Tuesday, October 2, 2012
On A Photo Hunt
Italian wildlife photographer Stefano Ronchi creates high-impact wildlife photographs through careful study of behavior and a mastery of technique
OP: How are you able to focus so quickly and sharply on moving objects while using such shallow depths of field?
Ronchi: The ability to quickly capture birds in flight depends, in my opinion, on several very important factors. First of all, the knowledge of both the animal and the environment in which it lives and moves. Rarely, I can freeze perfectly the flight of a bird the first time I meet him. At first sight, I try to understand how it moves, where and how he likes to rest, and also what kind of light I find there. Once I have gathered this information, the ability to focus on the bird's flight is a lot easier. It's still a challenge, but I'm able to predict with some precision what is going to happen.
OP: Where are some of the best places for bird and the other wildlife photography you do?
Ronchi: I was born on the banks of one of the largest rivers in Italy, the Adda. I love to walk on the banks of the Adda Nord Park with my camera looking for the fauna that populate it. The many years of local knowledge allows me to know where I can find the birds that live and breed there. The Gran Paradiso National Park, a protected nature area, is a place to see amazing animals—the fox, the dipper ermine, the partridge, the white eagle. Another one of my favorite places is a valley in Switzerland called Val Roseg in Pontresina, near St. Moritz. Here, you can lose yourself in search of tits, red squirrels and woodpeckers. Last, but not least, I note two other places in Italy where birds can be photographed in controlled environments—one is the sanctuary of LIPU in Racconigi and the other is the animal oasis of Sant'Alessio in the Province of Pavia.
OP: What equipment are you bringing with you?
Ronchi: For lenses, I use the Canon 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM and Canon 300mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM lenses. The ƒ/2.8 lenses allow me to have a smooth bokeh. For the body, I use the Canon EOS-1D Mark III. Digital photography has brought about a remarkable development in the field of nature photography.
OP: How so?
Ronchi: First, the costs are contained. Nature photographers tend to photograph using the continuous mode setting so you do not miss any of the expressions of the animal and have at the same time the entire sequence of the scene unfolding in front of their lens. The current digital cameras have reached and gone beyond the levels of analog cameras in terms of noise reduction and dynamic range, but with greater versatility, both in terms of practical shooting and postproduction. With this equipment, I hope I am able to transmit my love for the animal world through the eye of the camera.
See more of Stefano Ronchi's photography at www.stefanoronchi.com.
Page 2 of 2
Get 11 Issues of Outdoor Photographer for only $14.97!
That's 77% off the cover price!