an insight into wildlife photography

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    An Insight intoWildlife Photographywith Will Nicholls

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    Introduction

    Thank you for downloading this free

    eBook!

    My name is Will Nicholls, and I am a young

    professional wildlife photographer from

    the UK. I live in Northumberland, where I

    am surrounded by wildlife. It is a wildlife

    photographers dream!

    This eBook will look through some of my

    favourite images I have taken, and tell

    you how I got each shot. Ive also included

    all the technical details of each image, tohelp you work out what kind of camera

    settings are good for different scenarios.

    Any techniques described here have been,

    or will be, covered by Nature TTL in more

    detail. Stay subscribed to our newsletter,

    and we will send you the latest and best

    tutorials from our team of experts. Our

    contributors are some of the best naturephotographers in the world, so you are in

    good hands!

    I first started taking photographs in 2007,

    and have loved it ever since. The first

    photos I took were of some sheep in the

    fields around my house, and I thought they

    were great images! Looking back, they

    were not very good at all!

    However, with a lot of practise and

    persistence, I have managed to improve

    my technique and capture better images.

    Nobodys photos are perfect, and every

    photographer will be able to tell you

    imperfections with their own work.

    We are all still learning, including myself

    and all the contributors at Nature TTL!

    If you are reading this and you are newto photography, then I hope this eBook

    provides you with some inspiration for

    your next shots.

    Once again, thank you for downloading

    this eBook and I hope you enjoy reading it!

    Please note, images in this eBook are

    under copyright protection and cannot

    be reproduced, redistributed, or altered

    in anyway without written permission

    from Will Nicholls.

    Prints and other products can be

    purchased at www.willnicholls.co.uk

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    How Do You Do?Northumberland, UK

    THE TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Camera

    Lens

    Shutter Speed

    Aperture

    ISO Speed

    Equipment

    Nikon D700

    14mm

    1/125 second

    f/7.1

    1250

    Nikon ML-3

    Remote

    Red squirrels make up a large portion

    of my portfolio. They are extremely

    charasmatic and a joy to photograph.After taking thousands of images of

    them with my telephoto lens, I decided

    it was time for a change. So, I picked

    up a wide-angle lens instead, and tried

    some remote-triggered photography.

    I put the camera in position in the

    woodland, ensuring that the backdrop

    had some interest within it. The nature

    of the wide-angle lens includes detailof the surroundings in the image. I

    attached a remote-controlled trigger

    to the camera, allowing me to fire

    the shutter from the hide. Focus and

    other settings were chosen manually

    beforehand, and I would pray that

    conditions did not change drastically

    while I was waiting.

    After some time, the first squirrel

    investigated. The click of the shutter

    sent him running into the trees,

    chucking angrily at me. Even so, the

    lure of the hazelnuts was too much

    for him, and he quickly returned for a

    snack.

    Soon enough, the squirrels were happily

    posing in front of the camera whilst Ifired off a burst of images.

    This technique is extremely good fun to

    do, and it feels like Christmas has come

    around once more when you get to look

    through your photos at the end.

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    Immature Little OwlNorthumberland, UK

    THE TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Camera

    Lens

    Shutter Speed

    Aperture

    ISO Speed

    Equipment

    Nikon D700

    200-400mm

    1/200 second

    f/4

    500

    Manfrotto Tripod

    Little owls are not native to the UK,

    but they seem to fit in very well to

    the British countryside. Luckily for me,there was a pair of little owls nesting

    nearby to my home. I acquired access

    to the land, and set up a hide facing the

    nesting area.

    I left the hide in position for a couple of

    weeks, allowing the owls to get used to

    it and so minimise disturbance. These

    owls come out in daylight, which is a

    photographers dream.

    The first time I visited the hide, I was

    planning to see if they would accept my

    presence or not. The last thing I want to

    do is disturb an animal at its nest, so I

    was just testing the water.

    A couple of hours passed, and there was

    no sign of any owls. I was disappointed,

    as it seemed to me that they werefrightened of me being in the hide. I was

    considering abandoning the project,

    when I heard a soft screech nearby.

    I looked out of the left window, trying

    to see the animal which was making

    the sound, and to my surprise spotted

    an owl staring straight through the

    camouflage netting at me. Their

    eyesight is very good it seems!

    The entire family of owls had suddenly

    descended on the area. Luck was on my

    side that day, as a juvenile owl chose

    this very gnarled branch to perch on,

    allowing for this shot.

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    Great Grey OwlFinland

    THE TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Camera

    Lens

    Shutter Speed

    Aperture

    ISO Speed

    Equipment

    Nikon D4

    200-400mm

    1/1250 second

    f/8

    3200

    Manfrotto Tripod

    Wimberley Head

    My favourite animal is the great

    grey owl. They are very hardy birds,

    surviving at very low temperaturesthanks to their thick downy feathers.

    When I was younger, I took part in a

    falconry day and was given the chance

    to fly one of these owls. Ever since Ive

    wanted to photograph them in the wild!

    In January 2014, I booked a very

    last-minute flight to Finland to try and

    see these owls. I had only two days toget a photo, as I needed to be back

    in the UK later in the week. So, the

    pressure was on!

    The guide and I drove around many

    snow-covered fields, searching

    desperately for the owls. I was told a

    goshawk had been killing a few of the

    local owls, further reducing our chances.

    Eventually we spotted an owl sitting in

    a tree at the back of a field. Creeping

    up with my camera, I positioned myself

    in the snow. The vole you see it landing

    on is dead (sourced ethically by using

    voles already killed for research or by

    locals trapping in their houses).

    To our joy, the owl swooped down onone occasion, and I managed to snap

    this photo.

    The snow reflected the light on the

    underside of its wings, making it almost

    look like a painting.

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    White-tailed EaglesHungary

    THE TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Camera

    Lens

    Shutter Speed

    Aperture

    ISO Speed

    Equipment

    Nikon D700

    200-400mm

    1/640 second

    f/4

    2000

    Manfrotto Tripod

    Wimberley Head

    I dont go on many trips abroad for my

    photography, but another trip I have

    done is to Hungary. The aim of thiswas to see the impressive white-tailed

    eagles that live there.

    I waited for 9 hours every day, for

    5 days, in a small hide dug into the

    ground. Fish were laid out as bait, which

    helps the eagles through the winter

    time. This is necessary as the fisheries

    they usually take their catches from

    have been emptied of fish.

    The first day was extremely misty,

    and the weather was not looking like it

    would improve. Still, the first time I saw

    an eagle appear from the thick mist

    was magical.

    The 7-foot wingspan of these birds is

    truly a sight to behold. This photo shows

    an adult (left) and a juvenile (right)having a bit of a disagreement over

    who should be getting the fish.

    The hooded crow you can see on the

    edge of the scene is just one of many

    crows that surrounded the area. In fact,

    it became quite difficult to get a picture

    that didnt have an out of focus crow

    obscuring part of the picture. Every

    situation has its own unique challenges.

    Each day the weather improved

    on the last, and by the end I was

    photographing in relatively clear

    conditions, much to my relief. A fantastic

    trip with some fantastic birds!

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    Black Grouse LekkingNorthumberland, UK

    THE TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Camera

    Lens

    Shutter Speed

    Aperture

    I