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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

S.J. Brown Virtual Book Tour: Tips for Better Wildlife Photography

Tips For Better Wildlife Photography
By: S. J. Brown

When you are in a new location or out of your immediate area chat with the locals.
They are the best source of information you can get.

Research, research, research. No, it isn't fun but the more you know about the animals you might encounter the better your chances are for getting a good shot. 

I use 35mm film, but I do have a piece of advice for digital photographers. Spending to much time enhancing your images on the computer really hurts your images and your reputation.

Pay attention to the animals behavior, it can tell you a lot.

Find a spotter you work well with. That extra pair of eyes in the field can get you a lot of shots you would have missed.

Always carry a spare camera, extra batteries and a poncho.

Trees, rocks brush etc make great natural blinds.

Public lands are great places to find animals.  Wildlife management areas outside of hunting season, state parks, wildlife refuges, etc.

Revisit locations to see what other animals are roaming around that you may not have seen the first time.

As my spotter says, vertical, vertical, vertical.  As photographers we can get into the habit of taking lots of horizontal shots.  But cover shots need to be vertical.

Keep shooting! 

On a whim, S. J. Brown decided to embark on a career in wildlife photography. Armed with an inexpensive 35mm camera and a love for the natural world, her adventure began. Accompanied by her spotter and husband, she ventured to a variety of locations.

The couple soon learned that there was more to this than just camera settings, lighting, and getting the right angle. Not all wildlife is agreeable to having their picture taken, and many are not easily accessible.

Camera in hand, S. J. Brown encountered delicate butterflies, bears, birds, deer, wild horses, and more. Along the way, there are successes and failures, cooperative critters, curious subjects, and some close calls.

As a wildlife photographer S. J. Brown took her cues from her subjects. Their body language let her know when to step in for a closer shot and when to back away. When she was out in the field, she strove to observe and record not to interfere. The exception to this rule is when people pose a threat to wildlife; then she will take time to relocate a road dwelling critter to its location. Brown has saved snapper turtles from soup and other creatures from the taunts and teases of unwise humans, but she will not interfere with Mother Nature's food chain unless it involves a domestic animal pursuing a wild creature. With this in mind, she has sent many a cat away from a bird feeder and saved many a squirrel from a curious canine.

S. J. Brown's book Close Ups & Close Encounters features over fifty of her wildlife photographs as well as the stories behind getting those images. S. J. Brown's photographs and written words are her way of sharing her experiences. Introducing others, such as her granddaughter, to the field is one of her primary goals and loves. She hopes her work will give others an appreciation for the natural world.

Kindle  /  Print 


 My eight-year-old daughter and I quite enjoyed S.J. Brown's book, "Close Ups and Close Encounters: A View From Behind the Lens". The book features some nice photographs of wildlife ranging from a squirrel, butterflies, birds, and larger animals like giraffes, elephants, and bears. The paper quality is quite good, it is neither glossy nor too flimsy so the images show up well.

I have to say though that the photographs almost take a backseat to the stories of how S.J. Brown captured these images. The stories are grounded and down-to-earth and provide personal insights into the photographer's journey as she photographed each subject. The stories are informative and peppered with occasional humor. My daughter and I wish there had been more photographs and it would have also helped if the author-photographer had provided locations for where the subjects were photographed. Other than that, this made an interesting and quick read. – Z Hayes (Amazon)

Really loved this book. The pictures were fabulous and the stories were well written and kept me glued to the pages. This book is for every age group and I am so glad I purchased it. Parents can even read this book to their children and the pictures that accompany them are beautiful. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone. – J. Gonce (Amazon)