Nature Photographers Online Magazine
Nature Photographers Online Magazine

Photo Tip...

Anticipating the Shot

An important aspect in obtaining a good wildlife photo is the photographer's knowledge of the subject. A friend and I made plans to go shooting at a nearby duckpond recently and before the gear was packed I already had the shot I wanted to get in my mind: a duck flapping its wings.

We arrived at the pond and setup in a good location to shoot. Low level, nice background, sun in the perfect spot.

I sat and watched for about 15 minutes before I even loaded the film into the camera. As the Mallards swam around, they would dunk their heads underwater, letting the water run down their backs. Immediately after, they would rear up and flap their wings, drying them. This was the shot I wanted to get.

I watched and waited, trying to anticipate when this would happen. As I began to notice a routine in the ducks behavior, it simply became a matter of following one in the viewfinder until it did what I wanted it to do.

After about an hour or so, I fired off about 6 frames, 5 of which gave me the shot I pre-planned.


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