Wildlife Newbie

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by coyote7139, Apr 29, 2017.

Tags:
  1. coyote7139

    coyote7139 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Maybe this has been discussed before, however, I'm gonna ask...
    I would like to do some wildlife photography, just for my own use and enjoyment really. I have gone out a couple of times with little luck. I realize that its a "right time, right place" kind of thing. My question is, do you experienced wildlifers just find a hidden spot where there is a bit of traffic and wait? Do you even bother to hide? Do you have any tips? I am not getting frustrated or anything, I just want to increase my chances for a sighting of something other than the cardinal that was taunting me the other day...

    Thanks


     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    275
    Location:
    Lincoln
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Moving around a lot will frighten wildlife away, so being still is fairly important. Not being visible helps as well.

    If you know where an animal is going to be, you can get there first and be still and invisible before your target gets there - that will maximise your chances of a good picture.

    The main thing you need is patience. The experts can spend a day waiting for their target to appear, go home with no photographs and then go back again the next day.

    Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    4,607
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Welcome to wildlife - your question is perfectly normal for those of us who are not used to the outside world who discover an interest and find it hard to progress.

    Where you are in the world will affect this quite a bit, some countries have far more open landscape you can freely roam in whilst others are more privatly owned land. Where you are in a country also influences this. Furthermore you've also got to consider your wilderness specifically.

    I'm based in the UK and much of the land where I am is owned by someone - erg private land. Furthermore the UK hasn't really got any dangerous wildlife in the same way as some countries have lions, tigers or aggressive prey species etc.



    As a beginner I would recommend seeing if there are any wildlife parks/centres/reserves in your area. They might well have hides that you can go sit in and watch wildlife. At the very least this gives you the chance to get some practice at photographing wildlife. You might also be able to make local connections with other wildlife watchers/photographers or even staff at the reserve site - contacts are important as local contacts can give you tips and ideas on good spots to head to or areas where you are more free to roam around.



    Of course as said wildlife photography is going to be a lot of hours sitting still; once you've got a good spot to work from. Furthermore most animals are most active in the early and latter parts of the day - the middle of the day is often a time of rest for many animals and thus activity is often far lower at this period.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. coyote7139

    coyote7139 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you for responding!

    I am in the US, Iowa to be specific. People are fairly scarce, only 400 ish in my town. (We don't even have a grocery store!) There are many wildlife areas, hiking trails and such.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    4,607
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sounds fantastic then!

    I'd recommend starting out small, pick locations close to yourself and perhaps near natural attracting features such as water bodies. Early morning/late evening are going to be the most active times for most things so try to head out then or before then to be in position; but stuff will be around all day.

    A lot of wildlife is patience; but the other harder half is picking your location right. Don't be afraid to experiment and ask around; even in that 400 odd if there's pathways and such chances are someone walks them so someone might already have some details of what you're after.

    DO take into account any wildlife safety advice as you do live in a country with more natural dangers. The further that you roam the more you should make sure that you've got basic survival/safety gear even if just a phone (remember most wilderness areas get rubbish reception so don't be afraid to take other stuff). This isn't to scare you just to keep you aware of the natural world not being totally 100% safe
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    18,306
    Likes Received:
    4,775
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You can hide, which works well for migratory waterfowl, because they tend to move in predictable pattens, and a "hide" or blind, as we in the midwest call it, can help a lot. A blind does not help much with deer, as they will smell you as soon as you step out of your car. For deer, you mostly have to try to predict where they will be, and stay downwind of them and quiet. Then you can usually get a bit closer, although they will demonstrate how close you can get before they bolt.

    My best recommendation is to read about your quarry. Learn their habits and study them as if you were going out to hunt. Iowa is blessed with a wide variety of wildlife, although most goes unseen by casual observers.

    We have deer, coyotes, turkeys, pheasant, quail, beaver, raccoon, skunk, lots of different raptors, and oodles of "backyard songbirds". I've even seen an ermine in the wild once.

    Stake out a regular route that you take every day if possible, at the peak times for animal movement, and move slowly and quietly as you venture off the road. Seek permission from landowners, and ask them what wildlife is common around there.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2016
    Messages:
    8,792
    Likes Received:
    6,189
    Location:
    Northeastern Pennsylvania
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome! I would add this tip to the wonderful advice given you above: If at all possible, try parks having a lot of foot traffic, believe it or not. Wildlife there will be more accustomed to people being near and tolerant of your presence. I was lucky enough last year to get some fox pics because it was so used to people and their dogs walking in the park where I photographed it a few times.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Messages:
    7,654
    Likes Received:
    5,462
    Location:
    Angus, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

Share This Page