Professional Photographer to the Rescue: animal photography tips for any species

Professional Photographer to the Rescue: animal photography tips for any species

Our professional photographer’s recommended gear

Our professional photographer's recommended gear: beanbag

Beanbag
Every self-respecting wildlife photographer has at least one beanbag to rest their big telephoto lenses on when taking shots in the field. “They’re light to carry and so adaptable,” says Ben. “With a beanbag I can rest my weighty lens on a wall, fence, on the ground or over a car door – all of which makes it more comfortable if I have to wait for the right moment. It can also reduce camera shake.”

Our professional photographer's recommended gear: Flashtrax 20Gb HD picture viewer

Flashtrax 20Gb HD picture viewer
“I always carry my portable hard disk (HD) with me and download photos once my memory card is full,” says Ben. “I store the full memory card as well, so I have a backup on the HD if the card corrupts. Plus, the HD has a better screen than my 1D Mark II, so I can accurately review photos while I’m still out in the field, giving me confidence that I’ve got the shot I’m after.”

Our professional photographer's recommended gear: Gitzo tripod with Manfrotto ball and head

Gitzo tripod with Manfrotto ball-and-socket head
Ben likes to use this heavy-duty tripod and head to support the weight of big lenses such as the Canon 500mm telephoto prime. “When I’m waiting in a hide or hedgerow for my animal subjects to come out to play, I strap my hefty lens straight on my tripod so it’s aimed, focused and ready to take a shot,” he says. “I usually only extend the thickest sections of the legs so I’m down at the animal’s level. It reduces arm ache and gives me sharper results.”

Our professional photographer's recommended gear: Swift binoculars

Swift Binoculars
“Although I’m no twitcher, a pair of binoculars is invaluable when searching for elusive wildlife out in the field. Mine offer 8x magnification and help me to scour the flora to find the fauna!” says Ben. “When I’ve located the bird or animal I’m after, I go into stealth mode: hiding behind hedges or crawling to stay out of sight. I creep quietly closer until I’m in range to use my telephoto zoom lens.”

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Animal photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day

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