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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION - BY SPECIALTY Wildlife (Public) topic #5205
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Subject: "Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports." Previous topic | Next topic
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 03-Nov-03 09:55 AM
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"Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
Sat 22-Feb-14 03:41 AM by dm1dave

Gent, BE
          

Nikonians Articles:

Photographing Birds-in-Flight and other quick moving subjects – Lenses, Camera Settings and Technique (2014)

Story from the Field: The Eagle That Refused to Die (2014)

Photo Techniques: Autofocus Tracking with a Cluttered Background (2013)

Wildlife Tips & Tricks (2011)

-------------------------------------------------------------

Wildlife photography techniques and advice:

Tips & Tricks(2008)


-------------------------------------------------------------

Photographer's experiences in the field:

Wildlife adventures

-------------------------------------------------------------


Travel reports:

Arizona round trip, US (2007)
Kodiak Island, Alaska (2000)
Denali NP, Alaska (2005)
Alaska round trip, Alaska (2007)
Western US, US (2006)
Kalahari diary, South Africa (2005)
Kruger NP, South Africa (2006)
South Africa round trip, South Africa (2007)
Kruger NP, South Africa (2006)
Kruger NP, South Africa (2005)
Sierra de Gredos, Extremadura, Spain (Mai 2006)
Costa Rica, Central America (March 2006)
Helgoland, Germany (April 2005)
Helgoland, Germany (April 2006)
Helgoland, Germany (April 2007)

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
ddouxchamps
03rd Nov 2003
1
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources
03rd Nov 2003
2
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
03rd Nov 2003
3
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
drjimbob Team Member Awarded In Memoriam for  sharing countless hours of his expertise no matter how simple or complex the question, and especially for his eternal good nature.
03rd Nov 2003
4
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
03rd Nov 2003
5
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources
03rd Nov 2003
6
     Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
03rd Nov 2003
7
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
CK Silver Member
15th Jun 2004
8
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
24th Jun 2004
9
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
CK Silver Member
19th Aug 2004
11
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Noel Holland Platinum Member Winner in the Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest
21st Jan 2007
23
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
MikeGraham
31st Jul 2004
10
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
CK Silver Member
19th Aug 2004
12
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Dr Ellen
12th Sep 2004
14
     Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
mrsadie
05th Aug 2008
28
Reply message RE: No Deet on your hands
J C
08th Nov 2004
15
     Reply message RE: No Deet on your hands
CK Silver Member
01st Dec 2004
16
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
CK Silver Member
10th Sep 2004
13
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
CK Silver Member
08th Dec 2004
17
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
redlabel
03rd Jan 2005
18
     Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Firelarz
25th Jan 2006
19
          Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
DavidRamey
25th Jan 2006
20
               Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Firelarz
25th Jan 2006
21
                    Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks
Vermonter
05th May 2006
22
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports.
csgaraglino Silver Member
16th Jan 2008
27
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports.
Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography
28th Feb 2007
24
Reply message RE: We want part 2
JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit.
05th Mar 2007
25
Reply message RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports.
surfgeod200
13th Dec 2007
26
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WarrenWeldon
30th Oct 2009
32
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Jimi Team Member
20th Dec 2009
34
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pinedale
20th Jun 2012
35
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C_Otto Gold Member
05th Jan 2009
29
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rdj999
10th Apr 2009
30
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marianak
08th Jun 2009
31
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tommiejeep Silver Member
25th Nov 2009
33
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MimiLina
30th Aug 2012
36

ddouxchamps Basic MemberMon 03-Nov-03 04:01 PM
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#1. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 0


つくば, JP
          

Hi Phil,

Editing all this material would make a great Nikonian article...
Just a thought for your long winter evenings...

Damien
http://www.tele.ucl.ac.be/PEOPLE/DOUXCHAMPS/photo/photodam.jpg

Damien
A Belgian Nikonian in Japan

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberMon 03-Nov-03 04:11 PM
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#2. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 1


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

An eBook is in the making.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 03-Nov-03 04:13 PM
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#3. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 1


Gent, BE
          

Thanks.
But I have already plenty of work .
No secretary out there who wants to work for free?

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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drjimbob Team Member Awarded In Memoriam for  sharing countless hours of his expertise no matter how simple or complex the question, and especially for his eternal good nature. Charter MemberMon 03-Nov-03 05:53 PM
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#4. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 3


Bowie, US
          

"... I have already plenty of work ..."

Good for you - photographic work or roadside taxidermy?

A BAD DAY BEHIND A NIKON (OR NIKON-HYBRID DSLR) BEATS A GOOD DAY BEHIND A DESK - Bob Tomerlin

A BAD DAY BEHIND A NIKON BEATS A GOOD DAY BEHIND A DESK - Bob Tomerlin
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 03-Nov-03 06:07 PM
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#5. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 4


Gent, BE
          

>Good for you - photographic work or roadside taxidermy?

Hey, scraping rabbits from the concrete takes time you know? }>
... and making it presentable even more

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberMon 03-Nov-03 10:15 PM
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#6. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 3


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Don't worry Phil:
I am doing it. Will just ask you to review it.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberMon 03-Nov-03 10:28 PM
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#7. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 6


Gent, BE
          

With pleasure

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004Tue 15-Jun-04 01:39 AM
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#8. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 1


Mississauga, CA
          

Phil,
A question and another possible entry for the "tricks" book...
Any thoughts on controlling black flies and other flying predators when photographing in the bush? I was photographing moose (and a few fleeting deer) in Algonquin Park (Ontario Canada) this weekend. Within seconds of exiting the car or winding down the window, the black flies were incredible!! Multiple layers of DEET was the only way to go (I don't have a bug shirt - yet!), but that was about triple what the label suggested.
Your thoughts?
CK
A well-bitten Nikonian from Ontario, Canada

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberThu 24-Jun-04 11:41 PM
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#9. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 8


Gent, BE
          

I know an old Scottisch trick because the midges in Scotland (Culicoides Impunctatus) are known to be the most aggressive subspecies in the world.
Simply smoke a BIG cigar .

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004Thu 19-Aug-04 02:50 AM
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#11. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 9


Mississauga, CA
          

Photophil,
Thanks! Now all I have to do is convince my wife that they're really insect repellant.
CK

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

  

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Noel Holland Platinum Member Winner in the Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Charter MemberSun 21-Jan-07 01:29 PM
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#23. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 9


TH
          

When I was a kid in the Western Highlands of Scotland I worked on the roads during the summer before going to university. I helped out as a general labourer and brickies mate. The brick layer I helped used to laugh at me as I suffered under the midges. I asked him how he coped with them and he drew out a tub of cream from his pocket. Inside the tub was a cream made with concentrated eucalyptus oil which he swore was his solution to midges. He may have been right but given the amount of it he used I wouldn't have fancied his chances if there were any lost Koalas out roaming the hills.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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MikeGraham Registered since 25th Oct 2003Sat 31-Jul-04 05:16 PM
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#10. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 8


Caledon, CA
          

>Phil,
>A question and another possible entry for the "tricks"
>book...
>Any thoughts on controlling black flies and other flying
>predators when photographing in the bush?

I, too, am a well-bitten Nikonian from Ontario, Canada, and I was just out today serving up a banquet for the local mosquito population.
I have a bug shirt. A good one. A "Woods", made in Canada. It saves you from the worst of it, for sure. However there are drawbacks. Firstly, you still need gloves. It is mindboggling how many mosquitoes can fit on your hands once they figure out that they can't bite you anywhere else. The second thing is that you can still *hear* the little buggers. I wear ear plugs. Oh, the only other real unavoidable drawback to a bug-shirt is that you are looking through the mesh into the viewfinder. I don't find it to be as much of a problem as you would think it would be, but it's still an issue, particularly if you're using manual focus. Oh yeah... the single worst thing about a bug-shirt is that if you hang your camera around your neck it pulls on the hood of the shirt and just feels annoying. Same with camera bag straps. That having been said, it is far far better than NOT having a bug shirt!
It's somewhat ironic that on my last trip out I was shooting bugs. 8-)

Mike Graham
D100 & Tamron AF28-300 XR
SB-800 speedlight
PB-6 bellows & AF50mm f/1.8D
<http://web.295.ca/mike_graham>;


Mike Graham
D100 & Tamron AF28-300 XR
SB-800 speedlight
PB-6 bellows & AF50mm f/1.8D
<http://web.295.ca/mike_graham>;

  

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CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004Thu 19-Aug-04 02:58 AM
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#12. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 10


Mississauga, CA
          

Mike,
Thanks for the reply. I now have a bug shirt and it works very well. It's just not as much fun as Phil's cigar solution. I've not tried the ear plugs, since I don't mind the buzzing so much when I know they can't get at me. You're right about them getting at the hands -- it's amazing how many can fit on just a few exposed fingers. But when next June rolls around, and the moose and deer are on the move in Algonquin, I won't be the bug bait I was this year.
Take care
CK

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

  

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Dr Ellen Registered since 22nd Aug 2004Sun 12-Sep-04 07:07 PM
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#14. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 8


Williamsburg, US
          

Williamsburg, VA
www.drellenrudolph.com

CK, the first rule of thumb for remote field work -- for both men and women -- is to eliminate all commercial oders from bathsoap, shaving lotion, deodorant, perfume, hairspray, etc.

Buy UNSENTED deodorant and soap. And don't use the other products when you plan to be in the field.

It will cut down on the bothersome flying predators. Multiple layers of DEET on top of multiple layers of scented projects tend to cancel each other out. Deet is not safe in excessive doses, beware. Americans always think that 'more is better' but it isn't in this case.

In Australia the flies were horrific in some areas. We used netting over hats that tied at the neck. That worked very well along with care to eliminate scented personal products.

Williamsburg, VA
www.drellenrudolph.com

  

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mrsadie Registered since 09th Apr 2006Tue 05-Aug-08 01:31 AM
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#28. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 14
Tue 05-Aug-08 01:42 AM by mrsadie

Bayville, US
          

Sorry, but not all of us Americans think more is better, only the stupid ones! Using deet makes you smell like a human, so therefore smart hunters don't use it Netting and getting bit (and sucking it up or staying at home) are the ony way! There are plants that you can use the smoke from to deter the biting it all depends on were your from.(the smoke will also mask the human smell)The area I mostly shoot green flies are the problem. They really hurt when the bite!! Nothing stops them!!

Dennis Bodnar

Remember.....
Practice makes Perfect

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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J C Registered since 21st Apr 2004Mon 08-Nov-04 03:28 AM
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#15. "RE: No Deet on your hands"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Remeber No deet products on the insides of your hands. Deet eats plastic. Most of us own cameras/lens with plastic on it somewhere.

  

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CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004Wed 01-Dec-04 11:10 AM
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#16. "RE: No Deet on your hands"
In response to Reply # 15


Mississauga, CA
          

Thanks for the warning about deet. It's amazing how often I need someone to remind me about what I used to know. I never even thought about the dangers of deet on the inside of my hands, even though a couple of years ago I put some insect repellent in a styrofoam cup and had the entire bottom of the cup dissolve.
Thanks for the reminder!
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

  

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CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004Fri 10-Sep-04 01:35 AM
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#13. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 0


Mississauga, CA
          

Phillipe,
I'm not sure if "trick" is the correct word; perhaps "caution" is more appropriate. And most experienced readers will already be aware of what I'm about to say, but saying it here may help some novices (or inattentive types like myself) retain more keepers. The trick? -- When changing films, never be in such a hurry as to inadvertenly toss a fully exposed role into a canister you had previously marked, "start at #13". When you reach for that cannister a week or so later, you tend to forget what was in it. You wind up with some very interesting shots (23 of them in my case), but like I suggested -- very few keepers.
CK
Nikonian in Ontario
P.S. Anyone know any use for photos of chipmunks morphing into moose??

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

  

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CK Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Apr 2004Wed 08-Dec-04 02:36 AM
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#17. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 0


Mississauga, CA
          

De-scenting,
In his book, "Nature Observation and Tracking", Tom Brown provides many helpful hints for camouflaging clothing, body and scent. Regarding de-scenting, he says that "it's always a good idea to camouflage your secnt before stalking or observing animals at close range." He suggests that a quick way of descenting is to use a natural soap such as pine tar or peppermint. He also suggests rubbing clothing and exposed body parts with aromatic plants such as skunk cabbage, catnip, pine needles and others. But the easiest way is to stand in front of a smoky fire for about 15 minutes, as most animals are accustomed to the smell of smoke and are unalarmed (cigars and cigarettes not included here) as long as the smoke is not accompanied by heat and flames. Tom Brown's methods are obviously not as easy as a spray botle of descenting fluid, but are a little closer to traditional native ways, especially if your camp fires turn out like mine often do!!

Actually I find all of Tom Brown's books fascinating (as is his personal history), with many useful tips regarding hiding, stalking, observing, appreciating, and respecting all aspects of the natural world. Tom's books may not make any of us better photographers, but they can do much to make us better naturalists.

Also check out Tom Brown's "The Science and Art of Tracking" and "Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children". Who knows, teaching them to love and respect nature may be the first step towards encouraging the next generation of wildlife photographers.

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

Take care,
CK
Nikonian in Ontario, Canada

  

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redlabel Registered since 12th Dec 2004Mon 03-Jan-05 05:36 AM
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#18. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 17


Grand Forks, US
          

A great way to learn about getting close to animals would be to study techniques used by bowhunters. Maybe get a subscription to one of their magazines.

They regularly shoot deer at 10-40 yards and see many deer while being undetected.

It is not right to shoot beautiful birds over ugly dogs

  

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Firelarz Registered since 19th Nov 2005Wed 25-Jan-06 12:04 AM
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#19. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 18


Sound Beach, US
          

Here is an idea. As a volunteer firefighter/EMT, we wear gloves all of the time. You might try surgical gloves pulled over the bug shirt. I do not think they can bite through the latex gloves, and it would still give you a good grip and feeling while using them.

Some great ideas here.

Take care, Larz

Do you ever wish you could turn back the clock to right a wrong you did?

  

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DavidRamey Registered since 11th Jan 2006Wed 25-Jan-06 07:17 AM
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#20. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 19


Soldotna, US
          

But do they make latex gloves in camouflage?

David C. Ramey
David Ramey Photography

  

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Firelarz Registered since 19th Nov 2005Wed 25-Jan-06 05:13 PM
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#21. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 20


Sound Beach, US
          

David, not that I know of.They make them in various colors though. One is almost a flesh tone.

Good luck, Larz

Do you ever wish you could turn back the clock to right a wrong you did?

  

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Vermonter Registered since 08th Apr 2006Fri 05-May-06 12:54 AM
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#22. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks"
In response to Reply # 21


US
          

As for scents, many purists state that game is spooked by man-made smells. This IS true, but more importantly pay attention to the wind. It's direction will change with the time (temperature) of the day.

As for black flies, and this has something to do with the statement above since none of the insect repellants are "natural", Bounce sheets used in the clothes dryer are very effective. Not so much for mosquitoes though.

Squeeze don't push!

Scott

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 16-Jan-08 02:25 PM
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#27. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 0


Colorado Springs, US
          

It was said once here, and then ignored, but in all reality no matter how much some may dispute the "Hunting" aspect of wildlife, it exists and will more than likely not go away. Hunters have been hunting since the dawn of time, and I suspect will continue till the end of time.

Ok, with that out of the way, why not do as the hunters do, are we not actually hunting as well? We as wildlife photographer we hunt, (to pursue with intent to capture).

So, what does a modern Bowhunter or Black Powder hunter do? Well as an avid Hunter (Bow & Black Powder) and Photographer, I have a couple of tips I would like to throw out on the table. These are ideas, opinions and tips are from the past decade of my hunting experiences and outfitting here in Colorado. Hunting is what actually got me into photography 5 years ago. As a point of reference, these tips have worked to the extreme that I have been able to get with in 9 yards of a Mountain Lion, as well as many other wild animals.

First and foremost, it takes two senses, and only two, to spook most wildlife (this is the majority of the rule, there are always exceptions). What does that mean, exactly? If an Elk only sees you, he will more then likely investigate and not run. If he only smells you, he will more than likely investigate and not run. If he hears you, he will more than likely investigate and not run. Put any two of these together, and poof... He’s gone!

So let’s look at these three "controllable" variables. (Scent, Sight & Sound)
Scent; with today’s technology there are a number of products available out there to help in this area.
First, do your best to use the wind in your favor. Remember that heat rises and cold falls. As the sun is coming up in the morning, and the temperature is rising, heat rises from the valleys to the ridges. If you are in the bottom of the valley, your scent will rise with the heat. Likewise when the temperature drops, if you are on top of the valley in the evening when the sun is going down, your scent will go down into the valleys with it.

Make yourself a wind-checker. Get a box of powdered corn starch from the grocery store and put it into a small plastic bottle. Squeeze the bottle and watch the direction of the puffed powder. (Corn starch is non-scented) Use this to keep the wind in your face.

As for scent elimination, there is no possible way to eliminate or cover the human scent 100%. However, you can change the intensity of your scent, thus "fooling" wildlife to think you are farther away than you actually are. Wildlife, when by design uses scent as a warning mechanism, knows from experience, how close a human is by the intensity of this scent. A wild black bear in Colorado can smell food from up to 40 miles away (source: Colorado Division of Wildlife). By changing the amount of scent dispersed from your body or equipment, and wildlife does catch your scent, their brain will assume you are farther away, at safe distance, and generally not spook. In some cases, I have seen Elk, Deer, Bear and Mountain Lion actually come in closer to investigate! Yes, using non-scented soaps is good, but not good enough. They don’t add any additional scent to your clothes or body, but they also don’t remove any of your existing human scent. Today’s bio-technology is invaluable! Robinson Labs makes a few products that I won’t go into the woods without. The Scent Shield (Hunter’s Bodyguard) product line contains non-scented soaps, but also has micro-biological enzymes that “eat” the human bacteria that cause human odors. Sounds gross, but it actually works.

Next, is the Scent Blocker line of clothing; these are carbon lined clothes that “absorb” human scent. Again changing the intensity of the scent your body gives off. The other benefits of these clothes, is that they come in different camouflage patterns to match your environment. The idea behind the patterns are to “break-up” your human form to an unrecognizable form. These are also made with super-soft materials to help soften the sounds that walking and moving can make, the quieter the better. Blinds and Decoys are also good tactics.

Robinson Labs: http://www.robinsonoutdoors.com

So, now you have changed the intensity of your scent, broken-up your natural form, are as quiet as possible and the wind is in your face; are you ready for the shot? Well, yes and no? You are if the wildlife happens to be grazing in your direction, or if you have spent months “pattering” the animal’s habits. Or, you can drop into one of the many free outdoor calling seminars, pick up a DVD or ask a hunter to show you haw to “talk” to wildlife. Learn some very basic communication skills for the species that you are going after. Calling, be it Elk, Ducks, Turkeys, Fox, Rabbits or Coyotes, is easy with a little practice. Mostly you want to learn what to “say” not necessarily how to say it. For instance, learning a Lost Calf call will get a Cow Elk to investigate most every time. I have actually had Elk here in Colorado come up to me to smell me to try to figure out what I am!

The catch, oh yeah, there is always a catch, is what I mentioned in the beginning. Getting the shot off with out the wildlife putting two of the variable together is not as easy as it may sound. If your smell intensity is minimized, and you don’t move, and they can’t hear you (typically) a wild animal will actually walk right up to you. I will caution you on this with the note that when you do move (and you will) and/or you make a sound (and you will) the wild in wildlife will come out and they will more than likely panic. Just don’t be in the escape route!

This is enough for now, if this post doesn’t torque anybody off, and you guys want Part II (using the above techniques to get the shot), let me know and I’ll post here in this thread.

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
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Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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Photophil Awarded for his valuable contributions to the Resources, most notably in Wildlife Photography Basic MemberWed 28-Feb-07 08:55 AM
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#24. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 27


Gent, BE
          

Hi Chris,

Those are great tips .
Indeed, most of the wildlife photographer's tricks to get close to wildlife comes from hunters. Although I'm not a hunter, I have a certain "hunting instinct" and it really makes my day if I can outsmart a shy fox or a roe deer. When using infrared beams to capture badgers, it even requires trapper's skills.
For me at least, the preparation, observation and planning a strategy accounts for most of the fun in my wildlife photography. Getting the actual picture is just the "icing on the cake" .

Cheers,
Philippe

WILDEYES / ARTERRA
Before You Attempt To Beat The Odds. Be Sure You Could Survive The Odds Beating You.

  

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JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Mon 05-Mar-07 10:29 AM
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#25. "RE: We want part 2"
In response to Reply # 27


Seattle, WA, US
          

Lots of good stuff there. Thanks!

As a long-time shooter of both cameras and firearms, the holding and bracing techniques are similar to both, also.

---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, TC20e3,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

  

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surfgeod200 Registered since 28th Dec 2006Thu 13-Dec-07 05:26 PM
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#26. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 27


Houston, US
          

in the off chance you guys are still reading this - do you have any advice for scent blocking well after showering??? i am planning a week in the backcountry with no facilities so i am sure i will get quite ripe. i see robinsons has wipes and sprays and was wondering if you have any advise on what works best.

is a non-scented deodorant advisable?

  

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WarrenWeldon Registered since 01st Jun 2009Fri 30-Oct-09 05:06 PM
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#32. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 27


Albuquerque, US
          

I know this is an old thread but I just HAD to chime in. I agree the techniques for hunting wildlife for food or photo are the same. I have spent most my life feeding myself in Alaska on a subsistence lifestyle. Here are a couple tips I have used in feeding myself and now feeding my camera.
First if you are to be successful intend on spending a lot of "still" time. This almost always for me is either hunkered down in the leaves using "animal in distress calls" to call in predators or in a tree. Be careful on ground cover, in Alaska we would buddy hunt as some (most) predators like wolves and fox will many times circle you and come up behind. you and your buddy get into position so you can keep an eye on each others surroundings.
We cover up in the snow in winter.
Covering yourself with store bought scents is not the way. Anything foreign to the area will arose attention. Rub down in what is available.
I have a set of gear that I keep "dirty" these I in the shed so they do not get any scents are are constantly airing out as for smoke just a small amount of ash from you wood stove will work if you can't build a campfire. I also roll it in any ground cover that is precent where I am hunting.
Don't use dryer sheets or anything but a cap-full of castile soap and a lot of water in the washer and double rinse on any of your socks underwear etc.etc.
I try to layer up thin layers to keep body odor from reaching the outer suit which helps it scent free.
Be mindful of the state hunting laws are far as scents that are meant to lure wildlife!
The Alaska fish and Wildlife officers use Popped Popcorn to attract bears BUT if you set out a bait station it must be registered and marked with the permit even if it is for Photography, as a hunter could be in the vicinity as well.
As for bugs in Alaska we will use netting and when it is real bad and if Deet is used it is best to spray down your hat so it doesn't get all over your skin. Clothing with Deet is better than putting it on your skin. Also the coils that you put on your wrist or ankles work very well and can be put on pack straps etc. .
depending on what I am after I may use an old Gilly suit i have from the military that you can now buy at Cabela's or Army surplus stores. These are sniper suits that have made their way into hunting.
Also dung is another great and instant way to mask yourself . (pick a ruminant) .
Never take "New" gear without getting it a good de-scenting. If it is a pack I will go ahead and wash it however is acceptable but generally with Castile soap and water by hand and then give it a little ash/smoke treatment.
I will use some fresh bark once i get to the woods and give it a rub down, nothing to vigorous just give it a good scent. If you are lucky enough to be around trees with pitch then these are great.
In rutting season we will take the biggest stick ,and I do mean big here, we can swing and pound it crashing in to a standing tree trunk and as long as the stick you are using is solid and not rotting it will send a loud thud out do this several times every few minutes in Moose country and you may get a huge bull moose into investigate. If you are around deer use a set of antlers to call bucks in to join the fight. Elk love their calls !!! And it does not take much to learn.
I love to use rabbit in distress calls and burrow myself in the leaves etc.with the Gilley suit you never know what will come in. I have even had Raptors come in but not very close as they have great eyes and they do not go for anything they can't a VFR on.
I also camouflage everything and keep in mind that YOUR LENSES LOOKS LIKE A BIG EYEBALL to an animal so keep it under wraps till you need it!! It also can send a flash of light if in the sun just right as well as can your eyeglasses, watch etc.
Once you get to know your area and the habits and usual habitats of your prey then you will get closer and closer. Sometimes you just get lucky and sight something on your walk in-out-or-just-about.
If you live in an area with Red Bugs, Chiggers, Ticks and fleas then do what we did in the military while training. We would use powdered Sulphur in a large garbage bag, use a couple table spoons and "Shake and Bake" you outer clothing in it. Also make sure that you tuck your pants legs into your lace-up high top boots as well as tucking in your shirt and wear a turtle neck or bandana around you neck , but check it often. as red bugs like to get under those area. the bandana on your neck will stop them from getting down your shirt, hopefully. I buy this Sulphur from the drug store, ask for the powder or you'll be smashing it.
Keep hydrated and take what you need as far as snacks . the more comfortable you are the longer you can stay out.
It is amazing what you will see after you are still and quiet, just about anywhere you are at!


Warren

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Jimi Team Member Nikonian since 09th Nov 2006Sun 20-Dec-09 05:52 PM
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#34. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 32


South Lake Tahoe, US
          

I agree with a lot of what has been written about how hunting and wildlife photography has similarities. I use a different technique instead of all the scent/camo stuff. I let the animals know I'm there and try to get into their 'rhythm'.

The one difference between hunting and photography is that in hunting, you only need one shot. While in photography, you want to spend quality time with your subject making many images. If you sneak up on your 'prey', scent free, camo'd out, or if you stay very still, wait for them to come near because they can't smell or see you, then you move your hand or arm to click the shutter, or when the shutter goes off much louder then ever before because you've been so quiet, your subject spooks. Flight or fight. That's the only two responses from a startled animal.

Okay, so what am I missing?

Yes Chris, I would be interested in part deux.

Jim Stamates
Nikonians Academy Workshop Instructor

http://www.nikoniansacademy.com
http://stamates.com/blog
http://www.stamates.com

  

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pinedale Registered since 01st Jun 2012Wed 20-Jun-12 12:24 AM
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#35. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 34


US
          

I realize this is an old topic but since I'm new to the forum, there are no old topics for me. From reading the various posts, I haven't seen any mention of the Thermacell products. It uses a pad that is heated up via an included butane cartridge. I've used them on a couple of bear hunts in Canada and they have worked fantastically in the right situation. The user needs to be in a stationary position for it to work properly. I've been able to sit in a stand for hours with no gloves or headnet needed. The added bonus is there is no chemical on your hands and body to deal with. It's primarily a mosquito repellant and does give off a faint odor but I don't believe it would affect game sighting much. Available at most sporting goods stores and online.

  

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C_Otto Gold Member Nikonian since 12th Apr 2002Mon 05-Jan-09 01:13 PM
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#29. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 0


Manchester, US
          

I hadn't seen this thread before and I want to thank Photophil for taking time to put it together. While I have I am a neophyte compared to him, I do have some comments about Tips & Tricks, though.

"Luring passerines": In the U.S., anyway, the use of playing recordings of bird calls to lure birds is a hot topic among birders and codes of birding ethics deprecate their usage. I'm not taking sides but I want to point out that spring migration brings out birders in droves and it is better to have their cooperation in spotting birds than being surrounded by them lecturing you about birding ethics violations.

"Dragonflies": In my experience, dragonflies have a comfort zone but many will return to the exact same spot the just vacated if you step back. The trick I use is to get just to the edge of that zone, inching my toes forward so there is no sudden movement. then slowly leaning forward from the waist to get the lens closer. I also find that with the lens hood on, I was apt to get so close that I brush the plant the dragonfly has chosen, so I simply remove it when I chase them.

There was a lot of discussion in replies about flies, midges and mosquitoes and how to avoid being bothered by them. I want to add that in the U.S. (I can't speak about other areas), one needs to be very careful about ticks (Lyme Disease, etc.). Many of the bird banders I know swear by anti-tick clothing. I will suggest that whatever clothes you wear should tight-fitting. Tuck your pant legs into high socks, wear long-sleeved shirts with tight cuffs and close-fitting necks, wear a hat and be sure to inspect your body closely when you get back to your base.

Cliff
Manchester, NH, USA

  

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rdj999 Registered since 23rd Jan 2009Fri 10-Apr-09 05:17 PM
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#30. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 29


Leesburg, US
          

I found this thread (glad I did!) before posting an article in the New to Photography forum about some of the risks of Lyme Disease in particular. Cliff, I quoted your last paragraph in that post because I didn't know there was such a thing as anti-tick clothing!

-^-rdj-^-
Dan Johnson
Leesburg, VA

  

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marianak Registered since 15th Jan 2009Mon 08-Jun-09 08:48 PM
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#31. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 30


ZA
          

I have been following the discussion with interest, especially the local flavours reflecting the different environments.

Being a girl with African roots myself, we take our anti-bug spray very serious, locally you can even get anti-tick spray to spray on you clothes.

I love the African bush but hate the little critters.

We typically go away for a week to 10 days a couple of times a year, and this is typically on my list:

1. Make sure cameras is packed, memory cards clean, batteries charged, tripod and monopod packed. I use a monopod on the vehicle for more stability, I have not been able to use a beanbag successfully on the open vehicle.
2. Become part of the environment ( no bright colours, a wardrobe that allows me to spend 10 days in the bush with my khaki and camouflage.Believe it or not but it gets cool in winter and the wind chill on an open vehicle is down right chilly, so layer, it is easy to warm up or cool down, especially if you are out in the bush for hours)
3. Wear comfortable shoes ( my "vellies" might not be the height of fashion but I can do anything with them, walk, run even climb trees)
4. Sunscreen and hat ( the African sun can be very harsh)
5. Anti bug lotion/spray, preferable some lemongrass or citronella oil, more natural than DEET and it doesn't eat away your equipment
6. Leather bracelets with lemongrass oil or citronella oil and replenish with oil every day
7. Soap - use lemongrass soap
8. Doom coils - to burn in the rooms or tents, kills and keep the mosquitoes away
9. Malaria prophylaxis - I use Malanil as I have terrible side effects from some of the others
10. Wear long pants after hours and when walking in the bush. Always but always check for ticks after a walk..... I have had tick-bite fever twice...not an experience to repeat
11. Mosquito nets - make sure they don't harass you at night, especially in autumn, spring and summer, it is too hot to sleep in an enclosed area
12. Extra lights - some of our favourite camps have no electricity and very importantly a strong spotlight for any encroaching animals in the middle of the night
13. Water - depending on where you go there might not be clean drinking water, so you need take enough for the duration of your stay. Always keep a bottle with you to prevent dehydration.
14. Batteries - for camera, flashlights, etc. you can not necessary recharge due to lack of electricity.... I have yet to run out on battery life even with a whole week in the bush, but then I have double of everything and one spare (n+2)
15 Good first aid kit - take everything you might require plus some more, during the week someone will have a tummy bug, flu, need a plaster, etc.
16. Snake and scorpion identification book ( goes with no 15 above, extrapolation of Murphy's law: if you have it you won't need it )
17. Matches, fire for food and tea
18. Rules of the bush: never run when you see one of the cats, but if the guide says run or climb a tree you look for the nearest tree
19. Always check your bed for any unwanted guest before you get in.
20. Be aware of your environment, check the spoor/ tracks and behaviour of the animals around you.

In Africa the mosquitos is not just a pain , the threat of malaria is very real with millions of people still dying every year. So I do take extra care with the family.

Looking at this list it sounds terrible but we really love it, we would typically be a group of about 10 people (ranging from 14 years, my youngest daughter. to 78, my father-in-law) to go. I do wish it is not just a 3-4 weeks a year thing but full-time. If you think this is bad you must see the grocery and drinks list for a group of 10 people for a week.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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tommiejeep Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2008Wed 25-Nov-09 04:32 AM
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#33. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 25-Nov-09 04:48 AM by tommiejeep

Goa, IN
          

FWIW...lesson learned the hard way..
The family just came back from a trip to shoot Tigers and other wildlife in Central India. All shooting done from Safari Jeeps.

I asked about taking the 500vr on several forums including a couple of Indian forums. Consensus was that the 500vr and a Beanbag was really worthwhile.

So after lugging the lens on two flights to get there(with gear for all three of us) I found that very few of the jeeps were configured for beanbag use and we did not get one on any of our trips. Also in India driver and Guide are mandatory plus how ever many shooters.

My understanding is that most safaris now are from vehicles only(I do know there are exceptions in Africa).

Word to the wise...try and find out exactly how your vehicles are going to be configured. The 500vr was only taken out once and not used(Driver, Guide and 4 shootres maxed out the space). My eight year old was the only one that could have used a beanbag because he is short but he did not need one for his D40x and 70-300vr!
Cheers,
Tom

Manuel Sousa - alias... T.D.Hardin
http://taja.smugmug.com/
http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/165169

  

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MimiLina Registered since 30th Aug 2012Thu 30-Aug-12 05:29 AM
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#36. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

View great photos of wildlife, got a lot of impressions!

  

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