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For Better Wildlife & Landscape Photos – Get Fit!

A Guest Post by George Wheelhouse

Going running is a great way to get out and explore photo opportunities in your local area, and keep you fit at the same time.

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Many of the best photos are taken by people who live locally to a particular site. This brings you all the benefits of local knowledge that can give your photos an edge. It stands to reason that photographers living by the sea will most often take far better seascape photos than I can. If you shoot somewhere close to home, you know the weather, and you can pop over as often as you like without having to plan a trip in advance.

But it can be tough to find an interesting location that’s close to home. And that’s where running comes in. Most of us are surrounded by photography locations that we didn’t even realise were there. Whether you’re into wildlife, landscape, or urban street scenes, it’s likely there are countless opportunities right around the corner, but you have to get out and find them.

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My particular interest is in wildlife photography. Last weekend I went for a run and saw 1 kestrel, 1 buzzard, 1 red kite, 2 hares, rabbits, butterflies, as well as sheep, cows, and goats. Even if you’re not into photography, these are a wonderful sight and a great motivation to get out and keep fit. But for me, I found at least two locations I will return to with my camera.

The previous weekend, I used my run to check out a field for poppies, and another location for rabbits. I discovered the poppies weren’t as plentiful as I wanted, but that saved me a disappointing trip out with my camera another time. On the other hand, the field I scouted for rabbits was full, even in daytime, so that’s one place I will definitely revisit with my camera. For landscape locations, I’m able to investigate which view points I’m able to access, and where the sunlight will be during those all-important golden-hours. This is all vital information for planning a photo trip later on. By following public footpaths through fields, woods, & parks, you can cover distances far greater than by walking with all your equipment, and you can cover terrain that’s inaccessible by a car.

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So just once a week, take the time to leave the camera at home, and get out looking for your next local speciality. There are countless public footpaths and bridleways throughout the country, and you’ll always see something new. I tend to run between 5 and 10 miles, but you can start with just 1 mile, and work up from there. If you’re really not into running, get the bike out of the garage and cycle. Whatever you do, get out and enjoy the outdoors; you’ll be surprised what great photo-ops are right around the corner.

George Wheelhouse is a self-taught wildlife photographer from Bedfordshire, UK. You can find his website at www.georgewheelhouse.com, as well as connecting through Facebook & Twitter. If you have any feedback, get in touch.

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