Photographing Wild Coyote

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Photographing coyotes and moose can be exciting. In the early stages of winter, outdoor photographer Doug Gardner tracks a coyote trotting along a frozen river, and he captures awesome images. He uses his telephoto lens and adds a teleconverter to bring the coyote closer into the frame. You will learn that stacking teleconverters is an excellent method in capturing portraits of a wild animal. You will also learn to disguise your presence with camouflage and to stay upwind of the coyote. If it senses your odor, the animal will take off and head for cover.

Since the coyote is moving under low gray light, Doug sets the ISO at 1000, his exposure at 1/500th to stop the action, and the f-stop at 5.6 to blur the background. He spot meters on the sagebrush neutral tones, and lowers his exposure enough to compensate for the white snow. When the coyote comes within a hundred yards, Doug begins shooting, keeping his creative concentration only on focus and composition. He makes multiple exposures of the coyote along the river bank before it disappears into the trees.

Later in the day, Doug moves to higher ground and encounters three bull moose grazing in the valley. The sun is shining, and contrast becomes a problem, the dark moose against the bright, golden sagebrush. You will learn that patience is the key, that waiting until the moose turn their heads into the sunlight can make for dramatic portraits. By using slight underexposure, Doug drops the moose into silhouette, the rich blue of the Teton mountains as background. The goal is to create an environmental portrait by including a sense of place where the animal lives. Join pro shooter Doug Gardner for his expertise on photographing coyotes and moose in the magic light of early winter.

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MORE IN THIS COURSE:

Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park – Course Preview
Photographing Bison in the Wild
Photographing Wild Coyote
Tips for Photographing Moose in their Natural Habitat
Tips for Photographing and Capturing Wildlife