Deep down inside, I would love to make impressive wildlife photos. Awesome close-ups of lions and elephants or, closer to home, of wild boars and their striped piglets, or rutting deer. I’ll even settle for an impressive close-up of a blue tit. But to get pictures like these, you need all kinds of things.
– An environment with wildlife of course, although that doesn´t have to be a jungle or savannah.
– A decent telelens, because it’s hard to get really close to wildlife.
– And, last but not least, a lot of patience. In interviews most wildlife photographers stress that you have to wait a long time for the most beautiful pictures, quietly and often in an uncomfortable shelter.
And that’s where it goes wrong for me. Deer and foxes abound in the forest around the corner, and I have a huge telelens (a lucky yard sale find). But those hours of waiting in the right spot at the right time, waiting for an animal that may not even show up, oof. I just don’t have the patience.
So in order to satisfy my inner wildlife photographer a bit, I fallen into cattle as my wildlife equivalent. Cattle often stays calm when you get closer, or even approaches you itself out of curiosity. It is safely behind a fence and often docile enough to allow for a perfect close-up. Thus, over the years, I have accumulated a nice series of farm animal portraits. There may not be a melancholic monkey or exotic giraffe in my pictures, but cows can look into the lens with a lot of feeling too. Goats can be photogenic.
And that’s how I sometimes pretend a little to be the next Frans Lanting.