One of the biggest challenges of being a wildlife photographer is that so many of our subjects prefer to be a fair distance away from us. It’s therefore understandable that for many photographers (myself included) the go to lens for any shoot is often or always a telephoto.
On a recent browse of past images (soon to be added to the website!) I noticed that I had an obvious lack of wide-angle shots of wildlife. Sure there were landscapes, but even these were low in numbers. Yes, the majority of my portfolio comprises of images shot at a focal length of 300mm.
So, to add variety to my portfolio I have decided to make myself do certain shoots with only my wide-angle lens. Well, mostly at least. It’s sod law that I’d have a wide angle on when something fantastic turned up that needed zooming in on. Until I’ve saved up enough for a second camera that’s just the way it will be!
The first time I put this idea into action was the last day of September on a little wonder round Tehidy Woods in Cornwall. The friend that I went with had grown up visiting the beautiful woods, which surrounds a network of duck ponds and leads to the Northern Cornish cliffs. She knew of it as a relaxed day out with family and friends, I knew it as a great place to get closer than usual to wildlife!
In the four years I’ve lived in Cornwall I have had several opportunities to go to Tehidy, but there was always another option, which suited my projects better. While it was my first ever time here, I had seen enough images and videos from friends to know what to look for. Specifically, a large log.
Wide-angle lens and a bag of trail mix at the ready, we wondered over to the once tree. I jokingly held out my empty hand saying “Here, birdy birdies!” – and then I felt the small but firm grip of bird claws around my fingers. What a surprise!
As it went, there was actually very little need to bring trail mix. The squirrels and birds were so used to being fed that they boldly came right up to my camera just to see what I had. There were moments I thought they were going to jump on my head! Feeding animals for the sake of an image is an interesting debate, however in this instance I would argue that since they are being fed on a daily basis, photographing it is simply documenting something which would occur anyway.
What’s your go to lens? And if you were to set yourself a photography challenge what would it be?