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MAKENZIE’S OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Wildlife Photography

Updated: Mar. 11, 2021 at 10:01 AM CST
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WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE, Okla. (TNN) -In her latest Outdoor Adventure, 7 News Anchor Makenzie Burk goes hunting, but this time it’s for the perfect picture.

It’s a different kind of hunting. One that almost anyone can do.

“When you pick up a camera you start to notice these little things that you never notice before all this these little jewels all over through an throughout the refuge,” said wildlife photographer, Bill Shreve.

The wildlife isn’t too hard to find, but just like hunting, you must be patient.

“If you come out here more often you give yourself a better chance of finding that perfect shot,” said Shreve. “And when we get that perfect shot, then it’s the next perfect shot.”

Shreve is part of the Wichita Wildlight Photographic Society. He’s dabbled in photography for about 30 years, but really got serious about 7 years ago.

“I thought you know growing up in the outdoors hunting and fishing that I knew a lot about nature,” said Shreve. “And it wasn’t until I picked up a camera and really started photographing wildlife and birds and I came to realize I don’t know that much and through photography I’ve really learned a tremendous amount.”

Even developing a love for watching and photographing birds.

“To me, it is really unbelievable the amount of birds that we have that would seem that they belong in some Amazon jungle, not out here in the prairies of Oklahoma,” said Shreve. “So that’s one thing that really caught my eye.”

He says the more you hike, you’ll start to learn where animals congregate.

Once he’s found a subject, the goal is to get the animal’s eyes in focus. That’s where people look first on a picture.

Camera equipment can range in cost, depending on how much you’d like to spend. But Shreve says a good lens will make a big difference.

“That will really open the doors to you if you can get a super zoom,” said Shreve. “Something that will go from say 200 milimeters out to 500 or 600 milimeters.

When it comes to photographing wild animals, safety comes first.

“Respect the space of the animals. Please be respectful and give those animals a good distance,” said Shreve. “Usually rule of thumb for me is anywhere from three to four school bus lengths, if you can imagine that or picture that. Or the other technique I showed you if you hold up your thumb straight out and if your thumb covers the animal you’re at a safe distance.”

Most of what he’s learned about photography he says has come from joining the Wildlight Photography Society. He says they offer classes and meet monthly to discuss their photos.

It’s free to join the Wichita Wildlight Photographic Society.

For more information on their meetings or classes, you can find them on Facebook.

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