Wildlife Photography - @idahohales

The sun had released its fiery hold on the rocky landscape as the moon began its ascent over the eastern horizon.  The air temperature was finally more comfortable, for man and beast alike.  My wife and I joined my father and brothers on a quick hike in Zion National Park to watch the sunset.  As we cruised through the nearly empty park, the desert bighorn began to pop out along the cliffs to feed on the sparse greenery.  I needed to stop for some "quick" photos in the fading light.

Photographing wildlife can be tricky, and I certainly do not consider myself an expert.  Every trip is a learning experience, which is what draws me in every time.  When I photograph wildlife, I like to use the same approach as when I hunt.  I play the wind and try to not put the animal on alert.  I prefer to stay hidden so I can observe and photograph the animals acting naturally.  I attempt to avoid the typical broadside photos, though I certainly have plenty of those.  When possible, I try to get a cool skyline shot like this one.  Animals are unpredictable, though, and they go where they want when they want.  

Some photographers choose to take high-end glass which helps them zoom in tight.  Others like to stalk in close and use a prime lens.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.  Each photographer has to work out what style matches their personality the best.  The bottom line is photographing wildlife is fun, an experience which will make you a better photographer regardless what style of shooting you prefer.

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