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Wildlife Photography Fieldcraft by Susan Young

Obregon Obregon

Is from: New York City, US
3033 posts

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Obregon Moderator Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.  Charter Member
Sun 20-Nov-22 06:08 AM
F/8 and be there.

This statement, often attributed to the press photographer Weegee, is just as important for nature photographers. You have to be where the wildlife is to photograph it. Lots of books will tell you how to use your camera for composition and exposure, but this is one of the few to tell you how to be there. Unfortunately it has one glaring problem.

The book is divided into sections on how to find the right spot for birds, mammals, dragonflies and butterflies and other animals as well as short sections on both camera and fieldcraft equipment. While the author is a bit pedestrian in her approach this would be a good book, especially for beginners, except…

The book is aimed solely at Great Britain. It mentions specific spots but they are all in that island across the sea from me. There are discussions of approach techniques for specific birds, but they all have names that are different for those we use in North America. The book discusses mammals never seen here and leaves out common North American animals. You can translate some of the information, like the differences between following the animals and waiting for them to approach you, but 85% of the content is specific to the island.

There are a few things I would disagree with. For example Young only suggests that the new purchaser consider buying a mirrorless camera. The DSLR ship has sailed. If you already have one, use it. If you are buying a new camera, go mirrorless.

Young spends a lot of time explaining how to construct a semi-permanent hide. I would rather have had her spend more time explaining more portable choices. (For what it’s worth, although I have a highly portable hide, I’ve only used it twice. I found sitting still and low in the right place has given me great shots because I’ve learned where to sit still and low.)

To our cousins, this is a good book. I wish we could get the same coverage for North America.