Shoot­inggazette con­trib­u­tor Chris War­ren presents his sage ad­vice to bud­ding field­sports pho­to­jour­nal­ists.

Shooting Gazette - - Shoot briefing -

Use your con­tacts: Start out with a shoot you know and knows you. If you beat on a shoot, get to know the game­keeper and owner then per­mis­sion is of­ten freely given. The shoot­ing world is small and mak­ing con­tacts is rel­a­tively easy once you are part of it. Dress for the weather but be smart; I dress like a Gun. Make sure the Guns know where you are, don’t pop up in un­ex­pected places and, above all, be safe. Never for­get Guns are the guests and you are there on suf­fer­ance.

Be fa­mil­iar with your equip­ment: What­ever kit you use, know it inside and out. Mod­ern cam­eras are com­plex beasts and do a lot for you but you must be in con­trol. Know which but­tons do what and un­der­stand the ba­sics of aper­ture and shut­ter speed.

It is far bet­ter to have a pin­sharp pic­ture that is a lit­tle grainy than an out-of-fo­cus one. Take lots of pic­tures, it costs noth­ing, and then take your time edit­ing af­ter­wards; all good pho­tog­ra­phers edit.

Travel light: Mo­bil­ity is key, you need to be in the right place at the right time. I use two cam­eras with two zooms plus a con­verter and don’t need a cam­era bag.

Be where the ac­tion is: Ask the keeper or host where the birds are likely to fly and be pre­pared to move if their best guess is wrong. Al­ways look for the un­usual and be ready to cap­ture it.

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