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It seems to me that many photographers either want to move in magnified steps towards a minuscule mosquito… or to take tiny, timid steps towards a terrifying tiger.
George Lepp is a well-known US outdoor and nature photographer and his images have appeared in National Wildlife, Time, Newsweek and The New Yorker.
His initial message neatly covers both macro and wildlife in recommending an approach to shooting a butterfly: “Successful butterfly capture requires advance preparation and practice …. Most of the optional automatic functions on your camera are not useful for this type of photography…”
The structure of the book rests on stories from the field that give enormous help and advice on how to “bring ‘em back alive.”
Like his anecdote of how a “big bull elephant walked directly towards our vehicle and allowed a full-frame shot at the zoom lens’ maximum range of 400mm.” The message here is that sometimes the best way is to let the wildlife come to you.
Incredibly, technique even comes in to play when the subject co-operates: “I knew I wanted a vertical panorama of an entire giraffe but it was difficult to find a co-operative subject.” Fortunately a big giraffe stood motionless while Lepp took seven horizontal shots to comprise a vertical panorama, printable at near life size.
He uses every trick in the book, even to hiring animal handlers: “Martin’s cats were trained to run for food [so at his suggestion] we worked with the cats in some new ways: they would pose for portraits, snarl and jump…”
For the casual reader keen on animals in the wild, the book is an excellent read in its own right and, cleverly and simultaneously, uses anecdotes blended with tall tales and true to tutor the budding wild life photographer. Information and advice on which lens to use, shutter speed and lens aperture is interwoven into the tales.
The pictures are of course magnificent.
Author: G and KV Lepp.
Publisher: Lark Books.
Length: 208 pages.
ISBN: 978 1 60059 632 2.
Price: Get a price on Wildlife Photography: Stories from the Field (where it is currently 37% off)