It may be a wildland paradise, but the wilds of the eastern United States are not for the faint of heart.
They can be a challenging environment, particularly for those who aren’t ready to tackle the wilderness.
We sat down with five experienced wildland-savanna photographers to discuss their top tips for finding and preserving wildlife, whether you’re looking for your next outdoor adventure, or simply enjoying a tranquil environment in which to enjoy your outdoor photography.1.
Always remember to respect the land, and be careful of what you kill and leave behind.
“You can’t be too careful, as it can kill the whole ecosystem,” said Shannon Smith, a wildlife photographer who has spent time in eastern North America, including Canada, Europe, and Australia.
“We should respect the places we go to.
It’s a big, fragile ecosystem and if we don’t respect it, it’s a lot of trouble.”
Smith also advises that you’re always mindful of what animals you’re leaving behind.
“When you leave them in the wild, you can’t just walk out and get them in a cage or whatever, so you’re going to want to be careful,” she said.
“Also, keep in mind that a lot [of] the animals are carnivores, which means they eat plants.
So they can get eaten if they’re left alone.
So, I would say be careful.
Be aware of what’s going on.”2.
Take a leaf and see if it’s alive.
“It’s important to get some perspective on where you’re at,” Smith said.
You can use your camera to capture wildlife and other natural elements, but you can also use a digital camera to get a closer look at things.
“Take a leaf, and then try to see if there’s a plant that might be alive there,” she suggested.
“Sometimes it’s just a question of if it is, and if it isn’t.
Sometimes you can see if something’s there.”3.
Get a sense of the terrain.
“There are a lot more trees in the landscape than you think,” Smith explained.
“Some of these are really hard to find, and some of them are really easy to find.”
The first thing you need to do is know where the forest is, as well as what kind of terrain you’re in.
“That will give you a good idea of what the forest’s like, because you’re not in a real forest,” she added.
“The second thing is how you’re approaching that terrain.
You’re going up a hill or up a mountain.
There’s a whole variety of things you can look at and see.
So that’s kind of the starting point for a good portrait.”4.
Check your camera.
“I’m a big believer in having a digital phone with me, so I always check my phone,” she pointed out.
“Just because you have a digital device doesn’t mean you have to have one in every area you go into.
But if you don’t have one with you, you don’ want to go into an area that you can only see the topography.”5.
“Slow down and be patient,” she advised.
“Once you have that sense of where you are, you want to make sure that you don.t push too hard.”
A good camera can help you achieve that, Smith said, as long as you’re careful.
“A lot of the time it will be easier to take photos of people and places that are not that wild, and that will be less challenging,” she noted.