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Tips for wildlife photography

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Understand the animals

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Jim Zuckerman, wildlife photographer

I take a lot of pictures of animals for my blog, including deer, fox, skunks, alligators, birds, and even armadillos. Getting a good shot of wildlife is really difficult, because they startle and run off if they hear me. I'm more successful with livestock and pet photos.

Professional wildlife photographer Jim Zuckerman says your odds of a good picture go up if you understand the animals' behavior. Whether it's a butterfly or a deer, give them a reason to hang around.

"Like with deer all you have to do is leave out a little table full of fruit -- apples, for example -- and you'll have them every day," Zuckerman says. "Because once they know it's there and the food supply is constant, it's amazing. Food is the biggest attractant."

A point-and-shoot digital camera will capture the animal, but you can't zoom in really close. By using better equipment, like a 300-millimeter telephoto lens, you'll capture tight shots from a safe distance.

"The telephoto allows you to bring the animal visually closer, in other words so you can fill more of the frame with it and so it's impressive," Zuckerman says. "So you can see the detail, so you can see the expression."

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