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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Location & Wildlife Photography



As a developing wildlife photographer there are many obstacles you must overcome before you can achieve sucess. You may have desire, passion and determination, but it's just not that easy. Once you get past the gear and that long lens you need, then you have to go find the wildlife. If your a hunter or birder which led to your passion, then have a head start on the rest of us because you will know more about finding wildlife than most.

When I started I would wander around wooded areas looking in the trees for birds to chase, deer to randomly approach me or a hawk to stumble upon. As you might imagine I didn't have much success early on. So if you're like I was, hopefully this article will be of help to you. Let me also say that I'm not beyond this problem. The biggest challenge in wildlife photography is to locate and approach the animals. But I will try lessen the learning curve.

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One option is to decide what wildlife your most interested in, then start researching some good places to locate approachable animals. Some examples of this are:

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque Del Apache, NM in November
Burrowing Owls, Cape Coral, FL from Feb-May
Water Fowl, Various southern states from Florida to Arizona.
Wolves, Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Elk, Bison, Coyote, Yellowstone National Park, Autumn.

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If frequent road trips and airline tickets aren't in your budget then your left with specializing in your local area. Find what species are abundant AND approachable in your area.  This might be birds that go to your bird feeder but aren't found in other parts of the country. Even if all you have in your area are Cardinals and Chickadees, then try to get the best Cardinal and Chickadee images possible. One thing to remember is more people are interested in buying a Cardinal image than a species of bird they've never heard of. Also try public places where the animals are accustom to people.

There is sometimes a bit of a learning curve for new wildlife photographers and I hope this post has helped a bit. Remember, the key is finding wildlife that is approachable. The biggest thing is don't get frustrated. Get out there, enjoy being outside and witnessing nature.