Planned care­fully, ex­otic for­eign trips can pro­vide wel­come pho­to­graphic con­trast and a wealth of op­por­tu­ni­ties

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

Most wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers do not have to stray far from home to find sub­jects that will keep them fully oc­cu­pied and their mem­ory cards full. And there is an ar­gu­ment to say that if you can­not find some­thing to pho­to­graph nearby then a lack of imag­i­na­tion and cre­ativ­ity may be the is­sue, rather than a dearth of sub­jects. How­ever, that phi­los­o­phy quickly evap­o­rates when pho­tos of weird and wonderful crea­tures and land­scapes are viewed on­line or drooled over in a mag­a­zine. So, sooner or later most pho­tog­ra­phers suc­cumb to the lure of the ex­otic, and are tempted to travel to dis­tant lo­ca­tions in pur­suit of wildlife im­ages.

To­day it has never been eas­ier to travel to wildlife-rich des­ti­na­tions and there is a wealth of in­for­ma­tion avail­able on­line and in books to help you thor­oughly plan a trip and re­search your sub­jects. If you have the time and money, pretty much any part of the world is now ac­ces­si­ble, and in­di­vid­ual species can be tar­geted pho­to­graph­i­cally with rea­son­able cer­tainty that you will be able to point a cam­era at them.

In the spirit of ad­ven­ture and cre­ativ­ity, many wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers pre­fer soli­tude

“In­vest in a sturdy but light­weight ruck­sack that con­forms to air­line lug­gage di­men­sions”

and opt to go it alone when trav­el­ling abroad. There is merit to this ap­proach and the sense of achieve­ment and unique­ness of the re­sult­ing im­agery bears tes­ta­ment to this. How­ever, for those who pre­fer to have the lo­gis­tics ar­ranged for them, an ar­ray of travel com­pa­nies are more than will­ing to make life easy for wildlife pho­tog­ra­phers – but at a price, of course.

Wher­ever you in­tend to travel, and by what­ever means, the key is to do your home­work in ad­vance. Find out about the dif­fi­culty or ease of pho­tog­ra­phy in that lo­ca­tion, and the cli­mate, in or­der to man­age your ex­pec­ta­tions. Re­search the likely species and habi­tats you will en­counter to help you plan what equip­ment to take. But these days, the lim­it­ing fac­tor is likely to be what you can carry on a plane as hand lug­gage. In­vest in a sturdy but light­weight ruck­sack that con­forms to pre­scribed air­line lug­gage di­men­sions. And if lug­gage weight is an is­sue, buy a photographer’s waist­coat and stuff the pock­ets as full as you can. Do not for­get bat­tery charg­ers, card read­ers, plug adap­tors and the like, and take plenty of mem­ory cards and back-up stor­age for your im­ages.

Above IN­DIAN RHINO this in­dian rhino was pho­tographed as the sun was set­ting in nepal’s chit­wan na­tional Park. the back­light­ing seems to em­pha­sise the bulk and power of the animal Be­low COP­PER-RUMPED HUM­MING­BIRD tra­di­tional hum­ming­bird pho­tog­ra­phy...

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