Use a telephoto lens, and one with plenty of focal length, so you can remain at a safe distance, but still fill the frame with your subject.
Never run from a wild animal, especially if you come upon each other without warning. The animal is likely to consider you prey and it will behave like a predator chasing its prey…and not to look at your photographs! The best strategy is to back slowly from the animal. Some experts suggest that you should try to make yourself look larger, so the animal will perceive you as prey too large to confront.
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Never feed animals or leave food for them simply to position them for great shots. They are apt to follow you thinking you are a source of food…and they are not likely to distinguish between the food you leave and the tastiness of your leg.
Add a can of pepper spray to your wildlife photography gear. Reserve its use for an actual attack, so as an animal charges, you won’t miss.
Even the smallest scratch or injury you sustain from an animal should be medically treated immediately. Animals carry diseases and bacteria that can easily create a serious infection.
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Have you seen the video of the wild African lioness sniffing the man zone of a photographer standing beside his photo vehicle? If not, then click on the link in this article. YOU WON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES! You’ll be happy that the only cat you ever photograph is a pet!
An experienced wildlife photographer was on assignment in the Okavango Delta in Botswana early one morning. He had been following and photographing a pride of lions. After a time, the pride passed his photography vehicle and wandered some distance away…all except for one curious lioness.
The photographer was standing just outside the front door of the vehicle with a camera case at his feet. The lioness began to pass, but then paused as her attention was drawn to the case. She walked to it, and sniffed it, presumably determining that it held no interest for her. She then raised her head and sniffed the front of the photographer’s trousers. She obviously found him wanting as a mate or a meal and calmly turned and joined the rest of the pride. As you can imagine, the photographer was anything but calm.
The wildlife photographer in the video appears to be a professional that has often worked with wild animals in Africa. As he says in the video, he and his colleagues are always conscious of their safety and don’t want to have any impact on the animals, so their behavior is as natural as possible.
His “close encounter with the raw-meat-loving kind” is an excellent example of how you must be cautious whenever photographing in the wild.
Although the lion didn’t attack the photographer, she could have easily tried to tear open the equipment case and destroy expensive equipment…and the photographer couldn’t have done much about it!
You don’t need an adventure like his for your gear to be vulnerable to weather, wildlife and accidents when photographing wildlife. They’re all the reasons you need to make sure your gear is covered with the right insurance! Request your free quote HERE.
Check out: THE 19 MOST EXPENSIVE PHOTOGRAPHS EVER SOLD
Image credit: JohanSwan / 123RF Stock Photo
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