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Male1: It’s very easy to get preoccupied with photographic equipment and perhaps think of the latest cameras with buttons to push and menus to fiddle with and they’re gonna be the answer to all your prayers and make you into a better wildlife photographer. But that’s not necessarily the case and of course, by a large, the most important tool in your armory is a good knowledge of the wildlife subjects. And this will lead to going out into the field and allowing you to get a good range of images. Working as a freelance wildlife and nature photographer, it’s important that I have a certain amount of equipment obviously to allow me to tackle a broad range of subjects, professional camera bodies, and not necessarily better quality, but perhaps better named and more durable, weather resistant and all these sort of aspects. And also the use of my images is quite wide ranging as well, from supplying photographic libraries, to producing quite large format prints. So the quality there has to be as good as I can get it. Don’t be put off from all these gears that you can see in front of you, it’s not absolutely necessary of course to have a full pack just like this. And if you see in the case studies, it’s very much a case of having a specific lens for a specific subject. If you take for example photographing butterflies, then a modest macro lens will allow you to get some fantastic images at a relatively cheap cost. If you got in to photography like I did through the route of bird watching, then, obviously binoculars is something that’s gonna be in your kit already. And there’s actually kind of a useful way of relating to telephoto lenses in terms of the magnification. These are a pair of 8 and a half times binoculars which relates roughly to a 400 or 500 millimeter lens on a full frame camera. And the cost, the telephoto lens is a vital piece of kit really, particularly if you’re interested in photographing shy birds and mammals, where it’s quite difficult to get close to them in the field. The lens that you can see here on the tripod is a 500 millimeter F4 lens, which is both expensive and heavy to cart around the countryside. And while it’s great for the sort of things that I do, it’s not necessarily for everybody. But there are a range of alternatives available particularly the zoon lenses are a very good alternative to a fix focal length lens such as the 500. Something like the 100-400 tube or a nice compact 75-300 as you can see here. A great lenses that they’re light weight, they’re easy to use, and exceptional quality right across the board, so very much within the means of most photographers, when they’re starting out, or perhaps starting to develop their photography a bit more. An alternative way to increase the focal length of the lens is to add a converter. Most lenses these days will accept converters either a 1.4 or a 2 times converter. This obviously, in a case for 2 times converter doubles the focal length of the lens. So if you’re using a 70-200 lens here, fit it with a 2 times converter, immediately you’re up to 140-400 millimeter lens, which gives you twice the pulling power, which is great for photographing wildlife in particular. Another great thing about mid telephoto zooms is that you can add extension tube to them, and this affectively converts the lens almost into macro lens. The extension tube itself got no glass in it, it’s simply allows the lens to focus much closer than it would do ordinarily. And it just fits on between the lens and the camera, and they come in a variety of different sizes. Ordinarily something around 12 mil to 25 mil and as you can see here, they stack up as well. There’s a saying extension tubes is a great way for getting in close, but in getting really close, then you really need to invest in specialize macro lens. And this one is a 90 millimeter lens and it can go right down to 1 to 1 life size, so you can really go in close, to get some real wacky close ups and get some nice details in things like flowers, insects and butterflies, of course. Now they’re coming out a range of focal lens, starting at 50 millimeter up to about 200. And the other lens I’ve got here to show you is a 180 millimeter lens. The effect that it does is exactly the same thing as a 90 millimeter, but because of the longer focal length, it’s quite nice in terms of the background and you’re able to isolate the subject much more easily and to throw the background further out of focus. So that’s a good one, obviously, much heavier and to cut around, so if weight is an issue, then, something like a 90 millimeter will perhaps be better for you. As they say in the case studies we use all range of accessories to compliment the lenses that we’re using. This range from flash you could see here, to the plump, which is a ingenious bit of kits to help you steady a little bits of vegetation when you’re doing insect photography, and on the tripod there, a side kit which is ideal for using on the telephoto lenses. They’re the lens which most people will want as part of their kits is some form of wide angle, the lens here is a 24-105, so very versatile lens. And generally, wide angles are use for landscape work and as you’ll see in the case studies, it’s a help us to get the most from this lens. You can also incorporate a range of filters. In the digital age, we’ve got various tools to our disposal of course, a laptop and a computer, which we need to process our images and perhaps get the most from them. It’s vital to remember though that it’s the most important stage of the whole process is out in the field when you got the wildlife in front of you, and to get the best image that you possibly can at that stage in camera. But of course, various software packages allow us to get the most from those images. And we’ll gonna show you a lot more about that in our special features. Male2: Once you have your basic equipment, a useful tip is to practice changing aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed on your camera, so that it becomes second nature before you head out into the field. Another useful function to be familiar with is the playback function. This allows you to quickly review what you’ve taken and check exposure and composition. The histogram display option shows the spread of brightness tones in the image, white or bright tones to the right and dark tones to the left. You can use the histogram as a basic digital exposure meter to ensure you’ve not over or under expose your image. Male1: Another tool to help you get close to wildlife is some form of hide that come in all shapes and sizes. You can make your own of course, or there’s many that are commercially available, and they’re dead easy to set up and use. This is just a standard hide, and it comprises of four aluminum poles and four cross members. Roughly about half a meter square, and then a camouflage hide material just to finish it off. before I start to build the hide, first thing I always do is to set the camera up in a position for photography, and that gives me the perfect starting point for the hide and the frame and allows me to build the hide at exactly the right place, so to get the pictures that I want. There you go, that’s all there is to it. So now armed with the tools of the trade, let’s go out and explore nature with your camera.