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Photographing Wildlife for National Geographic Magazine


Photographing Wildlife for National Geographic Magazine

Sponsored by Panthera
Steve Winter Photography:
Upcoming B&H Event Space Seminars:
Steve Winter's lecture will include images from his new book called Tigers Forever: Saving the World's Most Endangered Big Cat. Steve also discusses ethical issues in wildlife photography—and share tech tips, including the use of camera traps and other equipment developed by Nat Geo's photo engineering department.

Join a Wildlife Photographer on the Hunt for the Perfect Shot | Short Film Showcase

What does it take to capture the perfect shot in the wild? For Belgian photographer Michel d’Oultremont, patience is key. Poised and ready, he often waits for days to see any action. When the animal finally emerges in his viewfinder, the intense rush of emotion in that micro-instant of life makes the process worth it.
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About Short Film Showcase:
The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

Know of a great short film that should be part of our Showcase? Email to submit a video for consideration. See more from National Geographic's Short Film Showcase at

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About National Geographic:
National Geographic is the world's premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what's possible.

In this short film from the Contra Agency, take an intimate journey with wildlife photographer Michel d’Oultremont as he searches for the recently introduced wild bison of Romania.

Michel d’Oultremont

Directed by David Hayes:
Produced by Hannah Salvanes Mclean:
Contra Agency:

Join a Wildlife Photographer on the Hunt for the Perfect Shot | Short Film Showcase

National Geographic

30 Years of National Geographic Photography, with Dan Westergren

In this video on photo techniques produced during the 2015 B&H Optic Imaging Conference Dan Westergren, Director of Photography for National Geographic Travel discusses how to best capture the essence of people and places, be they large cities or remote locales.

Dan Westergren Photography

The Basics of Nature Photography from Michael Melford

Presented by Lindblad Expeditions

Learn the inside tips on shooting outdoors from National Geographic photographer, Michael Melford, who has published numerous stories and books for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, LIFE magazine, as well as many other publications.

Michael's Website

Lindblad Expeditions

11 Tips to Photograph Wild Animals Without Getting Killed

**Go to to enter the current giveaway. Something new each month!**

I wanted to use my Tamron 150-600mm lens and see how it worked photographing wildlife. I don't have much experience with wildlife photography so I called up my father. He shot for National Geographic, the Audubon Society, and many other magazines for years.

So, here are the 11 tips to photograph wild animals without getting killed:

1) Head to the national and state parks. Many wild animal populations are living in proximity to tourist facilities in national parks and have become tame and easy to photograph. Ask around the hotels, ranger stations, and visitor centers in national parks.

2) Use a tripod. When my dad sent in his first images to National Geographic, they sent them back and told him to buy a tripod. I used a fluid head tripod so I could shoot both video and stills. It worked OK but was slow for stills.

3) Telephoto lenses are a necessity. They get you closer to the animals and create great effects and shallow depths of field. However, my dad told me that the most neglected is the wide angle lens because people don't take enough time to use them properly. Using a wide angle lens will allow you to get close to the animals for intimate shots with great depth of field that also incorporate a panoramic view of the surroundings.

4) Shoot early in the morning and late in the day for good light. Get up early so you are there when the animals are moving around the most. We got up at 5 am and headed to the location where we knew the buffalo would be. It was early but the images were wonderful.

5) Good wildlife photography requires a lot of time – a lot of time spent with the animals so that you learn how to work around them and they get used to you. Once the animals are relaxed and you are relaxed, good shooting conditions happen. Be aware of your surroundings though, these are still wild animals and you don't want to get killed.

6) Don’t hide away in the hotel or car when the rain or snow comes. Extreme weather brings interesting lighting. Wind, dust, snow, rain, any extreme condition has it's own lighting and is worth the challenge of shooting in extreme conditions.

7) Social interactions. Get shots that we as people can relate to – mothering, young one playing, fighting, mating, grooming, chasing tourists.

8) Use the Lost Wallet technique. I have seen my dad use this several times to great success. He says, when photographing animals, don't go charging at the animal but rather pretend to be searching for a lost wallet. Direct your attention to something other than the animals, take your time and zig zag back and forth and slowly make your way closer to the animal. Pretty soon the animal isn't paying any attention to you and you can get some great shots.

This ends the list of advice from my father, though he said there was a lot more he could have shared. Here are a few things I learned during this process.

9) I set my motor drive on continuous so I could get a few shots off each time I hit the shutter. The first shot may not be the best so you want several shots in a row to catch the action.

10) I shoot at 250th of a second most of the time and changed the aperture and ISO to compensate. The one disadvantage of the 150 to 600mm lens is the variable aperture. Shooting at a high shutter speed allowed me to capture movement, and if the buffalo charged, I might have still gotten a few shots off while running away!

11) Have a backpack set up in your car with the equipment in it ready to go so you can jump and run. Include extra cards batteries and lenses.

I learned so much from going out and shooting. It was a lot of fun. I have shot some birds at Mono Lake with the 150 to 600mm lens. I have shot buffalo, birds, moose, and elk in Yellowstone and hope to photograph more in the future. Having a long lens that allows this type of work is a game changer and makes a huge difference. It really makes this type of work possible. I hope you are inspired to get out and photograph wildlife.

Thanks for watching. Keep those cameras rollin' and keep on click'n.

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Brian Skerry - National Geographic Underwater Photographer

Full story interview at

From a very early age, I was inspired by the ocean. I used to watch Jeac Cousteau documentaries, I read National Geographic Magazine, and I knew that I wanted to explore the ocean.

It’s very rewarding to be a photographer. It has added layers to my life—to who I am—that I never could have imagined. Full story at

Stunning Photos From the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

National Geographic has announced the winners of its 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year contest, and, as expected, the winning photos are jaw-droppers. The contest selects three winning images, an honorable mention, and a people's choice in each of the four categories: Aerials, Landscapes, Underwater, and Wildlife. The grand prize-winner this year was Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan, who scored $7,500 for his orangutan photo, as well as a feature in National Geographic magazine. Read more:

Learn more about this topic (and satisfy your curiosity every day) on!

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OPTIC 2017: Jeff Mauritzen | Landscape & Wildlife Photography

National Geographic photographer Jeff Mauritzen offers his wisdom for an informative presentation designed to greatly improve your landscape and wildlife photography skills. Jeff shares images from his assignments and travels around the globe and offers up a wide range of techniques that he finds essential in creating great photographs. From Antarctica to Indonesia, high in the Andes to underwater in the nutrient rich waters of the Galápagos, Jeff takes us behind the lens to share his perspective on what it takes to make a great photograph.

Jeff Mauritzen Photography

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Best of the Best: 20 Years of Nature's Best Photography

Watch on YouTube 1080 HD for best quality viewing. Produced to accompany the Nature's Best Photography Best of the Best Exhibition, this video brings you nature photography from the past 20 years including grand prize winners, youth winners, and the Windland Smith Rice International Awards winners for 2014 and 2015. It is shown on a Panasonic 65 LED LCD flat panel display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Every year these annual photo exhibitions are viewed by millions of people in one of the world's most highly-visited and respected museums, open daily and free to the public.

The complete collection of winners and highly honored images is featured in the Fall 2015 special 20th Anniversary edition of Nature's Best Photography magazine in the museum shops and on the NBP website at

Go to to enter your own pictures in the current competitions and learn more.

How to Capture Incredible Wildlife Photos: Free Online Photography Lessons from Tommy Schultz

If you're like me then I know you love taking photos of wildlife.

Great wildlife photos are some of the most popular shots in magazines like National Geographic, but have you ever stopped to think how difficult it must be to get these photos?

Capturing the personality of a wild animal with your camera is one of the greatest challenges you'll face as a photographer. Sure, it takes some practice, but in this video we'll talk about some of my favorite techniques for sharing the spirit of these wild creatures with family and friends back home (4 minutes, 22 seconds).

For more free photography tips just click:


How to GET PUBLISHED as a PHOTOGRAPHER | Interview with the editor of Digital Photo

My new serie How to Make a Living from Wildlife Photography is all about how I manage to turn my biggest passion, wildlife photography into a full time job. My goal with this series is to inspire you and to share my experiences on how to start a photography business.

In this first episode of How to Make a Living from Wildlife Photography I am going to share with you how to get published as a nature photographer - or as a photographer in general. Actually it isn't me who is passing on these tips and advice, because I am visiting a person who is much better qualified to do that - Louise Hagemann who is the managing editor of the number 1 photo magazine in the Nordic countries - Digital Photo.

As I promised, in the vlog I am just going to write down the few but very important principals, that you can follow to increase the chance of getting published, when you are contacting a magazine.

••• Contact information for DIGITAL PHOTO •••


1. Buy the magazine or magazines you would like to get published in and read them carefully to get an understanding on the concept, the style of photos, the stories and most important - what message the magazine wants to pass on to their readers. Is it educational, inspiration, nature conservation, scientific or adventure?
Understanding this will give you a much better chance to send them a pitch that will catch their attention.

2. Magazines get tons of emails from photographers, so you have to put a lot of effort into your pitch!!
Angle your story and find the 5-10 best photos. Then create your pitch by writing an email of between half to a maximum of 1 full page - ALWAYS start with a catching intro and go straight to the heart of the story.
This is called the elevator pitch - imagine you are riding an elevator with a total stranger - in a very short time, you have to tell them what your story is about and make them really interested and want to know more.

3. Don't just be a photographer - be a storyteller as well! If you are passionate and enthusiastic about your photography and you are able to share this passion in some short stories, most magazines are more likely to be interested - images of lions and bears they can find on Shutterstock and 500pix.
Even if you can't write - they will very often help you - as long as you have the story:)

4. If you have a story just send it in - don't be afraid of getting a no. Or 10 no's!! One day you will get a yes and that day might be sooner than you might think.

I really hope this first episode has inspired you to pitch your favorite stories and I wish you all the best luck in getting published.


If you like my videos, please consider subscribing.


How to make a living from nature photography and photography in general was one of the questions I would have loved to get answered about 10 years ago when I first started out as a semi-professional nature and wildlife photographer - because running a photography business is not always easy.
In this new series of videos I am taking you behind the scenes on some of my jobs and at the same time I am explaining how I do things and why. I am going to tell about making a photo book, making an exhibition, selling prints, doing lectures, writing articles and stuff like that.

••• MUSIC •••:

I am using Artlist and Epidemic Sound for my videos.
Artlist is an awesome music service for video creators.
You'll get 2 extra months on your subscription by signing up using this link:

••• WHO I AM •••

My name is Morten Hilmer and I work as a professional nature and wildlife photographer. In a series of videos I will share my fascination of nature and the animal kingdom with you and invite you behind the scenes when I am out photographing the fascinating wildlife, the stunning landscapes and the wild nature. I work as a ILCP photographer, and nature conservation is very close to my heart.
Read more about my time in the Sirius Dogsled Patrol:

Beside the many publications, my photographs have been awarded in the Wildlife photographer of the year and European Wildlife Photographer of the Year photo competitions.

In spring 2017 I published my book Silence of the North:

See you out there !

All the best
Morten Hilmer

Lecture: Michael 'Nick' Nichols ( 2012 Sem Presser)

World Press Photo Sem Presser Lecture, 'Just a Monkey? A discussion of man and nature and the nature of man' by wildlife photographer Michael 'Nick' Nichols, National Geographic magazine.

Explorer Classroom | Brian Skerry: Underwater Photographer

Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine, covering a wide range of subjects and stories. His uniquely creative images tell stories that not only celebrate the mystery and beauty of the sea but also help to bring attention to the large number of issues that endanger our ocean and its inhabitants. While on assignment, he has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats, and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to canoes to the Goodyear Blimp to get the picture. He has spent more than 10,000 hours underwater over the past 30 years. During 2016 Nat Geo published three consecutive feature stories by Brian about predatory sharks.​

Ask questions by using #ExplorerClassroom on Twitter!

Please Note: Explorer Classroom sessions are live events hosted on YouTube. They are open to the public and recorded. Please share these terms with parents of students who will participate live on camera. If any parents or students prefer not to be on camera, please accommodate their wishes in your classroom.

Mark Emery: The making of film for National Geographic, BBC and Discovery Channel

This lecture is part of the IHMC Evening Lecture series.

Mark Emery grew up in Florida. He worked at Silver Springs wrestling alligators and milking rattlesnakes five times a day for Ross Allen’s Reptile Institute. Later he went to work for Jordan Klein Film and Video. Jordan Klein Senior invented underwater cinematography and made many of the technical advancements with Jacques Cousteau to make scuba possible. Mark worked on productions with Academy-award winner Jordan Klein and his son for 18 years. Emery preferred natural history films to commercials and movies so Mark and his wife Mary traveled to 25 countries producing, directing and shooting scores of television shows and commercials about fish and wildlife for the BBC, National Geographic Television and The Discovery Channel. He has won two Emmys for Cinematography, a Chris Award, and Wildlife Communicator of the Year Award.

Mark and his music partner Tracy Collins have written and performed music for over 320 national television shows and commercials including numerous scores for National Geographic Television, The Discovery Channel, Walker’s Cay Chronicles, Ford Commercials, Triton boats, Captain EOS for Disney World, Larry Csonka’s North to Alaska and 17 years of One More Cast with Shaw Grigsby as well as many others.

Emery’s still photography has been published in National Geographic Magazine, Newsweek, The London Times, Outside Magazine, Outdoor Life, Florida Sportsman, Backpacker Magazine, Alaska Magazine as well as many books, calendars and other publications.

Mark has spent a portion of his summers guiding fishermen and film crews in Alaska when he was not working on his films. Mark has been on camera and guided many notable clients including Olivia Newton John, the Governor of Alaska Sean Parnell, IMAX crews from MacGillivery Freeman, Shaw Grigsby’s One More Cast, Larry Dahlberg of The Hunt for Big Fish, Al Lindner of In-Fisherman, Homer Circle of Sports Afield and many more.

Photographer Cory Richards: Vulnerability is the Key to Great Art

Cory Richards is an adventure photographer and athlete who was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012. His camera has taken him from controlled studios, to wild and remote corners of the world, from the unclimbed peaks of Antarctica, to the Himalayas of Nepal and Pakistan—all in the attempt to capture the soul of adventure and exploration.

Cory is a passionate alpinist and climber and has carved out a niche for himself as one of the world's leading adventure and expedition photographers. Cory's photography has appeared in National Geographic magazine, Outside, and the New York Times. His film work has won awards at nearly every major adventure film festival including the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Cory was on the 2015 Banff Mountain Film Competition jury when we caught up with him to talk about photography, adventure and why artists need to be vulnerable.

Photos courtesy of Cory Richards.

Learn more about the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival:

Learn more about Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:

Twitter and Instagram: @banffcentre



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