Doug Gardner

Photographing Bull Elk, Antelopes, and Bighorn Sheep

Doug Gardner
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Duration:   17  mins

Wildlife photography isn’t for the impatient. Photographers Doug Gardner and Jared Lloyd show you how to photograph wildlife. In this session they demonstrate how staying the course and waiting for the right moment can result in stunning photos, whether you’re photographing a bull elk in the snow or a bighorn sheep in a brushy area where you’re waiting for a little color to brighten up the scene.

Patience is key in wildlife photography. While photographers Jared Lloyd and Doug Gardner are shown capturing photos of a number of impressive wild animals in this session taking place in Yellowstone National Park, everything isn’t in real time. Finding the animals and setting up the shots takes time, patience, and preparedness.

A good photo of a wild animal could take days as you learn its pattern and anticipate when and where it will show up. Even when you find the animal, waiting until it’s in an optimal spot with an interesting background has considerable value. In this session, Doug and Jared are able to get gorgeous shots of a bull elk on the third day of tracking him.

Safety is also a consideration when dealing with large wild animals, which can attack if they feel threatened. The photographers, stressing the importance of staying aware of your surroundings, wrap up their photos of the elk as several bison start to come into the scene.

Act Quickly for Great Winter Wildlife Shots

When you do find the perfect opportunity you need to act quickly, adjusting your camera settings, positioning yourself, and framing the photo. White snow and a bright sky can make a shot tricky, but Doug notes that you can compensate by going for a wider shot, letting the environment complement the animal. There’s another benefit as well, because environmental photos like these generally sell at higher prices than tighter shots because they have more applications.

Carry a tripod for some shots, but you will probably want to get a handheld perspective with your camera at times. In this session, you’ll learn the proper techniques to hold a long lens with your handheld camera and follow the animals with your upper body rather than using arm movement.



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