06 December 2007

Furs and feathers galore

In Norwegian nature photo circles there is a strong tendency towards Furs And Feathers addiction. More and more people seem to invest in chimney-length telephoto lenses and spending their holidays in a hide, over the hills and far away from common sense.

To most of us, the cost of those telephoto lenses is prohibitively high. And it's kinda funny, isn't it? It's so easy to think that if you only had the equipment, you'd be able to take the same kind of pics as to those celebrated wildlife photographers. Like Frans Lanting, Mattias Klum, Brutus Östling (Nordic Nature Photographer 2007) or Kai Jensen (winner of the IFWP wildlife photo contest 2006).

Well... Last night I met Brutus Östling and his eagle photos. Kai Jensen was there too, in an audience consisting of nature photographers from Biofoto. Most of the audience was very pleased with what they saw, and after listening to Brutus they went on to discuss long lenses and the speed and utility of the newest Canon and Nikon machines.

As I listened in, I became more and more convinced that despite the conversation subjects, the 500mm or 600mm lenses and cameras are actually the least expensive part for the furs & feathers guys. The price of their gear must be small compared to their travel expenses (penguins, anyone?). And since time is money it's totally dwarfed by the time spent in hides to get those chirping or squeaking models to cooperate. Brutus mentioned several times how he had spent days on end (his rear end) inside hides without getting a single useable shot.

Not my cup of tea, thank you. And I don't even have enough male hormones left to think large-aperture telephoto lenses are cool in their own right.

Perhaps I'm getting old?!?

Oh, well.

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