Ethics in Wildlife Photography / If you want an action shot, wait for it to happen.

/ Seymaz #13 - Cattle Egret \

/ Seymaz #13 - Cattle Egret \

Wildlife photography is all about patience. Approaching the animals, making sure they are ok with your presence, or making sure you are invisible to them, getting the one shot you envisioned, all of it takes some time. A LOT of time.

As I am building my own experience as a nature and wildlife photographer, I am always baffled to see how some photographers are ready to do the most absurd things to get an action shot.

If you want an action shot, wait for it to happen.

Throwing sticks or rocks at a bird so it takes off is not a solution. Calling a bird so it gets closer because you really want a nice portrait is not a solution either. These technics deeply disturb the animals natural behavior and puts them in danger.

To get the shot above of a Cattle Egret taking off, it took me about an hour. First I spotted the bird in flight. I watched it until I saw it land. Given the light conditions of that day, I instantaneously knew the shot I wanted. A beautiful silhouette of the bird taking off, keeping some elements of the dead trees. Once I found the right position, I kneeled down and waited more than 20 minutes handhelding my camera, not moving, keeping my eye in the viewfinder. When it finally took off after a nice preening session, I was very happy to see that I succeeded and got the image I had in my mind. If you like this image, it is available for prints.

Patience is key in wildlife photography. Luring our wild subjects is not.