Wildlife photographers can encounter their subject of choice at any time and place. Be it mangrove forests, wetlands or your local park and garden, wildlife are all around us. Read on to see why one wildlife photographer never leaves home without his trusted D750. (Report by Easan Sathiyalingam)
D750/ AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR/ FL: 450mm/ Aperture-priority Auto (f/5.6, 1/500 sec)/ ISO 2000/ WB: Auto
The Olive-backed Sunbird is a common sight, and a great subject to photograph. As this fast and agile bird constantly changes its position, hopping from flower to flower, I selected continuous-servo AF (AF-C) mode on my D750, which enables me to maintain focus on the tiny subject up to the moment the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down. This allows me to frame my subject the way I want and capture it when I want.
D750/ AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR/ FL: 500mm/ Program Auto (f/5.6, 1/400 sec)/ ISO 500/ WB: Auto
It is important for me to be able to capture the natural behaviour of my subjects, but most tend to be skittish, like this Fiddler Crab, which will rush back to its burrow if I get too close. The D750 features a FX format 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, so I can gain additional reach from my favorite lens by using the built-in 1.5x DX Crop mode, while retaining excellent image quality.
D750/ AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR/ FL: 500mm/ Aperture-priority Auto (f/5.6, 1/400 sec)/ ISO 3200/ WB: Auto
This Gold-Spotted Mudskipper quickly caught my attention during my visit at a nature park, as I had never seen this species before. It was situated on one of the roots of a mangrove tree under poor lighting, but thanks to my D750, which is able to maintain minute details even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity, I was able to photograph this amazing creature, highlighting the splendid golden spots and jewel-like turquoise eyes.
D750/ AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR/ FL: 500mm/ Shutter-priority Auto (f/5.6, 1/100 sec, EV +1.0)/ ISO 280/ WB: Auto
Coming across birds of prey when I am out photographing is always exciting but even more so when I spotted this Spotted Wood Owl as they are nocturnal birds. It almost looks like it was posing for photos. I managed to take the image handheld thanks to the VR system of the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, which helps to effectively reduce image blur caused by camera shake, which easily occurs when shooting with a super-telephoto lens.
I ventured into wildlife photography as a platform to share with others the amazing flora and fauna that we have. With wildlife, however, you never know where your next subject is going to be. I could be pointing my lens at a small and slow subject, like a snail crawling in a garden, at something fast and unpredictable, like a sunbird hovering among flowers in a public park, or at distant and uncommon animals, such as an estuarine crocodile basking on the shores of wetlands. In order for me to tell the story of each of my subjects, I need the versatility and confidence to shoot in various environments and conditions.
The D750 gives me this with its lightweight rugged body which is comprehensively sealed to prevent dust and moisture. The newly developed FX-format CMOS sensor coupled with the EXPEED 4 image processing engine enable the D750 to produce high quality images in low light situations. Top that up with a fast continuous shooting speed of approximately 6.5 frames per second, and the D750 is ready to jump into action anywhere and anytime I need it to.
Often when shooting wildlife, you will be in a situation where you do not want to take your eyes off the viewfinder, like tracking a bird under foliage, but at the same time you need to quickly change settings, such as exposure compensation. I often find myself in these situations and this is where the ergonomically located dials, levers and programmable buttons of the D750 come in handy. They allow me to customize the camera to my preference and readily make changes to the settings on the fly with one hand, while keeping my eye on the subject.
It is these features and the wonderful experience I have had so far with my trusted D750 that make me not want to leave home without it. It is my hope that one day I am able to use my photos to create awareness and show the world importance and beauty of nature.
A Singapore-based Malaysian photographer who took interest in photography after his father got him his first camera, a Nikon RF10. Since then, he started to focus on nature and wildlife photography, and today continues to explore the various aspects of this genre. He hopes to one day travel the world’s nature reserves and work alongside other professional wildlife photographers to contribute to the conservation efforts.