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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 12 Oct 2008 (Sunday) 21:21
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STICKY: How To: Wildlife Photography and staying hidden

 
jbdavies
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Oct 12, 2008 21:21 |  #1

So I looked through all three pages and noticed that every single topic was about lenses. Which is great and all, but if you want to really get that one shot... don't you need to stay hidden?

So, in this thread, list what you use to keep the wildlife unaware of your whereabouts. :)

Whether it's Scent-Lock Camouflage, a Hide, etc.

I personally don't have any... but I would love to get into this eventually. I just want to know what all of you Pro (or not) wildlife shooters use. ;)


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Oct 13, 2008 13:26 |  #2

I think the most common tool is simply a long lens. :)


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jbdavies
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Oct 13, 2008 14:33 |  #3

Well sure, I understand that. But take Discovery Channel, when they were shooting Planet Earth a lot of their people were stuck in hides for up to a couple months. And look at the footage they got! I realize they are doing video, but its all the same concept; To get that ONE shot. Maybe im thinking to much into this. I tend to do that alot. :p lol


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PBeeee
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Oct 13, 2008 15:49 |  #4

People seem to use the same things that get used for hunting; blinds, camo clothes, etc. And the same as hunting, I think the skill to develop is knowing about the animal. Where do they move thru regularly? What times of day are they moving? Food, water or shelter? I see birders all the time in more camo to take pics than I would wear to hunt, including covered lenses and tripods. I do think if I took time to set up a blind near some of my feeders this winter, I would get some of the skittish birds more easily. Certainly something I may likely do. And after noticing that I always seemed to be wearing a bright coat when the hawk/eagle was perfectly posed, I did throw an old black shell in the car to put on when needed. The long lenses are good obviously but patience and more often, right time, right place have the most results.
Have a look at Cabela's website, they have the whole camo/blinds/scents etc. thing in many price ranges. I've certainly eyed some portable quick pop up blinds once or twice. But having spent many hours in duck blinds, cold, many times wet and in the company of anxious dogs, I know it takes serious patience to do what you see those videographers do. That may be their most valuable skill.




  
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jbdavies
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Oct 13, 2008 17:49 |  #5

PBeeee wrote in post #6489085 (external link)
People seem to use the same things that get used for hunting; blinds, camo clothes, etc. And the same as hunting, I think the skill to develop is knowing about the animal. Where do they move thru regularly? What times of day are they moving? Food, water or shelter? I see birders all the time in more camo to take pics than I would wear to hunt, including covered lenses and tripods. I do think if I took time to set up a blind near some of my feeders this winter, I would get some of the skittish birds more easily. Certainly something I may likely do. And after noticing that I always seemed to be wearing a bright coat when the hawk/eagle was perfectly posed, I did throw an old black shell in the car to put on when needed. The long lenses are good obviously but patience and more often, right time, right place have the most results.
Have a look at Cabela's website, they have the whole camo/blinds/scents etc. thing in many price ranges. I've certainly eyed some portable quick pop up blinds once or twice. But having spent many hours in duck blinds, cold, many times wet and in the company of anxious dogs, I know it takes serious patience to do what you see those videographers do. That may be their most valuable skill.

Thanks for the info. That is what I kinda figured... just wanted to make sure.

And Cabela's is freaken awesome! I love that store. I've never really looked at their blinds (no real need as of yet), but I'm always looking at the Camo... and guns... :D

And I know what you mean about patience. I sometimes have it... but sometimes I just get antsy. :)

Thanks again for all the info. Anyone else got any feedback (and not just for me)? :)


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WordWaster
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Oct 13, 2008 17:49 |  #6

My experience is primarily with white tail deer and imported black buck antelope. The first thing is to change your human shape. If you are in the open camo is not helpful. Particularly the antelope will turn tail when they spot a human. Even just an ATV with you dismounted on the side opposite the animal will help. Just don't go roaring up toward it.

The next thing is movement. If you are still, the animal is much more likely to ignore you. If you are going to move, it must be done in the smallest increment possible. You cannot make a sudden movement.

As the other posters have said, however, a hide or blind and a long lens are probably the best.




  
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hardcorewaterfowl
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Oct 15, 2008 19:51 as a reply to  @ WordWaster's post |  #7

Sometimes I get too close and the shutter noise hinders natural movement of the deer, they just get nervous and spook. A good lens with a comfortable distance is better for me.




  
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jbdavies
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Oct 15, 2008 20:19 |  #8

Hmmm... that's a good point. What if you did the "Live View" thingy? That's considerably more quiet than normal shooting.


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frici
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Oct 16, 2008 02:01 |  #9

It depends what animal you want to photo. My experience is you have the better chance if you choose a right place, hide you and stay there for hours. You must be silent. The camo-blind could be good, except if you want to move to another place. I usualy use a net. I carry with me and I can hide myself in a short time.

For birds I would use blind, for other animals net.


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jbdavies
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Oct 16, 2008 10:28 |  #10

Oh cool! That's pretty nifty! I didn't even think of that. Thanks for that. :)


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The_Camera_Poser
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Oct 17, 2008 04:30 |  #11
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David Attenborough uses trained elephants to carry around his cameras, and move them into position as well! He also uses a "turtle cam"- a tortoise with a camera on it's back. Just like that David Att.- always taking the easy way out! LOL




  
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The_Camera_Poser
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Oct 17, 2008 04:31 |  #12
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David Attenborough uses trained elephants to carry around his cameras, and move them into position as well! He also uses a "turtle cam"- a tortoise with a camera on it's back. Just like that David Att.- always taking the easy way out! LOL




  
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BradM
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Oct 17, 2008 08:13 as a reply to  @ The_Camera_Poser's post |  #13

I have two pop up blinds, 3 differing types of camoflage nets/drapes, and a ghillie suit and I don't use any of them anymore except in very rare circumstances.

As I am not usally shooting anything longer than 400mm, the 300-800mm is just a pain in the field with all of the required accessories, this means I need to get close if I want a detailed image.

It has been my experience that if I wear clothing in earth tones and a hat (very important) and nothing white I can sit quietly on my combination stool/backpack, or the ground and have the animals approach me. If I need to get closer a slow crawl will do the job.

As previously mentioned the main point is not to appear to be what the particular species considers a threat or predator. Avoiding walking about, standing, quick movements, talking, singing, humming and whistling or other behaviors that indicate you are a human and the animals will often ignore you and approach.

Here is just a few shots of the hundreds I have captured at under 400mm's without using any blind or other device. The first shots I was actually wearing black/yellow ballastic nylon motorcycle gear crawling along a beach to get within 7 meters.


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PBeeee
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Oct 17, 2008 11:30 |  #14

Never considered the hat part....although I am consistently amazed how many times animals are looking straight into the lens. Do you think the hat is a eye contact thing or human shape camo?




  
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BradM
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Oct 17, 2008 15:23 |  #15

PBeeee wrote in post #6512662 (external link)
Never considered the hat part....although I am consistently amazed how many times animals are looking straight into the lens. Do you think the hat is a eye contact thing or human shape camo?

It is my understanding that a hat assists in breaking up your outline and making you less identifiable as a human. Of course in my circumstances I leave a hat on unless I want to bounce some fill light to the subject. :rolleyes:


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How To: Wildlife Photography and staying hidden
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