Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 29/04/2011

Location, Location, Location.


As with houses, so with photography, the right location can make or break a photo. It’s not always that easy when photographing wildlife of course as creatures tend to have their own agenda, rather than a script, and it’s often difficulty or impossible to lure them to just the right spot, but when you can or the animals decides to under it’s own accord, then the results speak for themselves.

Most people forget about backgrounds when taking photos; these are as important as the subject itself. How many time have you looked back over family photos to see a lamppost seemingly sticking out of someone’s head, or a branch turning a family member into a demon?

I’ve found using a tripod helps me slow down my photography allowing me time to note the whole of the frame, not must the subject.

Another big help is the 600mm lens; as you may have seen from a number of my photos, if Dear Reader you’ve been paying attention, that a lot of them have a solid coloured background. This is down to a number of factors that combined into what is called Depth of Field, these being focal length of the lens, the aperture and the distance from the subject.

Luckily I didn’t have to rely on the lens for this photo too much (after all that waffle!). Taken at London Zoo, in a walk in aviary, the hornbill kept flying to specific spots where Superb Starlings were perching (which for some reason I ALWAYS want to call Brilliant Starlings (aren’t starlings Brilliant, they’re like birds and that)). One of the branches allowed me a good clear shot of the bird, but I was still in a caged environment, so why does it not look like it? Well, that’s where the Depth of Field comes in, the netting of the cage was far enough away from the bird that when photographed appeared to disappear (glad you were paying attention earlier now, aren’t you!).

The blue is the blue of the sky on the particularly hot day I visited the zoo – and just goes to show it doesn’t always rain in the UK.

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