You don’t have to sit in a field for hours to capture great wildlife pictures – Roger Payne investigates creatures closer to home. Click the icons to hear more!
FEED THE BIRDS
You can spend so much time concentrating on your subject that you end up missing what’s behind it. Only when you review your shots do you see that the washing line or a wheelie bin has appeared in the picture. Try and keep your background a natural colour and make sure it has a reasonable amount of light on it so your subjects stand out. Really dark colours and backgrounds with strong highlights should be avoided, as these will distract from your intended subject.
priority (A) on your PEN and choose a wide aperture of f/4 or f/5.6 to make sure that the background blurs. This will leave your subject in focus and result in a more professional look.
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Autumn is the perfect time to shoot garden spiders. They’re very willing subjects and will sit in the centre of their webs while you snap away. A macro lens is ideal but not essential for this type of shot. Whatever you use, switch to manual focus and move your body backwards and forwards to achieve sharp focus; this method is far less frustrating than leaving your lens to hunt around. Be especially careful of backgrounds – keep them neutral coloured, uncluttered and make sure they’re a good distance behind the subject so they fall out of focus. You may find using a piece of coloured card will help. See more on the new Olympus 60mm macro lens launched at Photokina on page 12 of this issue –
MOVE YOUR CAMERA GET ON THE WEB SEEK OUT COLOUR BACKGROUNDS
As we head towards the colder months food begins to become scarce, so now is the time to start putting out nibbles to attract birds to your garden. Peanuts, seeds and fat balls are favourites, but some birds also like rice and cut fruit. Once you’ve started feeding your
OLYMPUS MAGAZINE■ OCTOBER 2012
feathered friends, don’t suddenly stop as the birds will come to rely on your food supply. Placing a twig or other natural perch near the food will give birds a spot to land and somewhere for you to train your lens on – then just sit tight and wait for pictures to reveal themselves.