Online photo magazine

Tips and tricks

Study the field thoroughly, watch the light conditions, the features of the terrain and the wind conditions, and the background of the planned photo. Take care of the disturbing elements! Do not want to make world champion photos at any price as it can make us strained and impatient. Impatience combined with the unpleasant coldness and the difficulties of winter photography can discourage us easily. As Zsigmond Széchenyi said: „hunting is chasing the game and forest murmurs, or rather forest murmurs.” This can be said about photography too!
Photo: © János Szekeres

NIKON D2X, Nikkor 300 mm f/2.8 f/4.8 1/250 s ISO 400
Study the behaviour of the animals, so you could show their individual characteristics in the pictures. Try to catch some of their typical gesture. If you managed to catch the magic of the moment, that will make your photo stand out of the crowd of middlings.
We can get many pieces of information from the books and experiences of our excellent hunter writers. They describe the behaviour of the animals very well in the different seasons, so we can get to know their winter behaviour too.
Use strong light lenses, a stable tripod and take a small but comfortable chair to make the long waiting bearable. Make sure to have sufficient amount of calories, so you would not be cold. Take care of light metering as well, because the white snow can make fun of you. After the right exposure, the next challenge is to give back the real colour of the snow in the picture. Snow is not always white, it changes colour depending on the weather and the light conditions. It is blue shadow, grey under cloudy sky and golden yellow or red at sunset. Take test pictures on that part of the field where from you expect the animals and you won't have unpleasant surprises. The automatics try to make as short exposures as possible. It is enough to modify the exposure correction by about half or one and a half light value to the plus (!) direction, depending the size of the white area in your picture. This way you can avoid that the animals on the snow field become too dark. You can determine the right exposure by experiment too.
Photo: © János Szekeres

NIKON D2X, Nikkor 300.0 mm f/2.8 f/5 1/1000 s ISO 400
Avoid shooting directly to the Sun as it can damage the sensor chip of the camera. Just like the light meter, the auto white balance can be easily deceived by the snow covered field. To avoid this, shoot in RAW if possible, so you can deal with the setting of the white balance afterwards, during processing. If you can't do that, then set the white balance manually. The daylight mode (Daylight-5200K) usually a good starting point but - because the snow reflects the sky too – in a clear, sunny day it can go towards the blue, especially in shadow. In this case you can give a little warmer tone to your picture by the Shade-7000K setting.
Have a nice shooting and beautiful lights!
János Szekeres Art photographer, nature photographer
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