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The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 9 of 24

Photographing Otters in the Field Part 2


The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 9 of 24

Photographing Otters in the Field Part 2


Lesson Info

Photographing Otters in the Field Part 2

no we just saw it for the last hour that's what I keep being a photographer you know because you gotta have these really special moments you know you probably get bored eventually but these are the ones that keep me going and I don't have pictures like that and be able to share with students and other people you guys you know it gives me a lot of joints you fund like share that have people appreciate it and uh yeah it keeps me going where is it from the right oh yeah there's another one in there from the right come down come down to the bar they're going to come down the burden of your drink uh serendipitous gift right where the otters hello emma that was special so my buddy and I have been coming up here every fall for in september because we've come for the all correct you know try to get pictures and video of the whole crowd and then whatever else we can run into we had experience with some wolves back in two thousand eight we watched it chases scallop for like four hours but we've ...

been looking for otters forever trying to get some good and then for this to happen to see eight or nine or how many where was just incredible I mean I've never we've been filming for years and never had the opportunity like this this close and to get the sound and everything was just incredible that so that's l'm telling these guys were I've never seen anything like that they're so lucky they don't know look they work right well like I say I we've searched haven't we follow certain online post you know from people and trying to find the otters and we could never you know you might get two and three here and there but defining the whole family like that of seven or eight er I'd like to say however many there were and to be that close and to hear him I've got plenty of audio with sound you know everything it's just it's just a unique unique experience and you're more than welcome to have some of my own if I don't have the highest quality stuff but I'm more than willing to share it with so which an immigrant it's doug mccleave you're familiar from layton utah thank you very much pleasure being too thank you very much that was three moving um it brought tears tears to my eyes to see to see what we just saw I mean the inner afternoon of them you hear about it you see it sometimes on tv but to actually see it taking place tug of war with a fish grooming each other bickering chirping going thank you you look thiss isn't just you is this what you've been scouting for us and uh I'm assistant and there's always a video uh with me and travel now but anyway so she's been out scouting and she saw these otters earlier and we saw him yesterday there were three days ago resulting usually seven seven but I think it kind of nine now but so anyway you saw them e I came up to you guys were already shooting so then I was I was looking at saw the otters outside ran and got the video camera and said it but I was a little behind you cause they couldn't get out there quick enough where you guys work but it was great video because they're going in and now tradition I've never I've never seen honors that play that long or fish that loan in such plain view no no it's amazing because likes your ten fish and a couple of really big sucker who's under that big huge the mostly suckers I think they might have caught a trout or something tim tim got truck jumping ahead of him theo yeah but most what they catch in this section are verses are suckers but they're huge anyway so I hope you got that on video I did don't worry noise wake we came toe hopefully see the others were here because they have a den there so that you know that's the new den um they've been in different sections of the sneaker over the years and never seen that many of his every said that uh mrs three to four maybe a pair only but uh a pair with two or pear with three but um that's a nine is amazing and so the way we came here to hopefully see the otter but I figured it was like a one in ten chance we were here the other day for like four hours and they came down the river and there's only six or seven they went in they went away from us and then came down that far channel and that was it and then it just kept going there is no show show there's no catching fish there's no role in their net generally get on the bank and we're for four hours so that was like even but uh so we came down here to hopefully see the hotter but im se gyeong has about one ten you know since we pulled up there were right there is a terrible invested and so but they're out all dave fishing and they might go down river five miles and come back so to just come here and have them here it must be that that the students were good luck maybe it's becky and jennifer the girls maybe it's you no matter no but you guys were good luck thanks so was it was funny someone in the chat room just said like he's a big softie on you kind of talked about why this was important to you and the moment of being able to see something that you had ever seen before how much of that is uh and it goes back to the question that was asked earlier how much of that is just even if you don't necessarily get a shot like you said you were shooting the whole time and you maybe got one shot that you want to print even if you didn't get any is that still worth it to you I mean is this why you do it don't matter no it really really does it is not like you know you hope you come away with something but I came with the experience you know it's a great experience obvious I said about a hundred times you don't see that many otters but that's what drives me yeah it's uh I mean I have literally a million images I have not had a maybe more I mean I've never looked at I have fifteen hundred rolls of code or fuji chrome probably coated chrome too that I've never looked at so people think I'm nuts but it's like for me being out there in photographing is what drives me in seeing things like that's what drives me and wei have won three people wanted to know this tom is pointing his lens up when he picks up his full kit to move locations doesn't the lens get water specs on it due to the rain somebody else noticed it earlier in the snow really yes no I haven't actually have kind of magical linds ah a little windshield wipers on it now that is a real boo boo and I get excited and you know you throw that over your tripod and I saw that you know that dumb thing but news what I do and didn't see isa you always have lens wipes in my pocket before you when they set it down look at the lens and especially when I know I'm carrying it like that I wipe it off and I have a shammy cloth and no I don't shoot through the raindrops I'm not magic and you know it is you should not do that I'm glad there's some people out there watching uh uh I want to do for us now I always did but listening to that shoot fast and everything and it all sounds all good but my mind goes absolutely numb thinking about going through all of those at the end of the day said you don't but can you talk a little bit about your process of editing all those shots if you were on assignment or something where you did have to choose that was one or two out of the ten million that I heard get shot yeah I know that and that's an extreme to say that's an extreme amount of shooting for a couple hours but we were there that's extreme so it's usually not that is you but it's also extreme because they're so similar that is going to be difficult um but we have a big monitor and um those I won't go through one by one but I'll look at you know it's really good maybe a two by three frame we go through them and just I'll be liberal with my orange marks a and my poor people we'll have to go through there get through them too and they will put their marks on him and what's well they um like my facebook page andy we'll pick an image I never have I'm not there enough I'm not he picks an image and he's really good editor is so he will pick an image you know for the facebook page or something and posted um if I'm there he'll say what you think about this and what what about that other one maybe but if it comes to prince I'll end up we'll have I do all the prints election and I would do the final edit s o sometimes related I cherry pick you know what I'm on someplace like look I can tell right away just looking at these that that those in ones were probably better ones were closer and you know because of that you didn't have the extenders you didn't have the the atmospheric stuff that those were probably look at those first if I were going to say after being hurry to pick something but eventually it is matter is going through the pages and you can pretty much tell um from thumbnails um and then you mark those and it's just a matter of elimination the bell will be difficult now want to be really difficult but pretty much heads are up and then you know it's not it's not rocket science but it would be harder thing a lot waken pass the mic to them over on that far side um well they're passing it uh david wong to others I've seen many nature photographers use camouflage covering on their lenses is this of any real use only if you're wearing camouflage clothing to go with it um yeah I think it is often times because that big black lands of the big white candle ends you know animals and birth cdo's but it does no good if you have ah red jacket on and so do it really right you have to you know be all in camouflage or in some kind of a khaki you know earth and colored clothes and things like that but I know they do help I'm going to take that black thing off there but come on I'm steve holt I've uh I've shot stills for about thirty years and I've started shooting video in about the last three to five can you tell you clearly have mastered both motion and still can you talk a little bit about your difference in approach when you're doing still or video unfortunately for me I started off my first job was in video in film sixteen millimeter film as a cinematographer and as an editor and then a producer and so I learned to story tell I mean I took stills as a hobby and then it was hired is this image of a job two dollars and fifty cents an hour was the cinematographer so I you know where's today anyway so I learned I learned the storytelling in the filmmaking part um one of his young and with my thirties twenties and then I went to still because I want to get that one frame that told the story but it kept dabbling in film and it's actually really interesting because I went to geographic on the crane film with the whooping crane and I showed him um um smith she said tom smith he was editor then and he says that it's actually very few people couldn't do both you know um um is because it's a real mine struggle to switch from and when I worked on a hoping crane there had been gained from still there still there put on a pullover film and did video and and you really have to switch gears and a lot of people now they're the video with the video cameras still cameras the newspapers or magazines air requiring their cameramen to shoot video so they have to learn it you know so I can at early unfortunately and I still shoot video I don't think they're still cameras were really that great for shooting video except for the long lenses which is great if you're on a tripod but for whole hand holding that compared to um video camera to me it's really a pain uh video camera on your shoulder if you doing hand health of this so much easier and makes a lot more sense but it's it's different it's a totally you have to really think differently about you're about the two mediums hi there I have a question is specifically about the orders I have groups of two and four that I see on a regular basis except for they're so incredibly shy that I can't even be I have to be at least four times the distance that you were and if you even move suddenly subtly not suddenly they're gone s o in I'm in sacramento and a wetlands area are yours always so gregarious I understand you don't normally see what you normally do but are they a little more gregarious and easy going with people coming around are they always a cz comfortable with you being that close uh that group of otters it's new it's called the oxbow band which is a very popular place in teeth on park and they see a lot of people and so um you know they're calm about people but yeah you can see they still didn't come right up to us when we were still further than you to me but um typically are shy but if you find in places like in yellowstone or tetons or stuff they will get accustomed to people like most animals generally do and someplace like maybe where you live you have to find it maybe where their den site is or where their favorite fishing hole is in this case the fishing hole and their den was right there so if you spend enough time again like I said many times patients and if you just sat there but in your case if you just sat there and you had some kind of a blind that you almost have type of blind what you're talking about but you know that pop up planned ahead like len larue makes a pop up lines a lot of sort of hunting blinds people get from like a bellows or later um that's that would be the answer for those orders if you know where they're hanging out but otherwise you'll never get close to him

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn wildlife and outdoor photography from one of the most prolific nature photographers of our time in The Art of Wildlife Photography with Tom Mangelsen.

Drawing lessons from his 40 years of observing and photographing the Earth's last great wild places, Tom will discuss the complex process behind his breathtaking wildlife photographs. You’ll learn:

  • What it takes to be a great wildlife photographer
  • How to capture wildlife in their natural environment
  • The best places to find animals
  • How to increase the visibility of your work
  • The importance of respecting wildlife and wildlife ethics

Tom will cover the basics of gear and scouting and teach you how to think about lighting when capturing animals in the wild. Tom will also offer a critique images and portfolios submitted by viewers.

If you have a passion for outdoor photography and want to capture the spirit of wildlife in your camera, join Tom Mangelsen for this inspiring and educational class.


a Creativelive Student

There is probably just one word that comes closest to describing Tom Mangelsen’s photography. Glorious. There are other good words too, of course. And they are also inadequate. Mangelsen’s panoramas are (cumulatively and separately (any one of them)) the best I’ve seen. Mangelsen teaches by example and his examples are exemplary. I’ve seen several photographers giving courses on CreativeLive lately many of whose photos I would love to have taken - but with Mangelsen I envy his possession not just of his photos but of their subjects too. And he does possess his subjects in ways many outstanding photographers fail to - possesses them and then leaves them to continue on with their lives. There are other reasons I’m grateful for this course too - his field trips and critiques have shown me (as with other CreativeLive courses) just how lazy I’m being with my work. And if his critiques aren’t motivation enough I only have to view his slide show ‘Last Great Wild Places’ for more inspiration. The photos in this series are revelations all on their own - even without commentary. Thank you CreativeLive for continuing to bring us the finest wildlife and nature photographers at work today - and thank you to photographers like Tom Mangelsen for giving us a look at the way they work.


I could not stop watching this class and set aside time each day until I finished it. I guess you could saw that I binge watched it. Then I was really sad when it was finished! Like a good movie that stays with you and that you don't want to end! This is a wonderful class and the best I have taken at CreativeLive. I learned so much and have a great fondness for Tom Mangelsen. He really knows how to pull you into his passion. I am so grateful to have taken this course and grateful to Tom for all that he has done in his career to further his craft and to share it. I am inspired! If you are going to purchase and course from CreativeLive, this is one to be sure to take!!! Thank you again.

Dub Maitland

Excellent class! An incredibly talented photographer who has a vast knowledge of the subject matter as well as an outstanding ability to deliver the information. It was as enjoyable as it was informative. I first saw Tom's work in an office in Denver in 1991 and have been inspired by him ever since. Thank you Creative Live, for giving us the opportunity to spend this time with the Master! And thank you Tom for your willingness to share your talent with us! Dub Maitland, Missoula, MT.