Introducing ‘In the Wild’

I’ve recently started to get my feet wet in wildlife photography…well, mostly bird photography with a hope to expand to wild animals.

Already I’ve come to realize that wildlife photography is more about technique when compared with, say, landscape or even street photography. It’s a function of three factors – the subject, the environment and the equipment.

With jittery subjects like birds, hopping across branches between sunlight and shade, it’s sometimes a herculean task to track it through the lens. Framing and then tracking such quick moving subjects through a long telephoto lens is hard. Their sometimes erratic movement prove to be a challenge for the best of camera autofocus systems – never before have I experimented so much between the 9 – 21 – 51 point focus on my camera. Getting the right exposure is no easy task – its always about keeping the shutter speed fast enough to freeze motion but slow enough to get the lowest ISO. More often than not, wildlife photography is a high-ISO game. Post-processing plays a significant role too – almost all my photographs underwent cropping, de-noising and other tweaks.

Since this is a new kind of photography for me, I think it is a good idea to maintain a photographic timeline of sorts to document my learnings which hopefully will show a gradual increase in quality as the timeline grows.

Another reason I got into wildlife photography is to learn more about them – to be able to get close to a bird or an animal you need to understand its behavior. After photographing a bird, researching it to identify it and in the process learning about its habits, its habitat, behavior etc. is as much fun as the photography itself. This timeline will help me catalog the birds and wildlife I photograph.

Lastly, since this is after all primarily a photography blog, the timeline will also help showcase some of my better efforts.

In the Wild – a new section on this blog is that timeline. Instead of grouping photos by species or by outing, it has a separate post for each significant or good photograph. Each post sets the stage for the photograph and includes my critical comments. Your critiques are welcome.