Wildlife photography

Alfredo Fernández (Web | Facebook | Flickr) will share some of his wildlife photography tips and photos: 

Wildlife photography is one of the most popular fields within photography. I have yet to meet a photographer who does not enjoy driving around National Parks in search of breath-taking landscapes or elusive wildlife. A quick look at any photography forum will show several hundred if not thousand posts regarding nature. Yet, all of these photos mostly look really similar, if not the same. I feel that nature photography has become –to some degree- monotonous. 90% of bird shots are really similar. A nice bird perched on a nice branch with a clean background. Don’t get me wrong, I like this kind of images, and even shoot some myself, but I feel these images have no history behind, they get uninteresting and boring after a while.

So, today I want to share some tips to improve your nature photographer and create different images.

Leave the telephoto at home

shot#1 shot#2
99% of all wildlife photos I have seen are made with lenses of 300mm and up. These tools are great to magnify and isolate the subject, rendering as much detail as possible. I personally find photographs made with wider lenses better than ones made with the big guns. Of course shooting wildlife at 16mm is not easy –and sometimes it can be really dangerous, so don’t try it with a Grizzly!- and requires much more patience to approach a wild animal. Wide-angle shots tend to include a much more information about the subjects habitat and surroundings, creating a better story.

Photograph silhouettes

Everyone knows how a bird looks. We don’t need to show all the detail for the viewer to know it is a bird. I find that silhouettes are a great way to add mystery to your shots. Including some interesting background or foreground can make the difference in the image. I highly recommend doing this against a nice colorful background, such as a green forest or the first/last sun rays of the day.

Show patterns

shot#5 shot#6
- The Colony -
Photography is all about composition. Doesn’t matter if you use a D4s or a point-and-shot, composition is going to always be difference between a good photograph and a bad photograph. Lines and shapes are everything in composition; they grab your eye, and move it to a certain point of interest within the photograph. Finding these kinds of patterns in nature is certainly not easy, but try to train your eye to see them. As everything is just a matter of practice.

I hope you enjoy this post, and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to comment on the comment section below, or send me a message through my website, Facebook or Flickr.

Inca-Tern-Lima-2 Inca-Tern-Lima-3 Inca-Tern-Lima-4 Inca-Tern-Lima waterfall-vancouver
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  • gorji

    Very nice job. Congrats.

    • Thanks!

      • Eric Calabros

        Consider some of “not looking good at all” comments as jealous. they are shocked that a 20 year old photographer could take such pro level photos in the wild. your first name is not Thom, and your last name is not Hogan, otherwise you probably would get less negative response about going wide. one of his teaching points is always “animal close up is boring as hell” 🙂 wildlife photo should has information about the environment animal lives in, and the way that animal interact with that invironment. looking at their face doesnt make you know how thhey live there.
        Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work

        • IamSpeechless

          Wow, are you out of your mind? Please make Alfredo your teacher and let me know when you will come back after shooting some cobras or vipers from the wild with Alfredo’s suggestion of a wide angle lens. Be sure to snap their teeth with their mouths open and I also like to see some scorpions in the background. Also please ask Alfredo, the look a like young J Beiber, to take a shot of Eric being happy around the snakes and scorpions. Thanks much.

          • Eric Calabros

            Go play with your 40x zoom, coolpix kid 🙂

  • Aldo

    Nice work. You definitely have talent and skill. In the interest of using wider angle lenses for wildlife… I think you could make better use of the rule of thirds. Then again I’m not a wildlife photog so maybe I have no clue what I’m saying.

    • Pat Mann

      I’d say 1/3 of your shots with the wideangle, maybe.

    • MrFoolYou

      It appears that you did use a rule…r….to measure these above photos for the thirds. Sure the basic rule is that but also what you are trying to draw the viewers’ attentions is the purpose.

      Anyway I have to admit that shooting wildlife with short range lenses are something new…maybe I will try to shoot insects…that will be safer and easier.

      • AM

        I’m in the market for a macro lens. Maybe I’ll pull the trigger on the 105mm VR before the rebate expires. What is driving me to purchasing a macro lens is actually insects. It was only until I paid attention to those little creatures just out my house’s door that got me interested. Some insects that I’ve never seen before with interesting shapes and patterns.

        • MrFoolYou

          That is a great rebate. I have the Tokina 100mm f/2.8 and it serves me well. I am sure you will enjoy nature more besides photography.

          • AM

            I’ve been considering the Tokina as well. Even with the rebate, the Tokina is still half the price of the Nikon.
            The one thing that kind of turns me off on the Tokina is that it extends when focusing for close-up shots. Do you find this to be problematic for your photography? I’ve read in some places that if you mount a ring flash, that puts a lot of stress on the barrel. Do you have any experience with ring flash on your Tokina?

            • MrFoolYou

              I only use nature light and have no problem with the lens extension.

        • anon

          just to throw a wrench in your decision making process.. I bought 2 new 105 VRs from B&H… Both had RIDICULOUS squeaking when manually focusing… the second one also back-focused a bit… I finally decided to get a used Japanese made one (new ones are Chinese made) for $750 and i’m 100 times happier… it’s perfect..

          • Dave Ingram

            I’ve got a made in Japan 105mm – it is a gorgeous lens, excellent for insects. The 60mm is a nice sharp lens as well – you have to work a bit but I like that it allows you to get a bit more of the context of the plant or insect that you’re photographing. On both of these the barrel doesn’t extend.

        • neversink

          Get the Nikon. You won’t regret it. it is superb. with great contrast and IQ. I’ve never had a problem with it and use it all the time – from wildlife to portraiture to industrial. It’s an all around lens and sharp as a tack. The Tokina, although cheaper, is a compromise.

      • Aldo

        The offset on some of these photos looks forced… they still work but I think there is room for improvement on the wider angle shots.

        • MrFoolYou


    • Never-sink

      Not the rule of thirds again. Just another stupid “rule” that should be thrown out. Just take great shots, with good composition, technique and impact, and they will be successful. Don’t worry about the rule of thirds.

      • Aldo

        I disagree… before you become an expert as to develop your own technique (not just in photography) in any profession you must first learn and become familiar with the basic principles and “rules”. This is a simple concept.

        • neversink

          And I disagree… However, you are correct when you say one must learn technique and principles first. But this rule of thirds is a rule to be broken. I prefer the rule of eliminating the miscellaneous in your shots. Concentrate on what’s important: light, revisualization, composition and you won’t need the rule of thirds. If you have an eye, everything should come into place….

          • Aldo

            We are talking about wider angle shots though so “eliminating the miscellaneous in your shots” is impossible… given that there will be other things in your frame other than the subject (in this case wildlife) you may as well put some thought into what goes in the frame… and how you frame it as to convey perspective. Once that becomes second nature… got ahead… break all the rules.

  • John

    Very nice perspective!! Thanks.

  • Mansgame

    Can you please show us your best lion and eagle pictures you took when you left the telephoto at home?

    • Sleeper



      It’s even more expensive/difficult than telephoto. In comparison, telephoto lens is the cheap option.

      • Mansgame

        I love these kinds of videos but the lions always end up making a mess of things!

    • Omar Salgado

      That does not invalidate his advice (not showing such pics). The wide angle lens, I agree with him, is for giving context. Not isolating what is to be represented gives more information about it and the place it lives. It is just another way of seeing.

    • hey, thanks for your input.
      I am not saying it is easier to make. It certainly is possible -more expensive, and way harder- but generally the outcome is better. For lions you can check Nick Nichols latest work. Among the best lions shot out there if you ask me.

      • Mansgame

        I’m not going to lie, I love using my 14-24 if there is an opportunity to do so, but reading your article, it seemed like you were advocating that it’s an either/or situation. There are certainly times that you want to show context and wrap the viewer into the photo, but I also would have loved to see those sea lions up close and not everybody has the whole support crew that Art Wolfe has that can get on a boat to go there.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          I didn’t get the “either/or” impression at all. I guess using a telephoto lens is so obvious for wildlife, it never occurred to me that he might be suggesting to do away with it. Also, his final shots included close-ups and contextual shots of the same bird. Most professional wildlife photographers suggest getting both and including them together to show the “whole” story. Another thing he didn’t mention, but is equally interesting, is capturing interesting/humorous behavior.

        • mikeswitz

          Here we go again. Poor Mansgame. If he just had all the advantages of other photographers, he’d be really good. I mean really good. Plus he just can’t get over the feeling of abandonment when Nikon put oil spots on his D600 sensor. Life just isn’t fair anymore.

    • I wish I could. Sadly I am only 20 years old and I am spend most of time in school. It can be done though. Check out Nick Nichols gallery below.

    • Christobella

      Sarcasm, sir, is the lowest form of wit. The poster has already made the point that this technique is not advisable with dangerous animals. Go spit your poison elsewhere.

      • Toecutter

        Don’t waste your breath,sarcasm and bitchin about the oil on the D600 is all he knows

    • bartjan

      Is 50mm wide enough?

      I cheated in 2 ways:
      – DX body, so making it 75mm
      – In the zoo…

  • Sleeper

    “I personally find photographs made with wider lenses better than ones made with the big guns.”

    Yeah. Except that’s one of the most difficult. Especially when dealing with “real” wildlife. Great photos are rare, and wide angle wildlife photos fall right in that category.

    It’s not like we don’t know about it….

    • Never said it was easier nor safer. I said that I generally find them to be better as they show more context about the animal and its environment.

      What do you mean by “Real wildlife”? All those photos are of fully wild animals.

      • Sleeper

        You can get close to domesticated panthers and cheetahs easily in zoos/safaris. Not an attack on your photos.

      • Never-sink

        The only photos that matter are good photos, not photos taken with specific lens. And by the way, you can usea super telephoto lens and still include environment.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      A wide range of photographers visit this site. A lot of them might not think about it which is kinda sad because they may not even attempt wildlife photography since they don’t have a super telephoto lens. I think reminding/educating them is a worthwhile pursuit.

  • Pat Mann

    Nice shots, nice work, good advice. Thanks for sharing. It will save me a lot of money not to get that 80-400, and get the new 35mm as my wildlife lens. Well, on second thought, maybe both.

    • Thanks a lot! 35mm is not wide enough. You want to go even wider! 16-35 is the perfect range in my opinion.

      • Patrick O’Connor

        I think that depends on your subject(s). For the raccoon and waterfowl – sure; for something like a fox or coyote, I’m thinking 24-70 or so. In addition to the longest lens you’ve got…

        • Agree. Depends if you’re on full frame too. I only have a 16-35 and 300mm f4. Adding a 70-200 later this year.

  • Guest

    I especially like how you ended the post with 4 cliche shots of the same bird with a telephoto and then the cliche of cliche, an ultra-wide angle shot of a waterfall with a long exposure. Nice.

    • Clubber lang

      Is it that hard for people to not act like d…ks?
      Smile, enjoy life…enjoy your health and the time you have on this planet. This crap really isn’t that important ya know.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      I could very easily be wrong but I think his point was to show a traditional close-up with a wider shot, showing environment, for contrast. Personally, I think both views should be taken and presented together. I didn’t really understand the point of the waterfall, though.

      • Hey Patrick!

        yeah, the point was to show both approaches to wildlife photography. Glad you saw that.

        The waterfall shot was not part of the original post, but was requested by Admin. I think he just liked it. 🙂

  • Deepcoverpoint

    A fine shot of the seals with an unusual perspective. Recording seals en masse is difficult to do well. Overall a lovely portfolio Alfredo.

  • Phonton

    I don’t know, only really liked three of those pictures and all were shot with a telephoto…

  • whisky

    a wide angle is a good way to mix up the composition. thanks for sharing your perspective. 🙂

  • Roger

    Your photos do not back your words.
    pictures are boring and unimaginative.

    • Thanks for the useful critique.

      • Keith

        That is a great response! I enjoyed all the photos. My bet is that most people with negative comments aren’t getting out into nature and shooting photos and the ones that do don’t come out as nice as yours! Keep up the good work! Sorry about all the nattering nabobs of negativity here!

        • Hey Keith!

          thanks for the nice words! I am doing my best to improve my photography, glad you enjoyed it.

          meeeh, I don’t care about the negative comments. I do appreciate honest critique as it helps me to keep improving. But such a comment as the one above, is just jealousy speaking. I know I am not “that” good, but I am only 20 and have a loooong way to go.

          again, thanks for the nice words. Highly appreciate it! 😀

  • Garry Owen

    Sorry Alfredo, the photos are just not that good. The elk photo might have been better if you had picked a better composition. Perhaps waiting for the elk to strike a better pose. Or it might have been better if you had moved back to include more of the surroundings. The silhouette of the owl is okay, but would have better if you did have a telephoto lens. The raccoon looks like it was shot with a trail cam, not enough detail on the main subject (raccoon), and a lot of uninteresting foliage.

    You are mistaken, not everyone knows “how a bird looks”. The most interesting photos you posted are the closeups of a bird that I can’t identify, but the I did find the last one, with 2 birds, to be the most interesting of all the photos that you posted.

    There is a place for both wide and telephoto in nature photography, the biggest advantage with the longer lens is that the animals are less likely to be threatened by the photographer.

  • Dave Ingram

    Here’s a great example of where a wide angle probably would have worked pretty well: http://youtu.be/xGQExgOxZMQ

    • As a photographer you have to learn to “read” the body language of the wildlife you are photographing. I know a fair bit of this as I am taking biology in University. But I guess it should be common sense not to walk into an Elk during matting season. As soon as the Elks loose the velvet on their antlers, they become amazingly aggressive.

  • Spy Black

    Very nice work. You make a good point of not always relying on longer lenses. There’s certainly great opportunities for great shots with the perspectives offered by shorter focal lengths. It’s take s different frame of mine, and possibly even more patience to get a good shot, but the results are worth it. Obviously with dangerous animals this would not be a good course of action. Have you tried radio triggering as well? If you take a gamble on a pre-composed shot you could distance yourself and allow wildlife closer to your rig that may not approach you otherwise. Keep up the great work.

    • Hey!

      Thanks a lot for the words. While I do own a pair of radio triggers, I have never had the chance to use them. I am thinking about getting a Camera Trap, that could bring some good elusive wildlife!

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    Well done! Sadly the only “wildlife” I have available to me are Ukrainian girls at a disco…but on second thought we do have some interesting birds here, even in my own backyard! I should give it a try, the birds I mean, the girls are just way to high Maintenance.

    • hahahaha nice! good luck with the shooting!

    • Patrick O’Connor

      Sorry to go off-topic but, reading about what’s been going on in the Ukraine makes it difficult to know the extent of things. How bad is it? I hope you and yours are okay.

  • rt-photography

    Pics are nice. not all are my taste but still very nice.

    people complain no matter what. mostly out of jealousy. I dont see your photos up here. talk is cheap.

  • nikondude

    I think some of your photographs are excellent, others less so. My suggestion is always to only show what you think is really your best work. I think you are right to stress the importance of composition, and I think this is where I see most potential for improvement in some of the photographs shown here. A number of them simply doesn’t balance very well (e.g. the first in silhouettes, and last bird photograph). Then, I wonder whether the owl picture right below the title is really a “wildlife photograph”. It rather looks like a close-up of a captive bird, which among wildlife photographers is usually clearly disclosed. Failure to do so may result in people giving you a really hard time… Good luck.

    • Hey! Thanks a lot for your words. I appreciate honest critique like this one.
      By the way, the Great Gray Owl is totally wild. If you have ever come across this species you will know how tolerable they are to human presence. That was shot in the interior of British Columbia with a D300s and a 300mm F4. It is cropped tho.

      Here is a shot of me with the wild owl.

      • Tunkwa Lake, BC

        • Stuart

          Alfredo, as a professional wildlife photographer myself, I and my friends have been discussing this recent trend of wide angle wildlife photography, we are seeing it show up more and more in contests. Sure for some species in some instances it is fine but we are seeing a worrying trend of people just trying to get too close, often unnecessarily so, to get the shot, and be different. A recent photo of a loon on a nest comes to mind. I also have my degree in Biology and have 20 more years experience in the field then you and one of the greatest things I have learned is when to back off, to not try and get closer. Keep in mind when you post pictures like this many people will now try and get closer the above picture of the great grey is a prime example, given all of the current hysteria of the great grey showing up in Surrey I would have thought you would be a little more sensitive to this. Plus you have actually done a huge disservice by posting the location of a resident bird on an international forum. A major no-no with this species if you could please remove the location.

          • Hey Stuart.

            thanks a lot for your input. I never thought that would be wrong, I just wanted to show that the owl was wild. Also, they are not hard to find in the right habitat..

            Don’t worry, I doubt anyone will find that owl, I was at that location for 1 week and was searching for it night and day.

            On the loon side, I know that photographer very well and he is one of my favorite photographers. I have travel and shoot with him several times, and I can say by experience that Ive never seen him stress an animal. As soon as any animal we where photographing would show signs of being uncomfortable, we would back off and go. But, sometimes wildlife is REALLY used to people and they simply don’t think we are a treat anymore.

            I think we are going to disagree on that topic, but I just wanted to state my opinion.

            To finish I want to say, that I prioritize the birds safety before any shot.

          • Rrr

            I texted the owl at the number provided and let him know and he said he doesn’t care.

        • Aldo

          Hey Alfredo… I took the liberty of playing around with this photo… looking at the original made me realize the similarities of the owl and the trunk he was standing on… I thought that was really awesome. I just wanted to show with an example the idea I had already mentioned to you in a comment above. I just simply cropped it… added contrast and desaturated the photo to draw the attention to the trunk and the owl. I thought it was an awesome shot.

          • Hey Thanks a lot! Yes, they are sooo good at hiding. I think this shot is from Art Wolfe, but I might be wrong.

            • Aldo

              wow that’s so cool

  • my passion is also wildlife please visit my page at http://www.facebook.com/villagerjim 🙂

  • Michiel953

    I’m not a real wildlife photography fan, but still not really bowled over by these, although I certainly support the “show some context” approach.
    In the very early seventies I took part in a university organized photographic competition, and whilst mulling over what to submit, I bumped into Frans Lanting, who was fumbling about with a flailing tripod and a camera in a local park. He won the competition, I was anonymous.

    We both haven’t looked back since.

  • Marsmobili

    Thinking about wider lenses, there’s always this guy who comes to my mind: http://www.davidbittner.ch/galerie/
    He visits “his” bears every year for quite some time, thus gets to know them.

    • Wow! First time I hear about this guy! great stuff! Thanks for sharing

  • JimP

    Keep working at it Alfredo. The creative challenge in wildlife photography is a real one.

  • zoetmb

    Ignore the haters and just go out and continue to shoot. These guys would be criticizing Ansel Adams’ work. It’s very easy to throw a few buzzwords to criticize someone else’s work while one stays at home and complains that there’s no D400 – it’s a lot harder to get out into the wildlife and make the shots. You’ll find out on your own what works and what doesn’t work. Also study the works and writings of the great landscape photographers (Adams, Rowell, etc.) as well as anyone here (or on other sites) who actually shows you their work and it’s work that you respect.

    And check this out (it’s a joke, but it’s exactly what would happen):


    • Thanks!

    • MrFoolYou

      I do not think there are haters on here but that is your negative perception. People come here to get info, enjoy the site, and learn about photography and photography products.

      The problem here is that this young photographer does not use right words to present his work (which are still in learning process, but very encouraging).

      Words emphasize “Leave the telephoto at home”, “boring”, etc will drive the audience away as it shows the author’s personal judgement. If he likes a wildlife photography style and goes with it, it is ok but bashing other long-range lens wildlife photographers is not a good way to compare or prove that your style is better.

      For the raccoon photo with the wide angle, if I have never seen a raccoon before I will have no idea what that animal is. He needs to include some close-up shots to give more context of the object. This is where a long-range lens will portrait them perfectly.

      A humble writing gets more audience and give great education, like this post: https://nikonrumors.com/2014/02/15/the-benefits-of-personal-work.aspx/.

      I do enjoy Alfredo’s work.

      • Thanks! I appreciate this very much. English is not my first language and I just want to clarify that it was never my intention to sound “cocky”. Sorry if my “writing style” misinterpreted the point I was trying to make.

      • desmo

        Raccoons are easy to see,
        if you bring food they will come,
        Possibly even in your back yard

  • Focuspuller

    Thank you Alfredo. Some nice work there. Just remember the next time you feel the urge to submit to a site like this: THE INTERNET HATES EVERYTHING.

    • Thanks man!
      I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was THAT bad haha. Well, I guess they’re a bunch of conformists waiting for that “big opportunity” to come..

      • MrFoolYou

        Thanks Alfredo. This should be most “Featured Comment” of Guest Post. You make your audience never want to read any of your future post again. I bet you have learned a bunch of good advice. Last, go and read the “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

  • Mark White

    Alfredo. Here’s the thing. If you elect your work to be put up for public debate, you should expect a public debate. If you are going to speak about a topic from a standpoint of authority, you should have (and show) work to back up your expertise on the topic.

    Throughout your post, you are using very direct orders, telling us what we can do to improve our photography. Orders, not suggestions.

    Re: “I don’t care about the negative comments”

    If this is the case, it is going to be very hard for you to move up in the business. The negative comments show you room for growth. If you are ever going to get any recognition for any of your work, that attitude is not going to cut it. It is true that many of the comments on the internet are negative. And many are placed out of ignorance. But, if you are only creating work for those of us who can look at your piece and know exactly the amount of technical skill that went into it, you will have an incredibly small target market. Most of which will be driven away by your ultimately immature perspective.

    Re: “I know quite a bit because I’m taking Biology in University”

    This is where you’re wrong. You have alot to learn about biology. That’s why you’re taking biology in university. Textbooks are a great way to prepare you to learn through experience. It’s easy to learn the warning signs, but it’s an entirely different story to train your body and mind to work together to orchestrate the proper reaction in the heat of the moment. Please stop assuming you know “quite a bit,” as this is only relative to whom you are comparing yourself. You have plastered these on an international forum. You’re comparing yourself yo a whole new calibre of people now.

    Re: “I’ve been thinking of getting a Camera Trap”

    Well, now I certainly wouldn’t call you a photographer if you set up a stationary camera and had absolutely no way of controlling the photographs taken. Bad idea if you are trying to push that you know what you’re doing.

    Re: “People complain because of jealousy”

    This has been said many times throughout this thread. I believe it does us all a disservice to have you believe that all of the negative comments are out of jealousy. It’s simply not true. People know what will impress them, and these simply don’t hold up. Blame it on oversaturation. Say we have such easy access to the grandest of wildlife photography at the touch of a button, so we are only impressed by the best of the best. While that may be true to some extent, it should act as inspiration for you. I believe no one should ever strive to be “So good for being ______.” Be good because you’re good. Not good in spite of anything.

    Re: “I’m only 20”

    As am I. It’s not something most people know about me. And, like you, I was also published by NikonRumors: https://nikonrumors.com/2014/02/16/creating-miniature-landscapes.aspx/

    You must learn what is important to bring to the table. If the personal information doesn’t advance your goal, it should probably remain just that. Personal information. You’re using your age as an excuse for your subpar work and unflattering responses. Not good.

    Re: “I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was THAT bad haha. Well, I guess they’re a bunch of conformists waiting for that “big opportunity” to come..”

    It’s not THAT bad. No matter the topic, there will always be a side for you, and a side against you – especially on a platform like this one. What you should be striving to do is create work that will silence the nay-sayers to a level and impress the advocates to a level in which they will feel compelled to, at the very worst, cancel each other out. Ideally, the advocates would intimidate the negative comments enough that it would force them into insignificance.

    You’re not going to win any votes by calling your viewers names, and telling them that their opinions don’t matter. I don’t know what your goal was posting your work on this stage, but I can only assume that it was to draw attention to it in one manner or another. That, you may have succeeded with. But what you’ve done even better than that was build a following of people who will steer clear of any posts you may throw up on the interweb anytime in the future.

    You’ve made enemies here, Alfredo.

    • Hey Mark,

      first of all, I appreciate all the time you put into writing that comment. That has to be the most valuable critique I’ve received.

      I would also like to clarify a few things:

      “I don’t care for negative comments”. I never meant to say that on a “Cocky” attitude or anything. My original comment was “[…] I don’t care about the negative comments. I do appreciate honest critique as it helps me to keep improving.[…]”. Of course I do valuate both points of view as the only way to improve is to know what you don’t know that you don’t know. That comment was referring to comments that do not add anything but just put more negativity.

      I am sorry if I insulted anyone. I never tried to sound bossy or anything like that. I am no authority in any aspect of photography. I am just trying to learn and improve. I was so excited to have some of my work featured on NR, but sadly it didn’t went the way I expected.

      And then again, thanks for the organized and structured response. I have written down all those points and I am going to avoid making those mistakes ever again.

      • And thank you for taking my critique so well-natured. I write all of that because we are all after the same goal. We’re on the same playing field. And I always feel that it helps to have someone reflect you back to yourself. Seriously, best of luck in your future endeavors.

      • neversink

        Hello Alfredo. Photography is a tough profession. I have been doing it full time since the late 1980s and part time since the mid 1970s.

        You have to be your toughest critic. You have to be harsh on yourself and look at your images until your eyes turn red. You must be willing to discard even good images and technically correct images if they aren’t powerful images.

        Study the great photographers of the past and the present, but remain true to your own vision and don’t try to copy them.

        Learn to eliminate the unnecassary and be careful of cliches.

        Perhaps,and lastly, if you have never shot with film. you should consider giving it a whirl, but first I would read a few books on film photography, and learn to develop. It will help you understand light much better, I think. Others here may disagree with me.

        Oy yes, Advice is free. So, take what I say with a grain of salt if you wish. But with experience, you might gain photographic wisdom. No one can teach you how to see. But you can always learn to improve your vision through looking and studying and technique.

        Good luck.

    • Albin MacArthur

      Don’t listen to him Alfredo. Having gone through Mark White’s body of work, I can tell you that he is merely a feverish hobbyist with absolutely no authority to be giving anyone advice in photography. To put it bluntly, his images are shit; and I can only be sure that his work has never and, if he continues to shoot and process images in the manner that he does, will never be published in any reputable publication. Mark, get of the “interweb” and get a job in an area in which you can be useful, like sanitation or perhaps a medical experimentation subject.

    • inyourbase

      “You’ve made enemies here, Alfredo”
      Seriously, grow up. You say you’re 20, maybe that explains your attitude. Making “enemies” on a rumour blog, please, get a life. Are you part of some sort of mafioso??

  • Lee

    Not impressed at all. Wide angle lenses should be used for street photography not for wildlife.

  • neversink

    One critique on one of your silhouette images, if I may.
    The last image, with the two birds wading in the water would have been much more powerful if you cropped 90-95 % of the bottom dark area out of the photo. My best.

  • JPaul Johnson

    Alfredo, you have some extremely nice shots. I visited your Flickr page and found a lot to admire there. I particularly like the bird shots, and I really like the 300mm lens. It’s a pretty nice combo with a DX camera like your D300, and putting a TC1.4 on it helps too. So you’re shooting about 630mm I think for my favorites. You also have some great wide shots, but I’d have to say these appeal to me more as landscapes rather than wildlife.

    I do like to see a bit of the environment in some of my wildlife shots, but I’d never leave my telephoto’s at home when I’m birding. For me, the cardinal rule is: You’re never close enough. Still, I think that you’re doing great with your photography, and I predict that, if you’re good enough and make enough at it, you’ll buy the Nikon 800mm some day. Then you and Thom and Moose can challenge each other for the best shots. Keep up the good work.

  • Sleeper

    One of my own.

    Hope you guys like it.

  • fotosas

    Makes me recall a situation where a wide-angle may work with ferocious animals : http://fineartamerica.com/featured/as-close-as-it-gets-fotosas-photography.html

  • Wide angle angel

    Yes – get as close to the subject as possible. Close ups are not boring at all! A tele allows to see details, but images appear rather flat.

    • IamSpeechless

      It is not Saturday midnight yet. Are you ok and know what you are talking about? Need a taxi home?

  • The Gipper

    The thing I often see in wildlife photography is that a lot of shooters simply take the image of an animal because it’s there (both in the wild and in captivity). I always imagine it’s better to wait until the animal engages you or does something interesting first, giving a more compelling image. That’s the approach I take. I’m no expert, but my patience has paid off in the past:


  • inyourbase

    Fantastic article, and couldn’t agree more. It’s why I stopped going to forums – it’s all the same, and if you post something different, the first critiques are aimed at getting you back on the same track as everyone else.

    no thanks!

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