The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 4
By Heather Angel
Conveying motion within a single still frame is always a challenge, never more so than when the action is fleeting. If, however, the action is repetitive or prolonged, you then have the luxury of time to seek the best vantage point, to fine-tune the choice of lens, whether to use a fast or a slow shutter speed and maybe even to choose the optimum time of day for working.
Within the genre of wildlife photography, action is synonymous with mammals running at speed, birds in flight or whales and dolphins leaping. Dangerous or shy animals will require a long lens and maybe a hide to disguise your presence. Alternatively, a camera can be positioned where animals are known to return on a regular basis (such as a water-hole) and triggered by remote control. There are times, however, when a hand-held wide-angle lens can be used to take a whale surfacing beside a boat or a flock of large birds lifting off at close range.
Arms cannot be braced for a long time holding a long lens, so that either a monopod or a tripod is essential here. I find a monopod more practical for tracking seabirds from the deck of a ship; whereas on terra firma, I prefer a tripod so I can pan to follow the action.