(Warning this is from an “Amateur Wildlife Photographer”)
We have been advised by many that the ideal time for wildlife photography is early morning.Many would say ….more light …. better shots right ?…. plus lazy-axx like me don’t want to wake up early …it sucks.
But as you start loving photography with time you realize it’s not just about the light but the colors,shadows,& more importantly the action & art.To me “Photography has always given that required pause to the mind which is processing & thinking otherwise”, If you club this with early morning it’s very refreshing & healthy,the cholesterol(s) & weight is reducing 🙂 , I can vouch, have started looking forward to it along with my early morning cricket on weekends.
Early Morning provides the wildlife photographer the opportunity to take beautiful warm images with attractive lighting,The colors are intensified and shadows are awesome ,probably because the sunlight flows over the landscape at an angle.
Also, If you are a birder , you might be missing a lot of action. Most birds are active in the morning, quenching their hunger after a long night.Too much light also exposes them to possible predators.
And yes I am intentionally preferring morning over evening, In countries like India the morning helps in settling the dust making your shots sharp also the dew produces great lighting effects
Action will be available in plenty,Animals have a circle of fear. As you approach closer to the animal they become more afraid and at some point will either run/fly off.The hunger in the morning reduces the circle of fear .
As you are refreshed,Patience is natural during that time period, sit quietly breath fresh oxygen & blend in as if you are also there to participate in the morning feast ,let the animal approach you , there circle of fear becomes much smaller, don’t rush ,ensure the animal has more control of the situation. Taking advantage of this will allow you to take photographs at a much closer distance and also allowing you to capture action which you might miss otherwise.
Camera Gear, lenses having lower F’s & camera’s with high ISO capability matter.As the light might be low, you need a minimum F5.6 lens & 3.2K ISO at your disposal, however the effects are great in any lens/camera during morning. No flashes please! even if the light is low.Your lens reach is important, you need min 200mm up to 600mm. Use Tele- Converters as I do… if budget is a constrain.
Camouflage, most animals are color blind, It is recommended to wear gloves as your white colored palm is noticed & distracts the animal . Khaki dressing for dry parts, Greenish if you prefer.The same applies to your camera gear.
Approaching insects very slowly ,crouched or crawling can get you into the right position.
Stay Alert & Protected if the spot is vulnerable to dangerous animals (big or small) stay focused,carry a stick & swiss knife, wear solid boots & jackets.
Embrace the Overcast
Don’t let an overcast day put you off from taking your camera. the softer light is perfect for shooting foliage,flowers and animals around the foliage, this allows the camera to achieve a more balanced exposure and really bring out the colors.
Now please close the computer/phone and venture out with your family friends or better alone ……you can tweet me from there…..remember You Got One Life!