Wildlife photography is one of the practices that has survived for centuries, even before the invention of cameras. Artists in the early days of technology simply sit down to capture nature on sheets.
Today, this practice has evolved to the use of photography to document various types of wildlife in their natural habitat. Also, wildlife goes beyond photography, as the photographers would need certain skills to understand and appear harmless to animals. Here is everything you need to know about wildlife photography.
History of wildlife photography
The early days of photography technology were characterized by slow lenses and poor sensitivity of the photographic media. Therefore, most wildlife photos were that of animals in the zoo or domesticated pets at home.
Most, if not all the wildlife pictures captured during those times were done unintentionally. However, as photography technology advanced, the practice gained more popularity, one of which was the first shots of wild birds in movement taken by German Ottomar.
In the early 1900s, National Geographic released its first wildlife photos. This happened exactly in July 1906 and since then, the popularity and practice of wildlife photography have only soared.
The meaning of wildlife photography
This can be simply defined as the act of capturing animals in their natural habitat. Although it can be done using basic photography equipment, some require more sophistication.
For example, you can simply use a camera or your phone to capture an elephant, but not an insect. Microlenses are more suitable for capturing insects, while long focal lenses are the best for birds. If you decide to capture marine life, of course, you would need a waterproof camera.
Also, efficient wildlife photography could sometime require that you study the animals and behave in the most friendly manner to keep them calm enough to be captured. Many photographers result in stalking, concealing themselves and even using a blind to stay hidden. Ultimately, it all boils down to how to capture the animals in their most natural and calm state.
Capturing wildlife could also be the fortune of being in the right place at the right time. In any case, you would still require a bit of expertise and awareness to take advantage of the opportunity.
Equipment required for wildlife photography
The specific type of equipment depends on the animal you intend to capture. Wildlife photography cameras are usually of a higher quality than conventional ones, due to where it is used. Most of these cameras have a long focal length for allowing the person to capture a brighter image that fills their frame.
Also, the cameras could be used with other specialized gears including ghillie suits, flash extenders, camera traps, hides, and more. New technologies and gears for these cameras are emerging every year, making the activity much easier and the picture, clearer.
Wildlife photography bears witness to the wildlife by capturing them in their most natural state. As an ethic, everyone is to show respect to the animals and not interfere with their behavior just to capture an event.
Most wildlife photography organizations now reject pictures where baits were used to lure the animals, as it is unethical to do this.