Sunday, May 23, 2010

Coastal Photo Expedition: Part 5

It's pretty much a universal rule: the professional wildlife photographers carry the "big glass." The Canon 500mm f4, for instance, is probably the most popular lens among wildlife photographers.

(This is not me by the way...)


If you think the size is daunting, go look up the price! This is a lens that resides in the land of dreams and wishes (for me at least).

For my trip to the coast I needed to rent a quality lens that wouldn't break the budget, so I went with this guy's younger brother - the Canon 300mm f4 with a 1.4x teleconverter (which multiplies the focal length of the lens by a factor of 1.4, giving this setup a reach of 420mm). Since I don't get out to do wildlife photography very often, it wasn't worth my money at that point to go buy myself a telephoto lens like the 300mm, so I rented it from a great company called LensRentals.com. Check them out, they have a great selection!

Here are the lenses I brought with me: (left to right) Canon 300mm f4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter, Canon 24-105mm f4L





As expected the 300mm performed extremely well. I could go on and on about how much I like it, but I'll spare you for now :)


I learned several lessons about equipment and photography in general during this trip.

1) Just because you are using "professional" gear does not guarantee that you will get "professional" looking photos. The camera is only as good as the photographer.

2) Wildlife photography is usually 'uncomfortable'. You have to work to get the shot you want because your subject will rarely cooperate - and sometimes that means getting down in the mud or sand, or enduring swarms of bloodthirsty mosquitoes to get the shot...

3) Visualize the photos you want before you get out in the field. It may be difficult at first, but if you have at least a general idea of what you want to shoot your chances of getting "the shot" improve dramatically.

4) No matter how many images you shoot, expect that very few will ultimately turn out. This isn't a bad thing. It means you're holding yourself to a high standard (just make sure it's not too high!), and are willing to "fail" repeatedly until you get the shot you envision.

1 comment:

Josiah Woltersdorf said...

Your new watermark is great with the bird. very professional.