We have teamed up with Lumix Ambassador Bence Máté to create a top tips piece to share his advice of Wildlife Photography and his favourite features of the Lumix G9 camera.
Bence Máté is a Hungarian Wildlife Photographer who won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 2010 with his image ‘Marvel of Ants’. This makes him the only contestant to date to win the award title in both the young and adult categories of the competition.
Here are Bence’s top tips for wildlife photography:
- Show respect. We are guests out there in nature, and it is essential that naturalists be informed about the impacts of their presence on wildlife. Always seek minimal disturbance and notice the animals’ signals; as soon as these signs are recognized you will be able to keep the necessary distance.
- Be prepared. Get to know the performance of your equipment before using it. Modern technology has awesome potential for perfect images; however, you have to be aware of the performance of your equipment. Studying the user instructions and trying the different functions could be of great help in this respect.
- Make plans. After envisaging the style of the image you want to take, the photo is halfway ready. After that you will only have to find out what settings, perspective, background, light and other conditions are needed for the desired effect.
- Improvise. The best images usually depict unrepeatable scenes. Photos are the result of technology, careful planning and environmental conditions combined. If the first two are handled skilfully and creatively, you will be able to make effective use of the unrepeatable opportunities encountered.
- Be a perfectionist. It is exciting to create lasting things. If your images are not simple recordings of memories, but amazing experience to share with others, it is worth taking the time and focus on creating quality photos.
- Cataloguing. Systematization and backing up on different devices is as essential as creating and processing images. Appropriate cataloguing may save lots of time.
- Take utmost care of your equipment. Environmentalism is not only about separate waste collection and car-free days. Among others, from environmental aspect it is important that photo equipment can be used as long as possible.
- Experiment. Photography is much more than recording moments. There is limitless potential in creating images, and it is the photographer’s privilege to use his creativity to transmit feelings and emotions with a single image.
- Buy high speed write memory cards in order to ensure the maximum speed of your equipment. It is also important not to delete the images one by one, but by formatting only. One by one deletion can slow down the write speed drastically, and you may miss important scenes later on.
- Find extreme perspective background and lights. Human eye-level position is hardly ever suitable for photography, thus in most cases it is worth lowering yourself or climb higher. No good images can be taken without proper background and lights.
The top 10 feature of G9 for me:
- The pre-recording function opens up new opportunities in action photography. In this mode, at 60 images/sec speed the last 30 images – the ones taken in the last half seconds – can be recorded, which opens up a new dimension in photography in case of fast and unpredictable moments.
- The quality of images allows broad use. The files converted from RAW files can be used perfectly for prints, books or exhibitions.
- Its small size allows the whole equipment fit easily into hand luggage which makes its handling and movement in the field much more convenient.
- The automatic focus adjustment is very fast and reliable. There are variable AF modes to ensure proper settings for different themes.
- Silent as well as completely noiseless operation of electronic shutter setting allows photographing shy and fearful animals without disturbing them, which is crucial when taking close-ups.
- My personal favourite what the large lens selection is concerned is the 100 – 400mm, which is 200 – 800mm full frame equivalent. Currently, this is the most multifunctional lens in wildlife photography.
- The image stabilizer allows 800mm handheld photography from sunrise to sunset.
- The folding lcd allows working at ground level, without being forced to crouch down.
- The customizable buttons and settings offer plenty of opportunities to change the functions of the buttons in line with my own needs.
- The quality of the 4k video is outstanding. Whilst I am a photographer in the first place, I often encounter scenes which look real good in moving images. In this case with the push of a button I start high quality video shooting instead of photography.
To see more of Bence Máté's work, take a look at his website and Instagram (@bence_mate_photography).