For a photographer, capturing something as elusive as a great shot of wildlife is a dream come true. If you're searching for that perfect moment on your next vacation, here are 4 tips to help you find it:
Learn About The Animal. Start by studying up on the habits of your desired animal population. You'll want to focus on things like when they tend to come out to graze or hunt, what their preferred habitats are, where the large populations reside, what migration patterns look like, and how to spot nests or burrows. This information will be invaluable in deciding where to vacation so that you're close to where you need to be.
Stay Close Overnight. The lodging you choose can help or hinder your efforts to see wild animals. You'll need to be close to those preferred habitats so that you can head out early and late on picture hunting trips. This often calls for choosing smaller, more remote hotels or another lodging. Talk to the local owners and staff to get further recommendations on things like nearby watering holes and where animals have been sighted in the area recently.
Get Away From People. Many wild mammals are shy, so you'll need to venture off the beaten path a little. Start by looking for lodging options that aren't filled with tons of tourists. Why? First of all, the sheer amount of people at a large resort or hotel can scare off nearby animals. Plus, you have a better chance of finding out about the best spots before everyone else arrives to ruin them.
Be Patient and Flexible. Looking for wildlife and creating that fantastic photo of them takes time and patience. You may need to return to the same area more than once or even change your plans to keep up with movement patterns. Look for flexible lodging options that allow you to change your reservations if necessary. And travel light, carrying multi-purpose camera equipment that does double duty as much as possible. For example, rather than haul a heavy tripod on a long trail, can your backpack and a hand-held tripod serve as a base for placing your camera? Creativity will help you remain open to new options and free to keep trekking.
By putting these four guidelines into practice, you can increase your chances of finding just the right moment alone with amazing wildlife. And then, all your time and energy investment will be worth it.