Here we are, still in the Yukon… it’s been a great couple of weeks up here in the Yukon. Over the last two weeks 11 people have joined me as we photographed some amazingly photogenic animals in fantastic scenery, we saw some great winter scenes, and we even were lucky enough to see the northern lights.
Our focus, and the reason everyone came up to the Yukon though was the wildlife. And the groups have asked some great questions. I wanted to share these questions, and answers with you today.
(Q) How do I get better photos of wildlife?
(A) The best wildlife photographers I have ever met possess the patience of a saint. Wildlife is rarely predictable, but being here on this workshop you have the luxury of coming with me that has been coming up here for several years. I know how these animals act.
When you go home, there is something you can do before you even go outside to take photos… that is studying the target species, learn where they eat, when they eat, what motivates them to wander the wilderness, and use that knowledge when you go out in the field.
Take for example these musk ox in this photo. Musk Ox are more mobile in colder temperatures. So you want to go photograph them in colder versus warmer weather. Studying them will also help you understand that the bachelors hang out together, and even in the winter have some testosterone raging… that testosterone causes them to display mild aggressive displays…
Understanding that, we focused on young adults in colder temperatures to get more aggressive activity, thus making more interesting photos.
(Q) How do you capture the little nuances in your photos that I didn’t get today?
(A) Well, again, I have studied the species. But I also focused on ear position, eye contact, composition and my positioning.
Animals with their ears sideways or back portray fear, catch the ears up and the animal looks more natural.
You want to catch the eye contact to create a connection with the species and you do not want to place the animal dead center in your image. You want to give the animal negative space to move into, inside the frame of your photo.
And finally, get down low. Shooting an animal from eye level gives you much more impact in your photo, versus a photo from an elevated position.
Look at this Canada Lynx photo… ears up, check… you can see the eyes, check, my position, laying on my belly, check, the legs in an interesting position... check!!
(Q) Can I use flash to photograph wildlife this week?
(A) In most situations, professional wildlife photographers avoid using a flash. Not only is a sudden burst of light a great way to startle a wild animal, but the flash also tends to produce harsh and unnatural lighting (and probably won’t be powerful enough to reach your subject from a distance). If your camera has a built-in flash, remember to disable it before you begin shooting.
Why don't you come with me in 2019 when i return to the Yukon for some wildlife photography, some dog sledding, the great landscapes and the northern lights. Read those details below if you click on the button that says, "Workshop details".