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Takeaways from the Wild Doody by Debra Boyette

Several dozen photographers at PPNC’s Central Seminar waited in anticipation for the Wild Doody. The Wild Doody was not a creature in the wild. On this Sunday afternoon, Master Photographer and PPNC member Karen Doody, aka the Wild Doody, shared her infectious excitement about wildlife photography at her Elevate Your Wildlife Photography workshop.

Karen showed us some of her photos and told stories about how she got the shots.

“The main thing you need,” Karen said, “is KNOWLEDGE.”

“Knowledge of your equipment, knowledge about animal behavior, knowledge about how to stay safe, knowledge about where you need to be and when you need to be there.”

Here are some takeaways from her workshop:

  • You don’t have to go out West to get great photographs of wildlife. Although Karen loves photography trips to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, she shared that you can capture great photos here in North Carolina, including your own back yard. No matter where you are, you must know what animal you’re looking for and something about its behavior — where it lives, what it eats, where it breeds, and when it is available.
  • Patience is imperative. You may need to wait a while to get the shot. If you’re in an area that’s known for a particular animal and its food is there, just wait (in a safe place).  Karen showed us a beautiful owl photo that she waited 2 hours to get.
  • Set yourself up for success. Can’t go to Grand Teton? Check out local parks and zoos or animal sanctuaries … or your backyard.
This wildlife photographer waited 2 hours to capture this image.

And some equipment tips:

  • Be sure to dress yourself and your equipment for the weather. Consider a giant Ziplock bag and a giant rubber band to use as a raincoat for your camera. And for you, waterproof hiking shoes (I have hiking boots that I’ve worn once – so heavy. I’ll be looking for these hiking shoes).
  • Know your equipment. Finger memory is a thing. If you must stop and think, your subject might have moved on.
  • Jump settings. Once you’ve figured out where you’re going, figure out what settings you might need to get started.

To learn more:

This only scratches the surface. Check out Karen’s website (www.thewilddoody.com) for information about her tours and classes.

Meet Master Photographer, Karen Doody.

And don’t forget, PPNC offers three seminars that are free to members (Eastern, Central and Western), and they cover a variety of topics.

Did I mention they are FREE?

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