A kangaroo in the wild is nothing like what you see in the zoo.
Stealth and speed kept me from getting many good kangaroo photos. I tried hard, everywhere from Kakadu National Park to the Atherton Table Lands.
First off, imagine the setting: Forest lands, often dotted with termite mounds. When you scan the terrain, you’ll see the trees. And you’ll see the termite mounds. Things get interesting, though, when a group of "termite mounds" starts to move. Fast. Their body shape at rest is an amazing camouflage.
Now, just set aside your notions of how a kangaroo moves when it’s hell-bent to get away from you. Forget everything you imagine about a placid, languid bounce.
Instead, imagine a furry missile streaking over the land. From what I could see, they fold their upper bodies parallel to the ground. They push off with their hind legs and project their considerable power back rather than up. The result is a tremendous burst of speed – and little chance for the camera I carried at the time to catch any action: My Fuji superzoom was great for landscape, but was just overmatched for trying to catch a fast, quick, camera-shy creature.
So if you want to photograph Skippy, remember these tips:
- Be quiet
- Be patient
- Use an SLR
- Bring a big, honkin’ lens, no less than 200 millimeters.
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