Episode 61: Successful Wildlife Photography with Nikon Ambassador Ron Magill

Peggy Farren 2017-11-14

Thanks for tuning into episode #61 of The Understand Photography Show!

Watch the video replay here " target="_blank">

The show is now available as a podcast on iTunes!! Please do us a HUGE favor and leave us a rating and review! We are trying to reach more photography enthusiasts on iTunes. Your help makes a huge difference!

To hear this episode as a podcast on Soundcloud, click here:

Understand Photography General Notes

Four Weeks to Proficiency in Photography - The next interactive class begins November 14, 2017. Truly knowing photography is a great gift for yourself or someone in your life! Check out our free webinar video to learn about what you need to know and to experience Peggy's teaching style! https://understandphotography.leadpages.co/4-weeks-photography-education-video/

Upcoming Trips:

Everglades 4 Day Photo Adventure: Everglades, FL January 25-28, 2018

Florida's Forgotton Coast - Apalachicola area April 16-20, 2018.

Women's Photography Weekend Naples May 4-6, 2018

Join our Understand Photography Facebook group to ask questions and get feedback!

For classes, private lessons, photography trips, and other events, check out our schedule on our Meetup website.

Episode 61: Successful Wildlife Photography with Nikon Ambassador Ron Magill

“The best tool I have to teach people about the wonders of nature is photography.”

About Ron Magill
- Zoologist/Naturalist
- Nikon Ambassador
- Zoo Miami (38 yrs!) -now Director of Communications
- He has appeared on a wide variety of local, national, and international programs including National Geographic Explorer, the Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS This Morning, Dateline, CNN, and the Discovery Networks
- Started taking pictures to accompany his research papers
- Entered International Nikon contest (about 20 years ago) and won $10k worth of Nikon equipment

“The reason for photography is to make the majority of people smile, or have some kind of emotional impact.”

There are 2 major categories of photographer:
Artists: those who strive for that ONE perfect image to enlarge, frame, and display.
Storytellers: those that capture moments with their camera that tell a story.

“The first person that has to like your photograph is YOU! If you don’t like your own photograph, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”

3 Points for Success in Wildlife Photography
- Know your subject- being able to anticipate behaviors will make sure you’re ready for the shot when that perfect moment arrives.
- PATIENCE! Animals aren’t interested in your timeline, you need to adapt to theirs…sit and wait quietly, amazing things will happen! (NEVER chase animals. Find a good spot and wait for them to come to you. If you’re there first, the animals will be less skittish that you’re there.)
- Luck. Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is just luck!

“Don’t miss the moment!”

Don’t get so caught up in the technicals that you miss what’s happening in front of you. Take the shot! Sometimes the moment is more important than adhering to the “rules” of composition.

“The camera can see things that happen too fast for you to see. The beauty of still photography is the ability to freeze a moment.”

Speed Lights and Flash (on a sunny day)
- Even from 25-30 feet away it makes a difference
- Fills in shadows
- Enhances light
- Adds another dimension of color (especially for bird feathers)

Tips for Zoo Photography
- Always be aware of your backgrounds (no branches growing from heads)
- Try to shoot aperture priority: keeps the depth of field minimal, blurs background, makes a difference in your animal portrait
- Mesh/Screen/Fence - get as close as you can, create distance between the barrier and the animal, focus on the animal (aperture wide open, manual focus) and the fence will disappear-
- Glass - general principles of physics with light reflections
If you can, remove the flash from the camera and place it off to the side - light will bounce off the glass at an angle, leaving you with a clear shot through the glass
If you can’t remove the flash, shoot from an angle on the side.
- Be there when the zoo opens or late in the afternoon for the best light and more animal activity

*Don’t delete in the field! Your 3” LCD screen is not clear enough or large enough to show you what you’ve got. BUT… don’t hesitate to delete at home, or you’ll end up with hundreds of so-so or bad images that you’ll never use or look at again.*

“Everybody takes bad images. It’s being able to pursue and have the patience to come up with that ONE image that will break the door open for you.”

You can find Ron Magill:

See you next week for episode 62!

If you are enjoying the show, please leave us a review on our Youtube account, Facebook fan page or iTunes podcast account. Reviews really help us a lot!

Don't miss a thing.

Subscribe to our show!

Click to subscribe!
Close popup

Subscribe to our show!

By subscribing to our show, you will never miss out! We will notify you via email when a new podcast is posted.

Please Fill Out This Field

Like what you are reading?

Sign up for our newsletter!

Sign up now!
Close popup

Sign up for our newsletter

Your details are safe with us.

Please Fill Out This Field

Post Your Comment Below

What Camera Should I Buy?

One of the most often questions we receive is "What type of camera should I buy?" Of course a lot depends on your budget and what you want to do with the camera. Watch this short video for Peggy's recommendation.

Sign Up for Access
Close popup

Which camera should I buy?

Enter your contact information to watch this short video for Peggy's recommendation!

Please Fill Out This Field

Join the movement

About Peggy

Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.

With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

Learn More

Essential Preparation Tips for Travel Photography

This free report will help you choose the right cameras, lenses and accessories for your travels. You'll need different equipment depending on where you are going, your finances, and the weight of the gear. We'll show you how to determine the best equipment for your needs. Also included is a comprehensive list on what you'll need, some things you may not have heard before but you'll be so glad we let you know!

Sign Up for More Information
Close popup

Essential Preparation Tips for Travel Photography

Many you've never heard before!

Please Fill Out This Field