What it takes to get the shot (Part 2): Up close and personal

One thing every serious wildlife photographer should have in his or her bag of tricks, is a super telephoto lens, or commonly known as a “long lens”. In my telephoto lens bag, I also have an extender, which converts my 600mm lens to a whopping 840mm. This combination really lets you get up close and personal to the subject without disturbing or stressing the animal or better yet, without getting mauled or hurt by a territorial or frightened animal. For goodness sake…..no SELFIES with wild animals! You wouldn’t believe the accounts I have heard of tourists being mauled at Yellowstone National Park because they tried to get selfies with bison.

All of the images found in this article were taken with the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM Super telephoto lens and a 1.4 III Extender. Click the links below to view the specs:

When using the Super Telephoto lenses it is imperative to have a sturdy, stable tripod to avoid your expensive equipment to be damaged. Using a tripod isn’t my favorite thing, but it is a necessary evil to get sharp action shots and detailed images. Remember, the eyes are the window to the soul – yes, this is even the case with animals. I struggled a lot when I first started using a tripod in my wildlife photography, as I was using a typical tripod head. After reading articles in Outdoor Photographer magazine and researching articles online, I found the perfect solution for my dilemma! The Wimberley Gimbal Head allows you to rotate your lens around it’s center of gravity and easily manipulate my medium and very large lenses. It allows you to easily pan fluidly and tilt the lens as well. I only have one tripod that I use and that is the Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber tripod – this duo is life changing!

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