You’re probably aware that photographing animals and birds requires a certain level of silence and stillness and patience? And the willingness to do this for hours?

They even have special photo shoot booths for bears and other predators. You have the whole night to be silent, still and patient. They leave bait and then it’s all a waiting game.

There are squirrel whisperers and rabbit gossipers and all kinds of people able to talk to animals. They’re basically Disney princesses.

And then there’s me. Then there’s Heikki.

I like to look at myself as a guerilla photographer. Someone who just runs out into the forest with a camera in hopes of seeing some wildlife.

And if such a miracle should happen, my main strategy is to politely ask them to stay still or better yet, pose. For some unimaginable reason, this doesn’t wield the desired result. I can’t see why.

So let’s make a list of animals to photograph from easiest to hardest.

1. Our own hiking doggy, Möykky

I’ll be honest, I’ll never get bored of taking photos of this guy. He’s always there when I get off from work and equally excited every time. The poor thing always has to join us in our treks and adventures. He’s the easiest to take photos of because he can’t run away.

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2. Mallards and pigeons

They call them domesticated but you’d be wrong to feed them bread. So let’s just call them mallards. They are easy to approach and are found in all corners of the country.

Same thing with pigeons. Oh and did you see the photo below this text! Baby pigeons! I’ve never seen those before a few weeks ago! So cute.

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3. Swans

Our national  bird is a pretty common sight especially during spring. And they also don’t seem to respect a huffing and puffing lunatic in the shrubbery. Bastards. I remember one summer night I heard a mother swan make this lizard-like hissing sound. It was not graceful. It was terrifying.

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4. Other birds

Crows, tits, sparrows and stuff like that. I just like saying tits, that’s all. But they all fall prey to my signature move: just go outside and see if you find any.

Sometimes I do but to be frank, I never have a plan for it. Plans are for pussies.

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5. Bugs

I was typing in “insects” but then I realized spiders are arachnids and ants probably aren’t insects either and gah. So I chose a more universal title.

Shooting bugs requires a macro lens. Or you can do the trick where you remove your lens and turn in facing the wrong way. In any case, you have to get close to the subject. I’ve asked them to stand still and they also seem to be reluctant to do so.

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Hardcore mode: Rabbits and squirrels

Sure, both can be found from our backyard on a daily basis but it’s still hard to get a closeup of either.

The strategy is the same: just go out and see if you find any. Give it a shot. But not a too loud one. You might scare them off.

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And that’s all the animals there are. Yup.

I mean that and reindeer.

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I love taking nature shots. Maybe one day I’ll learn patience as well. But until then I’m sticking to the Heikki method.

//Heikki

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