Persistence and patience, scouting, and proper planning are essential ingredients, and they'll pay off in the end. We have composed a couple of tips below to help you get the best photography experience in Alaska.
Things To Remember
Bear photography is more fun with a camera drone. A few years back, helicopters were used to capture the photographs of wildlife. But using helicopters are not only prove to be costly but also disturbing for the wildlife. Various researches show that camera drones did not show any signs of distress or changes in behavior in bears. Thus drones provide a rewarding experience when it comes to wildlife photography.
Know your subject. Know and appreciate a pleasant working distance from the wildlife you attempt to capture. Do a little research and reading in your targeted species. Several animals are creatures of habit, and they frequent similar areas and can be somewhat predictable.
An eye-level position will help depict a more natural scene of the animal in its environment. But there's more to consider than just a straight-on a shot to your subject. Be creative. You may have to shoot lying on your stomach or climb up in a tree, on a ladder, or anything, but do what is needed to produce the perspective appear exciting and natural.
Use telephoto frames, but back to catch the animal in its surroundings, too. Context means a lot and can say considerably. Step back and look around you. Try to put the animal in an area, place, and time. Include some of its surroundings, which helps tell the story of where it resides.
Regulations About Wildlife photography
In Alaska, it is prohibited to use drones while hunting -- a drone cannot be used to find game animals. We also checked with the state wildlife troopers, who apply the wildlife regulations of Alaska.
A drone cannot be used purposely or incidentally in the procedure for taking the game. After the hunt, the individuals can return in the field with the drone, but that is not a hunt; it is a photography journey. Even scouting an area to search for bears is prohibited.
A hunter cannot use a drone to locate an animal even after it's been shot ("take has happened"), until after the hunter finds it.
From the start of this decade, Alaska Wildlife Troopers learned that camera drones were being used to detect and help in taking big game. To solve this, they created a proposal for the Board of Game. In Alaska, anyone can suggest a change to hunting regulations via a Board of Game proposal. In the statewide meeting in 2014, Proposal 180 addressed using aerial drones and remote-controlled camera gear, noting that: "A number of those remote-controlled aircraft could operate up to hundreds of feet above the ground, offering the hunter an unfair advantage and possibly causing an immediate maintenance issue for the resource."
The board passed the proposal, and the present regulations state that "You might not take the game by...using...any system that's been remotely controlled, airborne, or communicates wirelessly, and used to locate or spot game using a camera or video device..."
In 2014 the use was banned by the National Park Service of Drones in most national parks. Wilderness areas and congressionally designated primitive regions are off-limits, as drones are thought to be equally "motorized equipment" and "mechanical transport."
Drones are banned in several national wildlife refuges. The US Fish and Wildlife Service manage national wildlife refuges across the nation, including 16 in Alaska. Many refugees in the system nation-wide expressly prohibit using drones -- which includes Alaska's Kenai Wildlife Refuge.
Others do not expressly prohibit drones, but they do apply the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the use of aircraft (Title 50 CFR 27.34). The section says: "The unauthorized operation of aircraft, such as sailplanes, and hang gliders, at altitudes leading to harassment of wildlife, or the unauthorized landing or take-off on a national wildlife refuge, except in an emergency, is illegal."
In many cases, all federal, state, and local regulations The FAA regulations must be followed.
Two of the primary issues with drones would be the potential to harass conflicts with other refuge users and wildlife. Sometimes, usage of a drone could be permitted with a particular use permit -- that is the "authorization" facet. That entails working with the refuge manager and a permit specialist.
How to be Safe and Get A Great Picture
- Be an ethical wildlife photographer. Obey the "wildlife viewing ethics" instructions on this site. Turn off your flash and the camera's beep settings to reduce the chance of startling your subjects. Remember: no photograph is worth endangering the life or health of wildlife!
- Familiarize yourself with your equipment before you venture out in the area. Experiment with your drone's manual modes-try adjusting the settings to see what effects you can get beyond the camera's automatic settings.
- Practice before your trip by taking photographs of birds in your birdfeeder, pets in the park, or ducks at" a local pond.
- For handheld pictures, practice monitoring objects in motion with your drone, at both low and high zoom settings. This will help you monitor the flight of birds or the movement of mammals for action shots.
- Pack your drone bag with extra batteries, additional memory cards, lens cleaner, a notebook for notes, along with your instruction manual.
- Try using a "constant shoot" mode to find a series of rapid-fire images to select from.
- Study your topics to learn their motion patterns. This can help you get the best shots.
- Observe bears from a safe distance without affecting their behavior. Be very careful about females with young, spawning, and nesting blocks. If you do your analysis, you'll learn when an animal is indicating that you're too close. At that point, you should either stand or sit quietly or move away slowly. You may drop your picture, but you will be safe, and so will the animal.
- Avoid lotions or scent, and wear natural colors. Relax your muscles, and don't stare. Animals can sense your emotions and might sense direct stare is a threat.
- Approach animals quietly and slowly and avoid fast movements. Never chase wildlife for photographs. Never feed the animals. Never throw things or stone to get attention. Always leave space for an animal to getaway.
- Animals usually return to the same sites-use this fact to get ready for a shot. For example, a bird will typically come back to the same nest after flying out to hunt or to maintain its region. If you know its habits, you can pre-focus on the perch and prepare for its return.
- Some subjects are best recorded with motion images. For example, however, bow-riding Dall's porpoises are tough to catch in a still shot, a short video can record their speed and grace.
- Keep in mind, too, that in many ways, a camera drones can separate you from the experience of wildlife watching. Take some time to be "at the moment:" Put away your camera, feel, listen, and watch, and take photographs with your mind.