We are extremely lucky to have so many talented photographers in our local community and this week we are happy to introduce someone who we love to see in the store. He recently got back from an amazing trip in Alaska and we were all drooling over the incredible images he took of the wildlife there. This week we are excited to have wildlife photographer, Brandon Bright!
Your wildlife images are really amazing. What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out shooting wildlife?
Thank you, I really appreciate the kind words. The advice I would give is to start small. This applies to both the subject matter and gear setup. For subject matter start in the backyard! Serious! Start to learn the behavior of squirrels, birds, even your family dog or cat. Work up in subjects from there and gain the confidence not only in observing behavior but gear setup as well—learn to use the camera out of Auto mode. When you understand the nuances of your subject you can achieve more dynamic photos like predicting where they will be to help compose your vision of what you see the subject doing! Visualize! For the gear, also start small. Maybe a crop sensor camera and a good telephoto zoom. Perhaps a Sony a6500 with the new 200-600mm coming out or even the 100-400. If your budget allows, go full-frame like an A7iii, A7riii, or any of the brands that sit in those ranges.
How often would you say you try and get out and shoot?
I tend to get out and shoot every day. Practice and practice. Even if the subject matter isn't what I am looking for, I enjoy being out in nature and photographing most stuff that comes along. Keeps the skills sharp and oftentimes you learn something new!
What is your go-to gear setup?
I shoot Sony. Primarily the A7rIII and the A9. For my lenses, I tend to lean towards Prime lenses for the best quality I can possibly achieve, but I've worked up to this through a lot of experimentation and what pleases my eye the most. Starting with the zooms is a recommendation I would make to get used to what focal ranges you like, etc.
Where are the best locations to shoot wildlife in Utah?
Depends on the time of year. Antelope Island usually serves up quite a bit of diversity all year long and allows for practice with both small and large subjects such as coyotes, small birds, owls, bison, mule deer, pronghorn and jackrabbits. For winter months, I like Farmington Bay for more birds like eagles, owls, etc. Farmington Bay in the early spring offers up migratory birds and the occasional fox or two. The West Desert has wild horses, foxes, prairie dogs, etc. The Cottonwood canyons offer up mule deer, moose, marmots, pica, squirrels and is usually great to get out of the heat!
How long have you been doing photography and what made you want to shoot wildlife?
I've been doing photography for the better half of 12 years. A little off and on in the beginning but fairly aggressive the last 4 years. I used to shoot landscapes, simple nature scenes, etc. but I picked up a telephoto lens to photograph some small critters while I was waiting for sunsets so I wasn't so bored. I enjoyed the critters so much that I looked more for wildlife and fell off from doing the others. I picked increasingly longer glass as I progressed that I now am almost exclusively wildlife. That, and the critters are so much more entertaining and I learn a lot while I am out. I also get to meet a lot of great people who do it as well!
Thanks, Brandon for the great advice and for letting us get to know you better. If you want to see more of Brandon's amazing wildlife photography, check out his website or follow him on Instagram. Till next time!