I’ve always been an opportunistic wildlife photographer, taking wildlife pictures as I encounter birds and animals in my travels. Recently at the Snap Photography Seminars, I was again reminded to respect wildlife, to give them distance and to cause them as little stress a possible. In the above picture, at Vermillion Lakes in Banff, well known wildlife photographer John Marriott might have too much space between him and the distant elk.
I was at a great distance from this elk and in very low light (I checked the EXIF, it was 05:37) at the 2009 Worldwide Photowalk in Banff. Later, when the small herd circled behind our group of photographers, Darwin cautioned everyone to allow them their space and not to bother them.
This is an older shot of a black bear near McBride, BC. I had taken a bunch of bad frames out of the car window, handheld, leaning across my wife. I missed this one and just reprocessed it and put it online. My wife said it was a female, how she IDs the sex of a bear from 20 yard, I have no idea. Anyhow, the bear munched on greenery for a few bites, moved a bit and had another bite. I’m sure she knew we were there but she couldn’t have cared less.
This sheep photo was taken in Banff National Park and was quite used to people. I was at an overlook above the Banff town site, when I looked over and there was a herd of sheep. Most of them were laying down but there were a few standing lookout. I’ve been looking for more facial expression in my wildlife photography. I think it’s more interesting. I changed to my 400mm for this shot and I still had an reasonable distance to the animal.
This fox picture was taken on Darwin Wiggett’s Extreme Saskatchewan Photo Tour. There were ten photographers in three vehicles all taking pictures of this fox. Darwin radioed us and asked that we stay in our vehicles, so that we didn’t stress this mother fox. She had just chased her pups down into the den. She stayed up and watched the area. The traffic on the road was quite busy that day, so we weren’t the only thing on her mind. Darwin isn’t known for his wildlife photography, but his background is in biology, so he knows his stuff. I also take his photographic advice as evidenced by the slight retouch in this image.
For me, I always keep my eyes open for wild animals, who make such great subjects.