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Gary Detonnancourt

Harrisville, RI 02830
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More Than A Snapshot provides online photography education.

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This is the blog for More Than A Snapshot's Online Photography Classes.  In these blog posts I will give photography tips, tutorials, and show images.

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Why I Love Wildlife Photography

Gary Detonnancourt

Guest Blog Post by Nancy Marshall

My interest in photography started in High School with a Nikon FILM camera. Eight years ago I purchased my 1st DSLR, a Nikon D70s and now shoot with the Nikon D810. I have explored all avenues of photography including portraits, macro, landscape, etc. but it is with Nature and Wildlife that I have found my passion.

Red Fox Mother

Recently I was blessed and privileged to spend time with a Red Fox family. For 3 days I watched, photographed, and just enjoyed being in the presence of these amazing creatures. The kits would run, play, sleep, and explore while waiting for Mama to return from hunting. When she did return, it was a mad dash to get to her for nourishment since they were all nursing. To witness such an event was beyond exciting and memorable.

When photographing wildlife one must remember, IT IS WILDLIFE! Keep your distance and give them their space. So often, I have seen people approaching wild animals and infringing on their territory. This could prove dangerous for both you and them! This holds especially true if there are youngsters involved. Getting too close puts undo stress on the youngsters as well as the parents.

Nursing Kits.

As you can see from the above photos Mom and kits are quite comfortable going about their activities. All of these images were taken from a comfortable distance with a telephoto lens and cropped! I personally would never compromise the welfare of an animal for the sake of an image.

This image was taken at 600mm with an ISO of 500, Aperture 6.3 with a shutter speed of 1/3200 freezing the action, catching the kits running and playing.

When photographing wildlife I usually shoot in aperture priority maintaining an F/stop around 7.1/ 8. I have found that is a “sweet” spot with my lens. ISO depending on how bright the day is will be 400-500. The key is to stop action so it is important for the shutter speed to be fast.

Photographing wildlife takes patience and perseverance. Sometimes it really is a waiting game but the rewards can be immeasurable. Sit, watch, listen, and learn their movements and habits! Once you observe your subject for some time you will be able to anticipate their actions therefore giving you a much better chance at capturing a memorable image. And sometimes those memories are not meant to be captured digitally but meant solely for your memory.

Get out there, it is a wonderful world we live in and I can guarantee once you “tune in” you will SLOW DOWN, become more and more aware of your surroundings and all the beauty it has to offer.

Portrait of Mama, ISO 500, f/7.1, 1/3200 at 600 mm and cropped.