Are You Getting Too Close To Your Animal Subjects?

When it comes to bird and wildlife photography, getting as close as possible without disturbing the animal is often the name of the game. However, there is an issue of geometry that can sometimes ruin your shot. This excellent video will show you why sometimes, you are better off getting farther away from your subject to get the best possible shot. 

Coming to you from Jan Wegener, this excellent video discusses why sometimes, getting farther away from your subject and using a longer focal length will produce better images. The problem is that if you are shooting from a position with any sort of elevation relative to your subject, the closer you are, the more you will have to angle your camera away from level, making it seem as is if you are shooting down on your subject like a snapshot instead of getting down to their level and contextualizing them within their environment. It is a matter of right triangle geometry: by shooting with a longer focal length, you are lengthening the adjacent side of the triangle, thus reducing the angle and bringing your camera closer to level. As you will see, it can make a major difference in the final shot. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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