Mas­ter hides for dra­matic bird cap­tures

Dis­cover how to shoot com­pe­ti­tion-wor­thy bird im­agery with prac­ti­cal ad­vice from wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher Si­mon Roy

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

Wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher Si­mon Roy teaches us how to utilise hides to shoot de­light­ful im­ages of birds

Many wild an­i­mals have an in­stinc­tive fear of hu­mans and even the very best cam­era and su­per tele­photo lens will be in­suf­fi­cient if the species you are try­ing to pho­to­graph feels threat­ened by you. field­craft skills and cam­ou­flage can help a pho­tog­ra­pher get closer to wary sub­jects, but of­ten the most prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion is to work from a hide.

a well-po­si­tioned hide will en­able you to make award-win­ning im­ages show­ing re­laxed, nat­u­ral be­hav­iour, and with min­i­mal dis­tur­bance to your sub­ject. a hide can be sim­ple or com­plex but its most im­por­tant func­tion is to dis­guise the hu­man form with shel­ter and com­fort be­ing se­condary needs. there are many dif­fer­ent types in­clud­ing wooden hides, can­vas hides, float­ing hides, el­e­vated hides and even us­ing a ve­hi­cle, which can be a very ef­fec­tive mo­bile hide.

Hides are most suited to sit­u­a­tions when you can pre­dict where your sub­ject will be, like a favoured perch or close to a feed­ing sta­tion. wildlife will even­tu­ally ac­cept the hide as part of their en­vi­ron­ment, and then you can start to add or re­move el­e­ments from the scene. over time a cre­ative pho­tog­ra­pher can pro­duce a broad col­lec­tion of work from a sin­gle lo­ca­tion.

in this fea­ture, we will look at how to set up and use hides for bird pho­tog­ra­phy with tips on equip­ment and cam­era set­tings. a hide will cre­ate bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties, but a pho­tog­ra­pher still needs the sub­ject knowl­edge and tech­ni­cal skills to make the most of them.

ALL IM­AGES © SI­MON ROY

GONE FISH­ING A LOVELY FE­MALE KING­FISHER, CAP­TURED FROM A WOODEN HIDE

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