My Kit

Pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers re­veal their top tools of the trade they couldn’t shoot with­out This Zim­babwe-based pho­tog­ra­pher takes “shoot­ing in the field” to the ex­treme, push­ing his gear to the limit pho­tograph­ing wildlife

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Sa­fari pho­tog­ra­pher Ralph Stutch­bury

Walk­ing in the African bush alone in 35°C heat means car­ry­ing just the es­sen­tials

am priv­i­leged to live and work where there are wild, un­spoiled places where na­ture and wild an­i­mals still ex­ist in their nat­u­ral state. I am a wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher based in Zim­babwe. To suc­cess­fully pho­to­graph an­i­mals in the African bush, ob­vi­ously, re­quires ex­ten­sive knowl­edge of the en­vi­ron­ment and the an­i­mals that you’re hop­ing to pho­to­graph.

To cap­ture some­thing re­ally spe­cial that hasn’t been seen be­fore is the real chal­lenge.

I use long lenses all the time – the longer the bet­ter. Tele­photo lenses en­able me to cap­ture an an­i­mal’s be­hav­iour with­out the an­i­mal be­ing aware of my pres­ence. An­i­mal senses are es­sen­tial for sur­vival in the wild and once they be­come aware of you, their be­hav­iour changes. I also like the long lens ‘look’ with shal­low depth to iso­late and em­pha­size the sub­ject.

Walk­ing in the African bush alone in 35°C heat means car­ry­ing just the es­sen­tials. For me that is my trusty old Canon EOS 7D with a Canon EF 100-400mm, ex­tra cards, two spare bat­ter­ies and a bean­bag. A de­cent tri­pod is too heavy, so I of­ten shoot hand­held. To get the shut­ter speed and f-stop that I need in or­der to shoot on the move, I set the ISO quite high. I use ISOS of 800 or 1000 and find that the Canon pro­ces­sors cope well. My work is rarely seen big­ger than A3, so noise is less of an is­sue.

And the most im­por­tant piece of equip­ment is my ten-year-old Land Rover, which is kit­ted out for a rough life in the bush.

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