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Nature & Wildlife

Part of photographing landscapes is an involvement with the flora and fauna of the natural world. I have always been fascinated by this aspect of outdoor photography. In early 2000 I began doing what is called "environmental wildlife" photography. The first few images on this page show my approach to this subject matter.

Muskoka Heron #1 — Ontario, 2000

In the summer of 2000 a Blue Heron made its home in a quiet bay close to my country house on Lake Muskoka. Early one morning we boated slowly into the bay, killed the engine and allowed ourselves to drift as close as possible to this magnificent bird. The dappled sunlight created just the effect I wanted to show the Heron in its natural environment.

Photographed with a Canon EOS-1V and 100~400mm f/5.6L IS lens on Fuji Provia 100F

Howler Monkey — Costa Rica, 2001

Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 100~400mm f/5.6L lens @ 400mm 1/125 sec @ f/9.5 Ñ ISO 400

This image is representative of a series that I did on a trip to the lowland rainforest in Costa Rica in early 2001. That portfolio displays some of the best wildlife work that I've done to date.

3 Pelicans, Salton Sea, 2000

The Salton Sea in Southern California is a place favoured by many bird photographers. During the winter months millions of birds nest along it's shores. I photographed there for the first time in January, 2000 and hope to return again often.

Photographed with a Canon EOS3 and Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS lens on Provia 100F.

Big Horn Ram #1, Grand Canyon — May, 2000

On a rafting trip down the Colorado River though the Grand Canyon in May, 2000, at about 6am one morning, after overnighting on a sandbar beneath a shear cliff, someone called out that there were three big horned sheep on the cliffs above our campsite. My camera with 100~400mm zoom lens attached was already mounted on the tripod and virtually all I had to do was swing it around, frame the composition and press the shutter release.

The strong early-morning side light and strong shadow silhouetting the ram all contribute to an effective wildlife photograph. It was made all the more exciting by having been taken not more than 10 feet from my sleeping bag.

Photographed with a Canon EOS-1V and 100~400mm f/5.6L IS lens on Fuji Provia 100F

Cormorant Sunrise — Muskoka, 2000 

During four consecutive early mornings in late August, 2000 I was out in my boat on Lake Muskoka in Northern Ontario photographing sunrises. I shot 14 rolls over these four mornings and produced a number of images with which I am pleased. Some of these are featured on the page Four Mornings.  This particular photograph is my favourite of the shoot.

I had been getting closer and closer to this island as the light level increased and detail became visible. Just as the haze and cloud started to dissipate I took this photograph while zoomed out to 400mm. 

Photographed with a Canon EOS3 and 100~400mm IS zoom on Provia 100F

Photographed with Canon D30 at ISO 400. 1/125th sec @ f/2.8 with a Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS.  RAW Mode.

This spotted Jaguar was pacing back and forth in its enclosure at the Toronto Zoo. I was only about 15 feet away, and shooting at an effective 500mm (due to using the Canon D30) the wire mesh fence simply disappeared.  This is one of the tricks of shooting wild animals at a zoo Ñ a long lens at a wide aperture.

Given that the cat was pacing and I was panning with it, and the shutter speed was only 1/125 sec, the sharpness of this photograph is astonishing Ñ a testament to Canon's Image Stabilization technology. 

For more pictures of wildlife taken at the Toronto Zoo (all with the exciting digital SLR, the Canon D30), have a look here and also at a photo essay titled Captive Wildlife.

Additional nature and wildlife images may be found here.

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Concepts: Photography, Digital single-lens reflex camera, Camera, Canon EOS D30, Zoom lens, Shutter speed, Aperture, F-number

Entities: Canon, Costa Rica, Toronto Zoo, ISO, Lake Muskoka, Colorado River, The Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, sec, Michael Reichmann, Southern California, Ontario, ram, SLR

Tags: Canon D30, wildlife, Canon EOS-1V, images, Lake Muskoka, Canon EOS D30, Toronto Zoo, Provia, 100F, photograph, consecutive early mornings, best wildlife work, big horned sheep, effective wildlife photograph, exciting digital slr, page four mornings, zoom lens, environmental wildlife, long lens, subject matter, dappled sunlight, Blue Heron, lowland rainforest, shutter release, magnificent bird, Salton Sea, natural world, Costa Rica, sleeping bag, shear cliff, outdoor photography, Captive Wildlife, shutter speed, country house, 10 feet, strong shadow, Grand Canyon, RAW Mode, quiet bay, effective 500mm