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ALERT! | by Thomas Retterath
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African Wild Dog Puppy



Photographing African Wild Dogs is always a bit of a challenge. Besides the greatest challenge of finding them, it´s tricky to get contrast in their face because it´s mostly totally black. You have to find a compromise as you don´t want to burn out the bright parts.

You also don´t want to shoot them just sitting or lying, because their interactive behaviour is what makes them so attractive. As they always appear in packs, you will likely concentrate on the "wrong" animals. The interesting interaction may happen between other dogs than you´re focussed on in that particular moment. So don´t just look through your view finder. My wife always helps me and points out if something interesting is happening while I´m focussed on a different spot.

You also have to position yourself a bit further away to capture all the interaction. The animals may likely come close to you, and if they are too close, you will look down to them, which results in an unattractive angle in photos. The eye level is the most important thing in animal photography IMHO. Sitting in a Safari vehicle mostly means you´re having a bad angle, but you can´t do much against it.

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Taken on November 12, 2009