No shortcuts to taking nature photos

The recent article, "Surgeon accused of baiting rare birds to get good photo" (June 8), brings into question whether shortcuts should be taken in order to get photographs of wild animals in action.

Photographing wild animals in their habitat is not an easy task, requiring lots of patience.

It is not uncommon for the search and wait to drag on for days or even months before one is able to snare that prized photograph or even catch a glimpse of the elusive animal itself, as many animals are shy and would flee upon human presence.

There are some people, like naturalist David Attenborough, who took painstakingly long expeditions into the wild to study the subject animals.

One prerequisite to taking good photographs is having the knowledge and experience to know where and how to look for the animals.

Some amateur photographers resort to using baits or other methods, such as tying up the animal to take good photographs, instead of waiting patiently for the shots.

This method may produce instant results and give the impression that the photograph was taken only after a lengthy wait.

However, such a practice would undermine the hard work put in by scientists, naturalists and amateurs who went by the long way, sometimes taking years of labour to accumulate a single piece of work to be disseminated to the public ("Doc's new book is a labour of love"; June 3).

The true beauty and execution of a good nature photograph depends on many factors that may include luck, but the indispensable one is patience.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)