Anticipate The Action

April 6th, 2012 by Steve Gettle

One of the things I really enjoy about photographing wildlife is “the chess game”. What I mean by that is when I am photographing an animal I am always thinking a few moves ahead. So I can be sure to be in the right place at the right time. I try to get in the animals head, to figure out what its next move is going to be. This is why it is important to spend time with a subject. The more knowledge you have about an animal, the better you will be at anticipating its next move.

Many different behaviors and actions are preceded by visual cues. Some examples are. If a duck, goose, loon, or swan dips its head in the water and runs water down its back it is going to rear up and flap its wings. If a coyote or fox stares intently at the ground and turns its head side to side, it is likely getting ready to pounce on a vole. If a bird turns toward the wind and defecates it is more often than not going to fly away. During the rut a male deer, bighorn, elk, or pronghorn, will always do a lip-curl after it “checks” a female. Knowing your subject and paying attention to these visual cues will help you to anticipate the action and get some of these exciting action shots.

Good luck and good light


Browse Steve’s images, read his blog, and learn about his workshops at his site



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