Tips for photographing nature

These tips are laced the Russian photographer Alexey Ebel, specializing in wildlife and nature, has participated in the WWF International conservation expedition to the Taimyr Peninsula in the Laptev Sea (Siberia). We leave you with the press release and tips: 

Canon, as Conservative member for the image of WWF, has participated in this scientific expedition that seeks to study the populations of polar bears and walruses Laptev, one of the most unknown regions of the Arctic. By collecting genetic material, this trip is to determine if populations of these animals in the Laptev Sea are genetically related species inhabiting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific, as well as studying the effects of climate change in that corner of the Russian Arctic. In this way and responding to these mysteries, we can develop more effective monitoring systems in the region and establish conservation measures in order to preserve all species.

Ebel made ​​use of the following equipment during the expedition Canon:

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III (two units + extra batteries), Canon EOS 6D (+ extra batteries), PowerShot SX50 HS (+ extra batteries) and PowerShot D20.

Objectives: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM with 1.4x multiplier built (which could test a few days ago), EF 16-35 L II USM, EF 70-300mm IS USM and EF f/4-5.6L 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

As a result of their experience in the Arctic, Alexey Ebel lists a number of tips aimed at lovers of conservation photography, to overcome the challenges of wildlife photography and winter in extreme environments:

Always keep your gear dry

Working in cold and wet weather conditions as the Arctic requires special equipment to have, so I chose the career objectives of the L series and the Canon EOS cameras. These devices are excellent for this type of environment; it’s sealed against the weather keeps them protected from dust as much moisture, which is essential in places like the Arctic, and assures me that I will be able to work in multiple situations, without worrying about not being able to capture the image when lighting is adequate.

Make the most of the different modes Image Stabilizer

There is no doubt that the Image Stabilizer built in modern goals allows you to capture sharp images even when shooting without a tripod. But remember that you can choose between different modes of Image Stabilization. On the journey Canon WWF, we perform in a small boat and in low light, the Image Stabilizer allowed me to photograph continuously. Mode 1 is the most suitable for general shots, like when photographed from the boat, but the mode 2 is better for the scans and to follow subjects, such as polar bears.

When you photograph animals, check the sharpness of the depth of field

When photographed with a telephoto lens, the sharpness is really important. Sometimes, especially in the case of images of low contrast subjects or on sunny days, it is very difficult to get. This image is a clear example of how the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera lets you see every detail and make the necessary adjustments. Remember that from your point of focus, depth of field will go from 1/3 of the depth of field in front of the focus point 2/3 behind the focus point.

Alexey Ebel             2

When you photograph animals, using zoom lenses

If photographs animals in the wild, the ability to move from one place to another is very limited. In these cases, it is essential to use telephoto lenses of various focal lengths to capture the animals in their natural environment. A zoom lens allows you to change the frame of the scene without disturbing the animals and photograph them efficiently with different framing options.

Use different objectives to get more interesting photo stories

Not only nature photography encompasses images of animals, but also of their environment. When I’m trying to tell a story about an animal and its habitat, it is best to use zoom lenses. With these I can take a series of images, from wide angle to telephoto, without having to be constantly changing lenses. This is especially important in an expedition, which is difficult to get many goals.

In the tundra, beware of wild animals

The shortage of animals in the Polar Tundra is due to the sparse vegetation of the area. However, if you are persistent, you will have very interesting encounters with wildlife in the area! But beware: some tundra animals are not afraid of humans and can attack.

Protect your eyes!

The polar sun stays low in the sky and sometimes has a direct impact on your eyes. Although this is not a problem for your team, it can be harmful to your eyes, especially if a subject is backlit photographs. Do not look through the viewfinder; better use of the live view on the camera screen as the sun is constantly moving and changing conditions, so that a camera can be well placed in a position for one minute, but the next, the light has changed and there is a risk of damaging your eyes if you look through the viewfinder.

Be patient

Animal photography often requires a long and patient wait until the arrival of the desired, fleeting and exceptional moment. Be patient, be prepared and anticipate how the magic moments, but also take pictures in between: things happen unexpectedly. And, of course, do not forget to have extra memory cards!

Do not sleep when there may be important photos

In summer, it is difficult to sleep in the Arctic Circle, as there is light 24 hours a day. You decide when you want to sleep, but we recommend you do when the weather is bad or when, due to other circumstances, difficult to capture interesting images. Stay alert and be ready for a closer working photographic equipment at all times.

Shoot your camera even with gloves

In the Arctic Circle is always cold, even in July. If you plan on taking many pictures, wear gloves! It is true that gloves can further complicate the process of setting up the camera, but the basic operation buttons on the 5D Mark III, which I used, are very sensitive and can easily work with gloves on. In addition, the cold can affect battery life, so I recommend having spare batteries-temperature properly; well within the pockets or as close to your body.

Canon and WWF

The company and the international environmental conservation organization maintain close relations of cooperation in various fields. In addition to supporting scientific expeditions, Canon also joins other initiatives promoted by WWF, for example, recently held Earth Hour, to which has been added for the sixth year in order to promote greater environmental awareness in organizations and society.


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