I really admire wildlife photographers. The likes of Moose Peterson and Paul Nicklen I find very inspirational. I would love to be a wildlife photographer, but I don’t think I have what it takes, and I don’t mean a $10,000 lens although a giant lens would be a requirement.
It’s not a glamorous job. You have to be willing to lie face down in the mud for hours on end getting eaten alive by bugs and not making a single sound in complaint. You have to be willing to sit in a tree branch ever so quietly waiting for the wildlife to arrive. You have to be willing to sit in a camouflage tent with just a tiny hole for your lens so you don’t scare off the birds. Ok, I could probably handle the camo tent, but still… it’s hard work!
I do photograph wildlife when the opportunity presents itself while I am out doing landscapes. Often the animals are out during the same time as the soft light under which I like to photograph: sunrise and sunset. I am not always successful at it, but I never fail to learn something about photography in my attempts and that’s why I recommend it to aspiring photographers. Even if you don’t plan on shooting wildlife full time, it will teach you how to compose quickly, how to capture a dark coloured subject on a bright background, and the results will reveal much about shutter speed and aperture settings.
This week I want to share with you some of the wildlife photos I have taken so far on my Great North American Adventure starting out small with some Prairie Dogs.
These Prairie Dogs from Wyoming are very social and live together in colonies or “towns” where they spend half their lives in tunnels underground.
They are a delight to watch as they play together and muzzle or kiss. Yes, kiss!
Prairie dogs have excellent eye sight, necessary for spotting danger, and they also have a vocabulary of barks they use to communicate.