Getting The Shot

Photographing a Black Bear, Cades Cove, TN

A lot of people ask me “How do you get such great pictures?”  I don’t have expensive equiptment and I don’t have fancy photo editing software. So how do I manage to get so many cool pictures of animals when so many other people have a hard time just getting their own dog to look at the camera?

Photographing a Hermit Crab, Deerfield Beach, FL

Pure luck!  Well, sort of.  I am very lucky in many respects as I have a good sense of what an animal is going to do and how to move comfortably amongst wild animals.  Otherwise, I give all the credit to patience.  For every great picture taken, there are a good 10 that are, well, not so great.  This is true of everything I take photos of – animals, my own pets, my son, or people in general.  But being patient along with putting myself out in the action is where I find my success.  Of course, they’re not just photographic subjects, they’re living, breathing creatures that need to be treated with the respect they deserve.

Swimming with Manatees, Crystal River, FL

Many times, a lot of the animals I encounter are just as curious about us as we are them.  They want to know what those funny looking creatures are doing where they live.  You have to have respect for the animal who’s habitat you’re invading… you are a guest in their home.  Once you’re comfortable in their surroundings is when the fun begins.

Face to face with an Atlantic Stingray, Boca Raton, FL

There is no reason why we, as humans, can’t go into an animals environment and have an experience with that animal without disturbing or frightening it or ourselves. When I respect a creatures boundaries I have a wonderful interaction. Take a deep breath, be calm and patient, and you will find yourself having the same success.

Snorkeling amongst Sea Turtles, Deerfield Beach, FL

Of course, none of this would be possible without my army of awesome cameras.  For those of you curious, I use a Nikon D3100, a Nikon Coolpix AW100, a FugiFilm Finepix WP, and the occasional iPhone.

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