One of the most challenging, if not dangerous, branches of photography is taking wildlife pictures. Many photographers have met accidents while on a location assignment, even others die an untimely death at the hands of the animals, harsh actual conditions, and equipment malfunctions. Just recently, two of them died due to a helicopter crash.
Going to forests, jungles, and snowy landscapes gives its own sense of adventure. New places mean new adventures, different challenges, and unexpected undertakings. There’s always a sense of exhilaration and the feeling of unexplained expectation. Well, adventurous as they are, wildlife photographers can never shake off the feelings of apprehension and concern for their safety. But the last things on their minds are thoughts of impending doom and insurmountable circumstances. Nothing is impossible and death is not part of the plan.
Stalking the subject requires a lot of patience; hours may turn into days; weeks to months; and this is when danger become a reality. Aside from the animals and the terrain, added danger may come from the weather and the elements of nature. Some dangers are caused by almost unseen insects, both crawling and flying. Dangers to equipment are also part of the risk. Sensitive equipment such as the camera is usually placed in special cases to protect them from unforeseen accidents and damage.
But all these are nothing compared to the unique and awe-inspiring pictures that are taken as a result of untold sacrifices, expertise, and professionalism. As pictures are transferred from lonely and unreachable terrains to the pages of magazines and television screens, the footage brings inspiration and awe to the watching public. Published photographs are often more gratifying than the awards photographers sometime receive for work well done. And even the monetary aspect of the job pales when compared to these.
Cameras, tripods, equipment bags, sleeping bags or tents and other equipment are carried by hand in areas inaccessible to vehicles. Most wildlife photos involve land-based animals. Water and underwater wildlife is also part of the entire picture. Some of the most intriguing and breathtaking pictures are taken under water. And lest we forget, aerial animals are common parts of wildlife photography as well.
Professional photographers are either employed by giant publishing companies or on a freelance basis. The cameras are the most important part of any photographer’s kit, and cameras used for wild life photography are some of the most expensive in the market. You’ll need a long-range telephoto lens to capture the pictures of lions and zebras since they stay as far away as they can from humans. Plus who wants to try to sneak up on a lion? These super cameras will allow photographers to get pictures as if they’re just 10 meters away from the animals, although they may be as far as 500 meters.
Just remember, it doesn’t matter how good your camera is if you don’t love the process of taking wildlife photos and have the patience to set up “the” shot.