Millions of them migrate across the globe yearly in the hope of a sighting, spending severe money as they go. The thrill of seeing an animal in its natural habitat, however fleetingly, has turned wildlife tourism into a multi-billion dollar division of the travel industry.You don’t need to pay big bucks for Big Five bingo in Africa to partake, nor set off on an extreme quest to, say, the far-flung frontiers of China in search of a spoon-billed sandpiper or the misty lowlands of Ecuador on the trail of the stub foot toad.
The natural world is full of wonders; wherever you travel – you need to know what to look for. Here are tips to increase your chances of spotting something every time you stop to take a good look.We’ve all had it happen Manu Wildlife Peru. You look up from the trail just in time to see an animal dive out of sight– a swoop of the wing, a flash of antler, a slap of beaver’s tail.
Most animals see, hear, and smell us long before we catch their drift. They size us up, and, depending on how far away we are and how we act, they decide whether to stay, defend themselves, or flee.Fortunately, there are simple ways you can help blend into an animal’s surroundings. In return, you’ll be treated to a wildlife show.A DSLR or an expensive lens can be hard to access, so we have put together some tips and tricks on making the most of a smartphone camera when exploring and documenting the natural world.
Sugandhi Gadadhar, wildlife filmmaker and upcoming Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury member, says, ‘A camera is just an aid in making an image. The best tools are with you, your eyes, and your mind.’Whether you’re looking to develop your techniques or encourage a child’s interest in wildlife photography, learn from the best and be inspired by the jury members and winning photographers of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
The most straightforward advice is to ensure your battery is fully charged before you head outside.Dr. Natalie Cooper, the researcher at the Museum and Wildlife Photographer of the Year 57 jury member, says, ‘Keep your camera charged and ready at all times! You never know when you’ll spot interesting behavior or get that perfectly composed shot.’
Our mobile phones gather dust and fingerprints daily, so clean the lens with a soft cloth to avoid blurry or smudged images. Check the weather to see what to wear or bring with you, then get some water and make yourself comfortable.Most importantly, research a little about what you want to photograph. What are you likely to see? When is the animal usually asleep or most active? Are there any behaviors you can learn about beforehand?
Photography means ‘writing in light,’ so you should consider this element carefully.Mobile phones usually do not handle low light conditions very well, so make the most of natural light whenever and wherever you can. Otherwise, you might end up with grainy or blurred images.Harsh light in the middle of a sunny day is also challenging to photograph. The Sun’s rays will cause bold, hard shadows in your image. Instead, make the most of soft and even light on overcast days.