What a pleasant surprise it was to open Outdoor Photography this month to see my letter had been chosen as letter of the month and I also won a Matador Freerain24 Backpack supplied by bearandbear.com
If you don’t get a chance to see the magazine this is what I said in the letter:-
Dear Outdoor Photography,
I think you will already have had loads of stick about including 2 photos shot on a 500mm lens by Laurie Campbell (OP Nov 2016) when he was advocating putting away the long lens and physically getting in range of the subject but Laurie does have a very good point. I have generally found that if you upgrade your kit to a longer lens you don’t really remove the frustration because you always want something just out of reach. Laurie’s tactics of being more discreet and not rushing things is a much better solution. Take the example of a fisherman who sits still waiting for a bite only to have a kingfisher come and sit on the end of the rod. Don’t get me wrong I still use a 400mm lens most of the time but if you don’t threaten or chase the wildlife you will find that wildlife can be very tolerant.
Here is a photo I took the other day down in the New Forest of some deer taken on a 24mm lens. Okay the actual photo of the deer is rubbish because my dog Charley got in the way so I have also included one taken on a 400mm lens but it does show how close me, Charley and my wife got without alarming the deer. We got some good photos and then backed away to let the deer carry on in peace. Often I see photographers bobbing up and down, ducking and diving trying to get closer only to scare the deer off. It’s a much better tactic to understand your subject and work within their comfort zones and that of your kit. I’m sure in some cases the deer are even starting to recognise me and my dog so they become more obliging.