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Red Fox, Island Beach SP, NJ Long Lenses

One fun thing about shooting wildlife is that you get to use gigantic lenses. Super-telephoto lenses are massive and can attract a lot of unwanted attention, but there is no denying they are fun to use.

Shooting with a long lens is not as easy as one would think. A tripod is required. You should be using one anyway, but with the big lenses, it is not an option. The smallest movement gets magnified by the extreme focal length. If the lens is not held perfectly still, this movement causes blurred images.

Even using a tripod, there is a possibility of a ruined shot due to camera shake from wind or from vibrations caused by the mirror flipping up before the shutter opens. To avoid this, experienced photographers use very solid tripods with sturdy heads to maximize steadiness in windy conditions, and drape their free hand over the top of the lens to minimize camera shake from mirror slap. Large maximum apertures allow for faster shutter speeds, increasing the chances of getting a sharp shot, and have the added benefit of blurring the background to keep the viewer's focus on the subject.

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Landscape, wildlife, and travel photography. All images on this site (c) Brian Kennedy.
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