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Story & Photos by Matt McCormick | 12.17.2019

3 Photography Tips For #DIVERGE8

  • Pursuit: Waterfowl
  • Environment: Marsh

The challenge for the month of December for the #DIVERGE8 Photo Contest is The Wild. Show us photos of the wild animals, the wild conditions and the wild places hunting takes you and you’ll be eligible to win.

Prizes for this month include #DIVERGE8 Limited Edition hats and a $100 gift card to B&H Photo. We still want you to submit any and all photos relative to the contest. This challenge is for additional giveaways within the month of December. Read on to hear some tips from our #DIVERGE8 Judge Matt McCormick on how to uniquely capture moments around the Wild.

Whether you’re in the rugged mountains of Northern Alberta or the Central Plains of North Dakota, hunting takes us to incredible places. In the spirit of this month’s DIVERGE8 Challenge ‘The Wild’, here are a few tips that will ensure your shots are not prefaced with ‘the photo doesn’t do it justice.’
Landscape waterfowl photo.

1. Composition

Similar to your favorite beer or wild game recipe, a photo is only as good as the ingredients in it. Some recipes are simple, and some are complex, but the finished dish is a perfect blend of very specific ingredients, often with a hint of origin, leaving you satisfied and craving more. A truly stunning wildlife or landscape image is exactly the same. Look for and include elements that makeup and reveal the wild aspects of your location, incorporate the correct amount of wildlife and landscape to give the appropriate sense of place. Too much of one and not enough of another can adjust the outcome drastically. The right recipe, however, will leave your viewer wandering and immersed in that one, very specific moment.

Waves crash as duck hunters attempt to shoot sea ducks from shore in high winds.2. Timing Is Everything

When it comes to the aesthetic of an image, timing is everything. As hunters, we put ourselves in some of the most beautiful and harsh environments in the world but providing these locations justice can be extremely challenging. Sun, wind and wild conditions are your tools, so utilize the weather to make your viewer feel what you’re feeling.

Geese are feet down in the decoys on a late season goose hunt.

3. Move Your Feet

Although a tripod is a photographer’s best friend when photographing landscapes or wildlife, don’t be lazy. Adjust the perspective by raising or lowering the camera to provide a unique view and absolutely move your feet. Once you have the composition dialed in, adjust your angle and position to create a truly unique and stunning image.