Leopard seal

A major part of getting great photos of wildlife behaviour is observing the individual beforehand. Animals often behave in similar ways or have a certain pattern they follow, making it much easier for you to predict where they might go or what they might do. You can have the settings on your camera set, with your finger on the shutter button, ready to take the shot.

In this example of a Leopard Seal in Antarctica, I had been observing it very closely. It would swim for a while, then open its huge jaw briefly, before closing it and swimming on. It repeated this pattern a few times so I knew that by tracking with my camera while it was swimming, the chances of the seal opening its jaws were quite high.

My camera was set up with a single focus point, coupled with continuous focus mode (or AI Servo for Canon users). I focused on the seal’s head, then half-depressed the shutter button while tracking the moving subject. When it opened its jaws, I hit the shutter button, which was set to ‘burst’ mode, making sure I captured all of the action.

If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.

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