Monday 26 October 2009

Hints to Would-be Wildlife Photographers

Good morning!

I spent the weekend on a nature reserve on the Atlantic Coast. Yes, I know I’m lucky. In fact, I did spend a lot of time marvelling at my luck while I was there because it really doesn’t get much better. I could dwell on my good fortune, but a) you’d probably stop reading and b) today is Monday and therefore Hints Day.

When I wasn’t murmuring ‘what a lucky girl I am’ or words to the effect, I was mostly taking pictures. I took about 300 of the local wildlife and discarded almost all of them because they were blurry, boring, not of what I thought they were going to be of or just not worth keeping. Photographing animals is hard.

I decided to show you the evidence by way of a sliding scale, from 1 (grr) to 10 (easy!)

1. Dolphins

Dolphins are beautiful to watch and friendly and mischievous and lovable and oh, skip it. They won’t sit still. As soon as I lowered my camera they would do some kind of flashy move, but as long as my finger was on the shutter button all they would show me was a hint of fin. (Click on the photo to enlarge it and you should see a tiny black triangle in the middle of the photo.)

2. Pelicans

The pelicans flatly refused to come any closer than one field away.

3. Peacock

The peacock condescended to open his feathers for about 10 seconds.

4. Yellowicus Birdiensis

After much effort, I cornered the very rare specimen in a bush.

5. Gulls

Birds in formation are easy to photograph … but let’s be honest: the photo is a bit boring, no? It looked so much better in real life.

6. Peacock II

The peacock wouldn’t show us his full display again, but he did prance around for a while and posed on a variety of walls, pillars and roofs. (Is this my best angle?)

7. Horse

Lady the gelding (I know, it's mean, but I didn't come up with the name) was very cooperative. Pictures in return for apples.

8. Ostriches I

Looky, looky, looky! These girls were very happy to be photographed so long as we gave them right of way.

9. Ostriches II

But now they’ve had enough.

10. ???

And these birds made very patient models.

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