One of the most important tools in wildlife photography is fieldcraft. Getting to know the subject, spending time watching, listening and looking, learning its behaviour, its habits and calls.
Regardless of the level of photographic skill your at you will need to learn fieldcraft to capture those images you see. With this though comes a great responsibility and integrity to your own work.
All wild animals that have no or very little contact with humans are scared and fear man. They see and smell us the moment we enter their world of which they are designed for and we aren’t.
They have an in built fear of man and see us as a threat to their lives. For me its how the person deals with that level of fear and stress using their fieldcraft and respect for the subject that is so important.
How you cover ground without being seen, your movements, noise and your own shape can really make a difference. Checking the wind direction is also key, make sure it’s blowing into your face which will take your scent away.
Blending into your environment, covering your exposed skin and not using any fabric softener again will all help you. There really isn’t any substitute for being on the ground and I don’t believe you can learn this from books.
Being at one with nature is amazing and with respect, time and effort and applying good fieldcraft everyone is capable of capturing beautiful moments each time they enter the natural world.
Nature should always come first before any photographs. Don’t chase or stress the subject. Watch for signs that your presence is worrying the subject which may result in them having to use energy to get away from you.
Fieldcraft really starts with respect for nature, then an awareness of you and your presence. Once you come across your subject it’s down to you how long that encounter will last.
I hope this post has helped you. I run a number of workshops that are designed to help you to improve in all aspects of your wildlife photography as well as fieldcraft. Please click here to see everything I offer, many thanks.