Dis­cover how a wildlife pro pho­tog­ra­pher gets top shots of na­ture out in the field

From small squir­rels and owls to deer and ducks, au­tumn wildlife is abun­dant

Photo Plus - - Autumn Photo Skills -

10 DUR­ING A SPELL of cold weather, pro wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher Ben Hall spent sev­eral morn­ings pho­tograph­ing lo­cal fal­low deer. The frost cou­pled with the au­tumn colours pro­vided the per­fect scene for this lone deer as it paused in the dawn light. Ben had po­si­tioned him­self so that he was shoot­ing into the sun to make the make the most of the rim light­ing around the an­i­mal. The back­light­ing has also made the breath vis­i­ble against the rays of light. He com­posed fairly wide to show the deer in its en­vi­ron­ment and used the hang­ing branches of the tree to act as a nat­u­ral frame.

11 SQUIR­REL! Whether it’s red squir­rels still found in parts of the UK and Europe, or grey squir­rels in your lo­cal park, they make great sub­jects as they for­age for food. Con­sider leav­ing out nuts to at­tract them. Use the long­est lens you have, and this is where a 1.6x crop-sen­sor Canon like a 7D Mk II comes in handy as it’s turns a 300mm tele­photo fo­cal length into an ef­fec­tive 480mm for ex­tra reach from a safe dis­tance.

12 THIS EVOCA­TIVE shot of a pair of grebe was taken at Ben Hall’s lo­cal lake. He of­ten vis­its the morn­ing af­ter a cold, clear night, as there’s a good chance of mist. On this day, plumes of mist rose, with the first rays of light cre­at­ing the ap­pear­ance of fire and smoke on the wa­ter. Ben shot from his float­ing hide to get as low as pos­si­ble to the wa­ter, and so the grebes were back­lit against the op­po­site bank in deep shadow. He fired a burst as the birds drifted by.

13 FOR THIS im­age the aim was to use the sur­round­ing leaves to act as a frame around the owl, us­ing the max­i­mum aper­ture of f/2.8 on a 70-200mm lens to blur the fore­ground and back­ground leaves and keep em­pha­sis on the sub­ject. The light was over­cast but bright, which al­lowed us to keep the ISO low and cap­ture max­i­mum de­tail in the shad­ows. Shoot­ing on a Cloudy White Bal­ance has en­hanced the warm tones and colours of the au­tum­nal leaves.

Get in po­si­tion early to avoid miss­ing wildlife as they feed dur­ing sun­rise 10

Get down low to the an­i­mal’s eye level for a more in­ti­mate shot and so you can blurred back­grounds more ef­fec­tively 11

12

Use a long lens and wide aper­ture to blur fore­ground and back­grounds for sub­jects to stand out from sur­round­ings

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