The wildlife of Tropical North Queensland is incredibly diverse and being a photographer here is is very, very rewarding.
Here are a few hints and tips for getting great wildlife shots, plus a few of my favourite captures.
1. Don’t be afraid to get close to the action! These two male lace monitor lizards are trying to assert their dominance over one another.
2. Always have your camera at the ready, you never know when an opportunity will explode right in front of you! Like this 3.8m Saltwater Crocodile erupting from the water. A long lens will keep you out of harms way.
3. A fast shutter speed will help capture wildlife in action. This dragonfly was exceptionally difficult to capture, but with a bit of patience and persistence the result speaks for itself. Always shoot in ‘Manual’ mode, and get to know your camera.
4. Take as many shots as you can! When you look through them later on, you’ll almost ALWAYS find the one you were after. I took 15 shots of this Nankeen night heron coming in to land and got the one I wanted!
5. There are some animals almost ‘too cute to shoot’, and this red legged pademelon is no exception. When you come across an animal that is happy to pose, you can take all the time in the world.
6. Look a little closer.. This Cairns Birdwing Butterfly is laying an egg!! You don’t always have to think big, put in your rainforest eyes and you’ll be amazed at what you see.
7. As far as birds go, most are very elusive and hard to get close to. But when it comes to welcome swallows, you can get so close you could almost reach out and touch them. But a sudden movement will definitely frighten them away. If you are trying to get close to an animal, slow and steady always wins the race.
8. You don’t have to travel for hours to find wildlife! Right in the heart of Cairns City lives a very large colony of spectacled flying foxes. They are a very important part of a delicate ecosystem, and in the evening you can see thousands of them flying around. It is an incredible sight to see.
9. Barn 0wls look awesome close up. A good lens will do a lot of the work for you: it’s good to have at least a couple to choose from.
10. And last but definitely not least, if it looks good take a photo!! Chances are it will look just as good if not better through your lens, and then you can share it with your friends.
I’m passionate about all things wildlife and was blown away by this film from Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s recent Paradise Through Your Lens comp. Created by talented Aussie filmmaker Edward Saltau, it’s an epic example of how to capture wildlife on film. Check it out.