GO ON THE ROAD
Planned carefully, exotic foreign trips can provide welcome photographic contrast and a wealth of opportunities
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...