Secrets of Wildlife Photographers

Top nature shooters share their tricks of the trade.

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Two grizzly bears battle over a fishing spot on Margot Creek in Katmailand, AK. Chris McLennan used a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS lens. Exposure: 1/3200 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 250.Chris Mclennan
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Tim Rock snapped a saltwater crocodile from inches away using a Nikon D100 and 12-24mm f/4 DG Nikkor in an Aquatica housing. Exposure: f/16 and 1/200 sec.Tim Rock
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Two grizzly bears battle over a fishing spot on Margot Creek in Katmailand, AK. Chris McLennan used a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS lens. Exposure: 1/3200 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 250.Chris Mclennan
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A 12-day-old harp seal pup takes its first plunge into the 29-degree (F) waters of Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence. Brian Skerry used a Nikon F5 with Kodak's Kodachrome 64 slide film. (Lens and underwater housing unknown.) Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/8 with fill flash.Brian Skerry/National Geographic
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A snow leopard at the triple D Game Farm in Kalispell, Mt, eyes a nearby handler. Paul Burwell captured it with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS lens. Exposure: 1/320 sec at f/6.3, ISO 400.Paul Burwell
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A horned puffin banks toward a landing with food for waiting chicks. Oliver Klink shot with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and Canon 70–200mm f/2.8L IS lens. Exposure: 1/3200 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 800.Oliver Klink
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A big brown bat swoops to drink from a pond in the Arizona desert. Scott Linstead used a Nikon D300 and 70–200mm f/2.8 VR Nikkor. exposure: f/16 at 1/250 sec, ISO 400.Scott Linstead