Take re­mote con­trol

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Get set up

Find a lo­ca­tion fre­quented by an­i­mals – birds or squir­rels are a good place to start. Use a lens with a fo­cal length of around 16-28mm. Com­pose your shot with your cam­era close to ground level. If your tri­pod doesn’t al­low for this, prop the cam­era up on a rock or clump of grass.

3 At­tach your trig­ger

The best way to trig­ger the cam­era re­motely is with a wire­less re­lease (our Häh­nel Cap­tur trig­gers cost around £55/$90). Al­ter­na­tively, your DSLR may have a wire­less re­mote fea­ture built-in. Set the cam­era to Con­tin­u­ous High Speed drive for a rapid-fire suc­ces­sion of shots.

5 Guess the fo­cus point

Aut­o­fo­cus won’t work here, and it may scare the an­i­mal away. In­stead we need to guess at the fo­cus point us­ing Man­ual fo­cus, then rely on the ex­po­sure for enough depth of field to cover the area. Fo­cus on the spot where the an­i­mal will most likely be – such as the pile of food.

2 Ad­just your ex­po­sure

Aper­ture Pri­or­ity mode is best for this as we can set an aper­ture of around f/8, which should give enough depth of field to work with. As for ISO, we need it to be high enough to al­low for a shut­ter speed that will freeze the ac­tion – at least 1/100 sec. Here we’re at ISO2000.

4 Place the food

To en­tice an­i­mals into the right po­si­tion we need food – and be sure to use healthy food that’s been ap­proved for your sub­ject. Ob­serve where the an­i­mals like to sit or perch, then scat­ter food around the area and place a pile in the spot where they’re likely to ap­pear.

6 Keep your fin­gers crossed!

Move away, down­wind of the cam­era, and wait. An­i­mals are more likely to ap­proach if they’re used to the cam­era, so it might take a while un­til they’re com­fort­able enough to ap­proach. It’s tempt­ing to shoot as soon as they come near, but wait un­til they’re set­tled, then fire off a burst.

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