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Lighting Digital Field Guide by Brian McLernon

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Chapter 15. Wildlife and Pet Photography

Successful wildlife photography requires equal parts passion, stamina, and technical expertise. Many beginning photographers are drawn to this area of photography for its excitement and the desire to make beautiful and dramatic images of the natural world. Wildlife and pet photography can be an immensely satisfying pastime for photographers who possess a love for nature and the many species that inhabit this earth. This chapter gives you some things to think about when photographing wildlife or pets using natural light or flash. I explain preparation for these types of shoots, the lighting, exposure, and shooting modes to use to produce the best results, and the best equipment choices. I wrap up with some pro tips learned over time and in the field.

Wildlife and Pet Photography

This Southern Masked Weaver was photographed at the Oregon Zoo with a 70-200mm zoom lens and a 2X converter. Exposure: ISO 500, f/5.6, 1/80 second.

Preparation and Considerations

Beginning wildlife and pet photographers must know the correct exposure and shooting modes to use. You can have the best equipment available, but if your exposures are not right on, your images will not matter to anyone. As I emphasize throughout this book, developing sensitivity to the lighting conditions and how light falls on subjects aids you to confidently make exposure decisions in those lighting situations that can ...

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