This COOL Wildlife Photography shooting tip is brought to you by the many bird pictures that I have missed before I became privy to this one key observation. A few weeks ago I was out trying to get snowy owl pictures of a juvenile bird that had parked itself for a few weeks about 20 minutes from my home, how handy is that? After about three hours of observing the bird on a marina dock (not conducive to great photography) on what was a very cold and windy winter day there remained only myself and one other photographer whom I had never met but he obviously had patience and a warm parka as everyone else had packed it in.
As we chatted to pass the time while still observing the bird it preened a few times but otherwise was staying still to conserve energy. Then all of sudden he raised up his back end and defecated. I advised the photographer I was with to be ready for a flight shot as this bird was about to take to the air and sure enough within five seconds he was airborne.
I expect most experienced wildlife photographers have already learned this shooting tip along the way at some point either through experience or bird literature but for the rest of you take note that a bird will almost always defecate (shit for those of you following the title) before it takes to flight. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a great flight shot because I hadn’t anticipated that moment.
The message from this shooting tip is clear, if you’re a wildlife photographer you definitely wanna shoot the shit while you’re out taking pictures.