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Paul Hobson's top tips for wildlife photography

Paul Hobson
Paul Hobson said you should visit a site several times to get the best shots

Paul Hobson is a professional wildlife photographer and is helping Sally Pepper with a couple of her nature films in her BBC East Midlands Today series, Sally Goes Wild.

In the first film, he seeks out mountain hare in the Peak District.

Later in the series he'll be training his camera on red grouse.

If you fancy having a go at taking your own wildlife pictures, or perhaps photographing the birds in your back garden, here are Paul's top tips for success.

Paul Hobson's Top Ten Wildlife Photography Tips

  • Learn as much as you can about the animal you are going to photograph. Research on the web, ask local wildlife groups and read books. It helps you to visualise and create exciting images.
  • Spend as much time in the field as possible. Watch and learn the habits of the animals you are photographing. It will help greatly later when you photograph them and will allow you to predict any behaviour and know where and when to find them.
  • Make sure you have any land-owner's permission if you need it. It is always a good idea to present them with a print when you have finished your project.
  • Make sure you are fully familiar with your camera and you know how to change the most used functions quickly. Wildlife moments can occur in the blink of an eye.
  • Before you start make sure the camera is set for instant photography, you have the right mode (such as aperture priority), the correct depth of field, the most appropriate ISO etc. Sometimes the action may start straight away and you don't want to miss it by having to fiddle around adjusting the camera.
  • Learn how to approach wildlife slowly and quietly. Don't march straight up to it, it is most likely to run off and you will fail to get any shots.
  • Check the weather forecast with Sally Pepper and the weather team! Don't be put off by bad weather, sometimes the most dramatic images occur in rain or mist.
  • Learn how to visualise an image before you go out and plan how to create that image. Look at as many other photographs as you can and try to blend in aspects you like into your work but do not simply copy other photographers' ideas.
  • Do not try to do everything in one go. Plan one image per session and work hard to get it. Leave a different image until another session. You will create much stronger images than simply firing at everything that moves and hoping to get some good shots.
  • Visit the same site frequently. The best images are often created on repeat visits and after many hours of work.



SEE ALSO
Sally Goes Wild
24 Jan 11 |  Nature & Outdoors
East Midlands weather forecast
25 Jan 11 |  Weather News

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