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Categorized | Articles, John E. Marriott

Wild Side — Skip the Darts, Avoid the Bullseye (preview)

©John E. Marriott Wild wolf in the Canadian Rockies Settings: ƒ4.5@1/400 sec., EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens, ISO 2000

©John E. Marriott
Wild wolf in the Canadian Rockies
Settings: ƒ4.5@1/400 sec., EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens, ISO 2000

Story and photography by John E. Marriott

For five years now, you’ve patiently learned the ropes of wildlife photography. You’ve invested thousands of dollars in sparkling, sexy gear and hundreds of hours in the field trying this, that, and the other thing. You’ve read ebooks and articles and scoured photo forums and magazine columns like this one, all to prepare yourself for that one glorious encounter in the field you’ve been dreaming of; when a wild grey wolf walks out from the bush and provides you with a thrilling, brief photo session as it walks along the edge of the forest in beautiful morning light.

And of course, you nail it with a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action of the moving wolf and an F-stop perfect for the situation (high enough to provide sharpness through the head and shoulders, but low enough to blur the background). Technically, you were as close to perfect as you could be. You had Servo/Continuous focus mode dialled in so that your auto focus adjusted to the wolf’s movements, your ISO was spot on, and heck, you even had the right lens on!

But still, something critical is missing from your shot. Wolf? Check. Technical specs? Check, check, check. Creativity? Uhhh, what?

To read more of John E Marriott’s column on “Skip the Darts, Avoid the Bullseye”, please pick up the October 2013 issue of OPC today!

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