Video: Photography Tip for Shooting Wildlife

Candice Gaukel Andrews June 12, 2014 4
National Geographic photographer in a car

A car is not only a terrific blind, a window can double as a stabilizing camera mount.

As wildlife enthusiasts, we’ve probably all done it: tried to sneak up on an unsuspecting animal so that we could get a better photographic shot. While you and I would never pursue a wild animal or harass one, we both know what’s it’s like to want to want to get “just an inch or two closer” to achieve a spectacular image.

Although I’m certainly not a professional photographer, taking pictures is a hobby of mine when I travel. I’ve even taken a wildlife photography tour. What I’ve noticed over the years, however, is that no matter how many times I hit the trail, most of my best shots have been taken from van or car windows.

Some people tend to feel they’re “cheating” when getting shots from the warmth of a vehicle; that they should be outside in the elements and suffering to earn their photo of a lifetime. I’m happy to learn that the National Geographic photographer in the video below — who has a lot of experience photographing African wildlife on the Serengeti Plains — agrees with me: shots from the car can turn out to be some of your personal best. Cars make excellent blinds; and in our national parks, animals will often accept the presence of an automobile but refuse to tolerate humans on two feet.

View the video, and then release forever your photography-from-the-car-window guilt. I encourage you to go out and take a drive somewhere on our beautiful planet, safely pull over, shut off the engine, relax, and wait. Something worthwhile is certain to pass by.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,

Candy

4 Comments »

  1. Mary Martin Weyand June 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Candice! This is a refreshing perspective from a grand talent! I’ve heard some Nat Geo Photographers in person, and find them all credible and incredible people!

  2. John E. Riutta June 18, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I haven’t done much out-the-window photography since obtaining disastrous results from attempting to photograph prairie chickens through a pick-up truck window in the early dawn light of a very windy Nebraska morning. In truth, I’ve always been more of an “on the ground” sort of photographer anyway.

  3. Eric Poor June 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I agree with most of this, but sometimes you really do want to get out of the automobile to get a better shot. I got great pics of two tom turkeys in an all-out fight by doing this. You just want to be sure you pull the key from the ignition so the warning bell doesn’t start dinging when you open the door.

  4. Lawrence Broderick June 28, 2014 at 4:39 am - Reply

    Agreed the car is a good “photo blind.”

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