises in Egypt, even in high season from December to March, start at £499. That includes the 5000-mile round-trip flight from the UK to Luxor, full board on the cruise boat, transfers and 10 free excursions. In the heat of high summer, the tour operator may even add an extra week in a four-star hotel as a bonus and still keep the price below £500. (more…)

Go early, stay late at the zoo

18 November 2009
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white-faced saki monkey

I recently asked a well-known wildlife photographer if she had any tips about taking animal portraits in the zoo. Her answer was brief: “Go early, stay late, and don’t be ashamed of taking zoo shots, we all do it.”

She told me that most of the finest pictures of large animals are zoo shots, or at least safari park portraits. “You can go on shooting, day after day, until you get it right,” she says. “A shaft of light, a brief change in the animal’s position, two animals interact or one of them yawns, and you’ve got a picture which will sell and sell.” (more…)

No worries — zooming on safari

16 November 2009
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safari cameraman

A famous traveller once said that the best advice he could give to anyone setting out on a trip abroad was very simple: “At the last minute, throw out half the clothes and pack twice as much money.”

For wildlife photographers, it would be much the same: “Throw out half the gear and pack twice as many cards.” (more…)

Easier bird photos in the aviary

14 November 2009
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Barn owls

Birdkeeping is much the same as ever it was, but taking photographs of aviary birds has changed dramatically. Today’s digital cameras make it wonderfully easy.

I was thinking about this when comparing the price of a couple of pairs of canaries I had been offered with the price of a new camera. The birds – sight unseen, no pedigree, no guarantees – were £30 each, plus £65 for the courier, a total of £185. The latest zoom camera would cost about the same, and it’s guaranteed to arrive alive! (more…)

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