Wildlife Photography at High Noon

Mid-day wildlife photography

Fawns – by Jim Harmer

Perfect shot.  Perfect lens.  Perfect set-up.  Harsh, mid-day lighting.  Ugh!  Such was the situation when I came upon these fawns (for those of you who don’t speak Bambi, that means baby deer).  It was the middle of the day and the lighting was disgusting.  When you look at this photo, you probably can’t tell the lighting was terrible.  Why?  Read and learn.

When you’re faced with harsh lighting in your wildlife photography, it can ruin the whole shot, but converting to black and white is a simple way to help the situation; however, it is not a panacea.

When shooting wildlife, there is almost always vegetation in the shot as well.  The leaves on trees, for example, will shine extremely bright and reflect the light of the sun.  These reflections distract from the photo of the animal.  To get rid of the reflections, you can do two things:

First, use the clone tool in Photoshop to simply clone out the bright shiny leaves.  There are usually only two or three that reflect the light back to the camera, so this only takes a second and yields a good return on simplifying the photo.

Second, prevent the problem where possible by using a polarizing filter.  Landscape photographers use polarizers to cut reflections in water, but these filters are also helpful for wildlife photographers to cut the reflections on weeds, grasses, and leaves.  Keep on in your photo bag for shooting in unfriendly lighting conditions.

You’re on your way to better mid-day wildlife photography by following these three tips.  Have another tip for shooting in bad lighting?  Leave a comment below.

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