The first rains of summer have fallen and quenched the parched bush. We are hoping there is a lot more on the way, both for the bush and our photography. Water can be an incredible medium to shoot wildlife photographs because of its importance to the animals it sustains but also the character it can add to what you are about to capture. There are one or two things to consider that could possibly enhance your image when you come across a wildlife subject around water.
An undisturbed body of water is a powerful tool and something that can add huge value to an image. Keep this in mind and be careful when composing shots with the option of a reflection – try not to cut this off.
The patterns and textures created by droplets and splashes can be captured in many different ways. A high shutter speed is necessary to freeze the droplets as gravity takes hold and they begin to fall. If there is a great deal of movement with a subject crossing or playing in water, it can easily become a touch blurred and lose effect unless that is the intent. A very slow shutter speed, especially under overcast conditions can be effective.
As the rains continue to fall small puddles will become more and more prevalent in the bush. These provide easy access to water for animals wanting to quench their thirst and amazing opportunities for us to capture them drinking.
I look forward to the rest of summer and the opportunity to photograph the incredible animals we see around water, how have you used water in your photography?
Written and photographed by Simon Smit