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Look For The Different In Wildlife

Wildlife photography is one of the most rewarding themes to photograph and it can also be one of the most challenging at the same time. When we shoot wildlife, we tend to do the obvious and there is nothing wrong with that at all, as I also do that.What I mean by the obvious is the classic portraits and poses.

If you want your wildlife photography to go up another level, then it is good to see beyond the standard picture.

In my workshops I encourage people to look beyond the standard shot and to look for something different about the animal to photograph. People will always remember something different about the animal if it and usually it will leave a smile on their faces.

Thank back to all of the wildlife shots that you remember. The shots that leave a lasting impact on us are the shots that have the animal doing something from the different to the quirky.

So what are the things that you can look for to be different.It could be animals scratching themselves, sticking their tongues out at you, cleaning each other and so on.. The following images are just a sample of shooting wildlife that is a little different. I love the shot below as the shot tells a lot about Rosepetal and myself.

I just love my back being scratched. Seriously I can’t get enough of it and I’m very blessed to have a wonderful partner who actually does scratch my back. I’m very spoilt in this way and this pic just reminds me of the blessings that I receive from my awesome partner. Rosepetal ( Vicki) is one very special person who has the best heart and soul of anyone I have been with or have known..

Over 30 years of taking pictures I could post thousands of pics but these are a smiles of what I’m taking about.

Now in order to capture something different, you need to have patience with the wildlife. It won’t happen if you are in a hurry.

Good wildlife shots will not come if you don’t have the time or patience. Recently I ran a day workshop for a couple who wanted to improve their animal photography. One of the things that I stressed to them was the two things that you need  to be able to capture stunning and different pictures of wildlife- That is is time and patience. It is not rocket science, it is that simple. How many have patience and time? If you do then you are off and running and it is only time when you will be rewarded.

It is when you are prepared to wait and spend time with the wildlife that you will see that “ different shot” It is that simple. the next steps that you need to take is know the best camera settings that you need to be able to capture that moment.

With the Blue Monkey , there were so many shots that I could have added for this blog as their facial expressions were gold and one can imagine the captions that you could add to this series of pics. In total I had 10 pics which all had facial expressions that set the shot as being ” the different.”

The other thing that you need to keep in mind when shooting is to every now and again , take the camera away from your head and look beyond where you had the camera focused on. Look to see if there are other animals to look at, to see if they are doing the wired and crazy things. That seems obvious I know but you will be surprised how many people don’t. They look through their camera and that is where the eyes stay, pressed up against the eye piece.

Allow your eyes to scout around and see. Time, patience will deliver you rewards.

When you discipline yourself to observe for a while, you will soon pick up the animals behavior patterns and in time, there will be some things where you’ll be able to predict when the animals will turn, run, get up and fly and so on.

Did you know that the adult elephant penis is 27 kilograms. Even a shot like this is telling a story and it reflects life.

There is a monkey called the Vervet Monkey and its special feature are the bright blue testicles. The challenge is always to capture these bright blue balls. They are so different and if you are patient enough, you will get it.This is not an outstanding picture but it does tell part of the story. These monkeys don’t stand still for very long so you have to be very quick to capture them on your memory card.

Zebras will always give you action to capture. When I take guests to Africa, I’m always stressing to my guests keep a look out for the Zebra as they are so aggressive towards each other. They are always picking fights with each other and you can always be certain at some stage they will have a go at each other.

If you are wanting to freeze  action shots, then you will need to make sure that your camera has the capabilities to do that. You will need to do your home work.It also comes down to know what your camera can or can’t do and your own knowledge about your camera.

That’s another story .

I can’t stress enough that once you have the patience and the time, make sure you know your gear and what it can do. I can’t stress that enough. This will also help you in your ability to capture that ” different shot” Know the relationship between aperture, ISO and shutter speed and they all control light. Light is the key in any picture that we take.

The modern cameras are getting so much better on the higher ISO’s which means it allows for scope for taking pics when the light is low.





This is a  simple shot of the baby elephant and what is appealing with this shot is the cuteness of the baby elephant and that the shot shows movement. This also shows the coordination or lack of coordination of the animal , depending the stage of the animal.

The key is always never to give up. The more you put yourself in the position with the animals, as I mentioned before, you will learn the animals behavior and that will be  large step forward in getting that different shot. There are shots that you can just be there at the right time and not a lot of thought needs to be put into it apart from being ready and knowing your camera settings.

Kangaroos are a wonderful subject to wait for ” the different” as they have so many wonderful facial expressions.Once again, if you wait and observe, you will be rewarded. I can’t stress that  enough.

Getting low to give you a point of difference in the shot that is ” the different” will always be a effective as most people take their shots standing up.

Observe and observe and observe and be patient and it will happen for you. Pete:)

” Remember , the shot doesn’t come to you, you go to it” Pete Dobré

Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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