Venturing into wild animals’ natural habitats can prove both challenging and rewarding. Here are a few tips for compelling wildlife photos:
• The two main senses of most mammals are hearing and smell—not vision. Whether you are camouflaged or not, animals are more likely to hear or smell you before they see you, so wear natural fibers, avoid opening Velcro fasteners, and, if you’re truly committed to your photography, roll around in the undergrowth to pick up the scent of your surroundings. Always approach from downwind.
• All animals have a space around them that is known as their circle of fear. How much space an animal is comfortable with varies. For example, some wading birds will fly off if you get within several hundred yards of them, while some garden birds will let you get within arm’s reach.
ADAPTED FROM DIGITAL WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS WESTON (Photographers’ Institute Press, 2008; $20)